Richest districts boost politicians they can't even vote for
When President Bush gets off his plane in the Twin Cities today to attend a fundraiser for state Sen. Michele Bachmann, he will not be visiting her home in Stillwater. Instead, he will be driven about 40 miles in the opposite direction to the little lakeshore oasis of Wayzata, which, while not the capital of our state, seems poised this election season to become the capital of political capital.
In fact, Wayzata is the top ZIP code in the state for campaign contributions to the 2006 races, according to opensecrets.org, which posts the filings to the Federal Election Commission. Denizens of the 55391 ZIP code have already donated $1,254,841 to their favorite candidates, which is almost a half million ahead of the ZIP's closest rival, 55403 in Minneapolis.
This makes Wayzata three times more generous than all of St. Cloud ($419,253) and six times more deep-pocketed than the Duluth-Superior area ($197,267).
Given this willingness among Wayzatans to open their wallets, you can see why Vice President Dick Cheney has paddled to the shores of Lake Minnetonka twice since last summer to stump for local Republicans. When you charge $4,200 to have your picture taken with patrons (the president himself will expect $5,000 for the honor today), you can be pretty confident the checks won't bounce.
Let's cut to the end where Lauramonkey offers some food for thought.
Clearly, these are the sorts of people who care about the country, and they deserve their props for taking part in the political process. But when the serious money in a campaign comes from people 40 miles or, let's face it, a world away from the constituents in question, you can't help wondering whom our public servants are really serving.
Hmmm. She's got a point there. One does wonder whose constituency is being served when someone like - to just pull a random name out of thin air - Betsy Hannaford, resident of the 3rd Congressional District - donates cash to pols like...
Bill Luther (2nd CD - 2001)*
Bill Luther, again (2nd CD - 2002)*
Betty McCollum (4th CD - 2002)
Betty McCollum, again (4th CD - 2003)
Teresa Daly, twice (2nd CD - 2004)
Susan Collins, (Maine - 2002) (Hey! A "Republican"!)
(KAT to alert Shot in the Dark reader Thorley for doing the leg work)
To be fair, Ms. Hannaford did contribute to Amy Klobuchar twice. We are fairly certain that A-Klo is running for the Senate in Minnesota. But given the recent revelation off Hannaford's donations to that campaign, we will have to recheck that fact.
* There was some redistricting done way back when, so it is entirely possible that Wayzata was in the 2nd back in the early aughts. I have neither the time nor the inclination to research that. Take this modest footnote as a sign of good faith from your humble correspondent. In any event, given the other donations she's made, that possibility doesn't undermine my assertion. Whatever that is.