NY1 senior vice president Steve Paulus has responded (Associated Press, 8/15/06) that while $500,000 "seems like a lot of money" to many, "there are 5.5 million registered Democrats in New York. All Tasini would need is for each one to send him a dollar. Right now, with the money he's raised, he does not represent the party he claims to represent."
Paulus' suggestion that the amount of money a candidate raises defines whether he or she represents the party is absurd and dangerous; much of Clinton's campaign chest has come not from one dollar donations from registered New York Democrats but from wealthy corporate employees and their employers-like Time Warner, which according to FEC.gov has donated thousands of dollars to Clinton's campaign through its Political Action Committee. Clinton also received money from a July 16 fundraiser held for her by Rupert Murdoch, a conservative media mogul not known for supporting the Democratic Party or its interests. It would seem that voter signatures to put a candidate on the ballot (Tasini collected 40,000, well above the required 15,000) would be a better measure of that candidate's legitimacy within the party than an arbitrary amount of funds raised from such sources-or from any source.
Moreover, as an antiwar candidate challenging Clinton's pro-war record, Tasini would appear to represent the Democratic Party even better than Clinton on that central issue: A recent poll showed that 78 percent of Democrats want candidates who oppose the Iraq War (Zogby, 8/9/06).
NY1, Director of Politics
NY1, Senior Vice President