Monday, June 25, 2007

ActBlue and MA-05

Marie, in her comments to a previous thread writes:

Everyone keeps mentioning who is raising on ActBlue. If you took the time to go a little bit further you would see that Finegold is the only candidate that is using a different online tool for donations on his website.

Not a bad idea since you can tell exactly what everyone else has raised online except for him.
I would add to this that it's certainly true that you should not measure a candidate's fundraising prowess based on what they collect via ActBlue. That amount largely depends on how much that candidate is pushing Internet contributions and does not, as Marie points out, take into account any money not raised through ActBlue. By way of example, Rep. Barry Finegold is showing only $16,250, yet he raised almost 19 times that amount in the first quarter alone through other methods. Relying on ActBlue to draw conclusions on how a candidate's fundraising is going is not likely to give you a full picture.

What I would disagree with, however, is that it's somehow a bad idea to allow the public to see exactly how much you have raised online. On the contrary, it's often a very good thing, particularly if you're stressing your online contributions. ActBlue's Karl-Thomas Musselman notes today in the ActBlue blog that using ActBlue can earn you positive media. He mentions several downballot races in the past few weeks that have had free press in the local media as a result of public fundraising numbers on ActBlue. He elaborates:
Political beat reporters are hungry to have a reason to write. As a former journalist and state-level blogger myself, the public fundraising numbers that are provided by ActBlue are a great hook. This is great for local stories about elections that may not otherwise be generating much news. While politics is more than just about money, smart campaigns can leverage this fact to their advantage. In an environment where earned media is an important component of modern campaigns, the public nature of ActBlue can be a natural ally. Feel free to make use of it!
Of course, the end of the fundraising quarter is coming up. If you support one of these candidates, your contribution will make the most impact if you get it in before Friday. You can see how all of the Massachusetts candidates are doing on Actblue here