We’ve heard a lot over the last week about how much money the presidential candidates have raked in during the first fundraising quarter. Senator Barack Obama's camp reports that Obama has raked in $25 million from over 100,000 donors, while Senator Hillary Clinton came in at $26 million from 50,000 donors. That shakes out to an average of $250 per donor for Obama and $520 per donor for Clinton. The figures are eye-popping, but not nearly as eye-popping as what happens when they are viewed through the lens of New York's contribution limits. Indulge us for a moment.
In theory, at least, a candidate at the federal level could raise $25 million by soliciting the maximum donation of $2,300 from fewer than 11,000 donors. But what if contribution limits on the federal level were as high as those here in the Empire State? Again in theory, assuming every donor were to contribute the maximum amount, with individual contribution limits for the gubernatorial primary set at $18,100, Senator Obama would only have to call on 1,381 donors to raise that same whopping $25 million.
Which strikes you as a system more accountable to the democratic will of the people? For us, it's not a hard call.