Zach Wamp, Former Congressman, on the Fundraising Problem
Conservative Zach Wamp (R-TN, 1995-2011) writes:
“The ugliest truth is that our ‘representatives’ of the people spend as much as half their time raising money. Members of Congress owe the politically-affiliated party committees (the National Republican Senatorial and Congressional Campaign Committees and their counterparts, the Democratic Senatorial and Congressional Campaign Committees) hundreds of thousands of dollars in “dues” each month, raised to protect incumbents and consolidate party power.
“Their elections each cycle often cost $1.5 million or more in the House, and $10 million in the Senate, so lawmakers are constantly fundraising. If you chair a committee or serve in leadership, you’re building an even larger war chest.
“For example, while I was writing this piece, I received a call from a sitting lawmaker, asking for a donation toward the $325,000 dollars he’s obligated to pay the NRCC every year. When I told him I was writing about that very issue and working to end the pressure to raise ridiculous sums of money — a fiscal ‘arms race’ — he told me he hoped I was successful because he’s tired of it. Case in point!”