In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Political Back Scratching
Years ago a special interest group could stage a fundraiser and it was under no obligation to provide any hats and horns to get folks to attend. Everyone dutifully showed up. Those days are long gone, as Ernie would say. Now if you want citizens to write a check, they want some pop, and not the kind you drink. Take the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce. It is charging $175, and $200 at the door, for business leaders to see the Great Debate for Governor set for Thursday night on Mackinac Island. It's the first chance to see Republican contenders Mike Cox, Terri Lynn Land, Pete Hoekstra, and Tom George go at it. Democratic candidate Alma Wheeler Smith will also be there, but the odds-on favorite to win the democratic nomination, Lt. Gov. John Cherry, will find something else to do that night.
He sees little reason to attend an event designed to raise money for the chamber which will likely turnaround and spend the cash on Cherry's opponents. No dummy, he. Or take the "Friends of West Michigan Business" which is hosting a Political Action Committee shindig featuring, not one, not two, but twenty-five lawmakers who chair legislative committees that handle business issues. It's a first and probably not a last, if it works. Thirteen GOP leaders and twelve democrats are slated to work the room if you cough up 40 smackers for the Main Event or $75 for the VIP Reception. It's likely that those legislators will see a return on their time investment next year when the West Michigan chamber writes them a reelection check in a beautiful example of political bac k scratching to the nth degree. Creative thinking is alive and well on the fundraising circuit.