LaborTalk for June 14, 2012

Should the 2012 Elections Be a Fund-Raising Race
For the Presidency Between Romney and Obama?

By Harry Kelber

On the assumption that the candidate with the most financial contributions will win the presidential election, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are spending most of their time to coaxing potential big donors for their support.

With only five months before Election Day, both Romney and Obama are on a frenzied schedule of fund-raising all across the country, leaving their surrogates to talk to voters about the critical issues of their campaigns.

On one afternoon, June 12, President Obama made feature appearances at three fund-raisers in the Baltimore area before running up to Philadelphia for three more in the evening. On that same day, Romney was holding a fund-raiser in Tennessee, after raising money this week in Georgia and Florida.

Since both Romney and Obama have opted out of public funding, they are free to raise campaign funds from whatever source in unlimited amounts. But Romney, as the Republican candidate, has greater access to corporate donors with big pockets.

Thus, President Obama sees himself under pressure to accelerate his fund-raising to keep pace with the Romney supporters who are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into their campaign.

Will Big Donors' Cash Help or Hurt Obama Campaign?

On June 14, Obama will attend a $40,000-a-plate dinner in Manhattan, followed by another high-dollar gathering at the Plaza Hotel. Critics are disturbed by Obama's pursuit of the very rich and what, if anything, he has promised them if elected. It's quite a leap, asking for $3 for a chance to have dinner with the President, and people who can afford to spend $40,000 on a ticket just to hear Obama at a fund-raising dinner.

Of course, Romney and the Republican fund-raisers will cheer at every big check that comes their way. Romney has been jettisoning around the country, making stops in California, Texas, Utah and New York. He has events scheduled in some of the richest enclaves in the nation, from Aspen, Colorado to the Hamptons on Long Island. Obama, who has appeared at 160 fundraisers, is unlikely to catch up to Romney.

Many Republicans believe that if they raise more money than Obama, Romney will win the election. The mass media continues to report the competition between the fund-raisers of the two candidates.

* * * * *

If the AFL-CIO and its affiliated unions have consistently educated their members to understand the issues in this election, the Republicans and their corporate allies won't convince many working people to vote for Romney and their state candidates.

It may turn out that the American voters are a lot smarter than the Republicans give them credit for. Well, we shall see.

LaborTalk will be posted here on June 18, 2012 and on our two web sites: and on

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