The Tea Party As Money Machine

Over the years, I have contributed to many political campaigns and have also given politicians the benefit of my advice and counsel. Pretty consistently, no matter how sound my advice may have been, the cash has been more appreciated.
This observation is prompted by today’s revelation that Sharron Angle raised the astonishing sum of $14 million during the third quarter. Chris Cillizza describes Angle’s $14 million as “a stunning number that far eclipses the cash-collection totals of other prominent candidates seeking Senate seats next month.”
NInety-four percent came in donations of $100 or less. The Harry Reid campaign tried to put the best spin on Angle’s smashing success:

“Sharron Angle’s fundraising number is meaningless without disclosing how much they spent to raise it,” said Reid spokesman Kelly Steele.

I suppose Harry Reid has to spend money to raise money, but people actually donate to campaigns like Sharron Angle’s voluntarily, out of conviction. I’d guess that she spent very little to raise the $14 million.
We have reached, perhaps, the last stage in the establishment’s view of the Tea Party movement. First ignored or snickered at, then demonized as the racist creature of shadowy billionaires, and most recently a movement which some Democratic candidates try to co-opt, the Tea Party has finally done the one thing that will cause it to be viewed with unalloyed respect by the powers of the status quo: it has raised an ungodly amount of money.
UPDATE: More news along the same lines: Kristi Noem, who, when she won an upset victory for the Republican nomination, was derided by Democrats as the Sarah Palin of South Dakota, reported more money raised during the quarter than any other Republican House challenger. That’s twice as much as the Democratic incumbent raised during the same period. The race is even in the polls, and Kristi is a good candidate. As long as she isn’t swamped by left-wing money, and it now appears she won’t be, I think she will win. Don’t take any chances, though–go here to contribute to her campaign.

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