Friday, July 20, 2018

Should Bill Lee's contributions to Democras disqualify him.

Mark Rogers
by Mark Rogers, from a Facebook post, April 20, 2018 - If you sincerely believe that Bill Lee's contributions to a few Democrats are such a huge issue, please answer a couple of questions for me.

1) If donating to Democrats is unacceptable that it disqualifies a candidate and all such donations are public record and easily accessible on-line, why are two well-funded and heavily staffed opposing campaigns acting as if it took the Rogue 1 team, fighting Imperial storm troopers, Darth Vader and Voldemort {in a special crossover episode} to make this known? 

Early voting has started and Lee's opponents are blasting this 'news' as if they just got word. The truth is that they have known all along but didn't say anything because they didn't think it mattered to voters. And, as someone who believes in the People, I think they were correct. But now, with early voting going full stream and Lee surging in the polls, they are trying to convince voters that this is existential. Well, it isn't. If it were such a high crime, they would have made it an issue far earlier. There is a rule in campaigns that the later you raise something like this, the less voters think it matters and the more they feel you are trying to manipulate them.

2) If an occasional donation to a Democrat is such a moral sin, shouldn't that apply to everyone? I can think of a New York City developer and reality tv host who donated to Senator Clinton a few years ago. I imagine all sorts of Republicans have donated to Democrats for business reasons.
The only reason it matters here is that Bill Lee is a threat to upend the careful plans of two rivals. And they are turning a mole hill into a mountain in desperation.

Mark Rogers is a long-time Republican activist and commentator.  His experiences range from campaign strategy to policy development to speech writing.

Rod's Comment: I wholeheartedly agree with my friend Mark Rogers about this. Bill Lee gave $250  to Karl Dean's Nashville mayoral campaign and $500 to Megan Barry's mayoral campaign and $1,000 to Bredesen's reelection campaign for governor. Over the years, according to a Tennessean report, Lee has given over $160,000 in political contributions and the overwhelming bulk of it went to support Republicans and conservative causes.  Also, it should be noted that while Dean and Barry are Democrats, the office they were seeking was non-partisan. As governor, Bredesen governed more conservatively than the Republican he replaced.  I wish Lee had not given money to Democrats but this is insignificant and would not impact my vote one bit.

Diane Black is making a big deal out of this non-issue, yet she is working hard to align herself closely with Donald Trump who gave large amounts to lots of Democrats. When she attacks Trump for contributing to Democrats, then I will believe she really believes what she is saying about Lee.  The amounts Lee gave is paltry. It won't buy much influence. It won"t assure you get a government contract. I'm not even sure that for $250 you can get your phone calls returned.

The issue that concerns me in all of this is that people like Donald Trump and Bill Lee feel they have to make contributions for "business reasons."  In a more perfect democracy, government favors or access would not be for sale.

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