How Dare Brown People Participate In Politics?
If the point is that money corrupts politics, well duh. But the choice of example by the Washington Post bothers me a great deal:
Clinton's success in this unlikely setting is based almost entirely on her friendship with one man, McAllen developer Alonzo Cantu. A self-made millionaire who once picked grapes on the migratory farm labor circuit, Cantu persuaded more than 300 people in Hidalgo County, where the median household income in 2006 was $28,660, to write checks ranging from $500 to $2,300 to the senator from New York. Cantu offers a simple explanation for what he's doing for Clinton. "To me, there's two things that will keep us from being ignored," he said. "Money and votes. I think we've shown we can raise money. That will get us attention, or at least get us a seat at the table, get us in the room."
Gawd forbid a self made Latino, an American citizen, involve himself in the political process by raising money. Does the Washington Post think this is a unique or even an unflattering story? In a way it is, to them.
Look, I am for complete public financing of political campaigns myself. But until that is even remotely a reality, Latinos, just like everyone else, will and MUST participate in the political system as it exists. To single Cantu out, as the WaPo does, is patronizing at best, racist at worst.
Update [2007-11-26 11:8:20 by Big Tent Democrat]: For comparison, consider how the same WaPo reporter covered white people bundling money for Obama:
They had a second dinner a few weeks later. This time Obama, Smoot and a small group of New Yorkers joined them to talk about how they would tap Manhattan for campaign funds. Wolf was on board and was on his way to becoming one of the senator's most prolific fundraisers.
As Obama's announcement neared, his outreach intensified.
. . . By early February, Obama had recruited billionaire hotel heiress Penny Pritzker to head his national finance team. The two had met when Michelle Obama's brother was coaching her children's basketball team, and they became friendly before Obama launched his political career.. . . Obama also landed several Kerry bundlers, including Silicon Valley venture capitalist Mark Gorenberg, and lured two former fundraisers of Bill Clinton's, Boston financier Alan Solomont and New York investment manager Orin Kramer. Solomont said he was surprised by the notice his decision received. "I wasn't looking to make a statement about the Clintons," he said. "My decision wasn't in any way based on less affection or respect for her. [Obama] just had this energy. I could tell this was going to be something different."
I am sure access had nothing to do with white man (ex-lobbyist) Solomont's decision to bundle for Obama. Riiiiight.
Let's be clear, Cantu operates entirely within the law. Does not even come close to skirting it. But yet, this is supposed to be an unflattering piece. Shame on the Washington Post.
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