Watching my wallet in campaign season

Show of hands: who’s already sick of the political phone calls?

Yup. Me, too. And this is an “off-year.” And we’re still a month away from the primary. The telephone polls can be fun, but even they wear thin after awhile. The mail is starting to pile up, too, with all those reply envelopes and the donation slips that go with them.

What’s a pro-lifer of humble means to do? My choice, if I had cash to contribute to political campaigns, would be to keep contributions candidate-focused, not party-focused. Hand five bucks to a specific candidate for state rep or state senate whom you know to be pro-life. Put up a sign. Go door-to-door in your neighborhood. Write an endorsement.

Or, give to a party and take your chances.

While “undeclared” now, I’ve worked for a party, as I’ve written before. Among those I helped elect were three of the sponsors of the buffer zone bill, which is now an unenforced law due to a lawsuit that those sponsors knew perfectly well was inevitable. I’ve been asked, “Well, which party do you think is more likely to support your pro-life views?” I know the answer to that. Still, there’s that buffer zone law. That doesn’t make party jobs immoral. It just means that casting a wider net means bringing in a mixed haul. After sitting through every single hearing and vote on SB 319, an anti-speech law designed to keep pro-life witnesses out of sight, I can tell you what the mixed haul meant.

I wrote the following words in 2013, post-presidential-election and pre-buffer-zone. I stand by them.

Campaigns are expensive: staff, office, media, more media. I have been a paid staffer myself. I am grateful to the party donors who made that possible. I gave good measure in return, and was proud to be on the team. Here it comes, and this is where I’ll sound like an ingrate:  BUT … I heartily believe that cash and volunteer work going to an individual candidate instead of a party is fine, particularly if one is concerned over a particular policy issue that is getting short shrift by party officials.

I would add to that last sentence “…or if one is determined to unseat an incumbent.”

If you’re blessed with resources to spare for political purposes, I hope you give lavishly wherever you see fit.  I’m not in that position. I need to target my support. I’ll leave this year’s mixed haul to others.

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