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November 10, 2002

All Praise Pelosi's Fundraising

Some liberals like Howard Keller at the NY Times don't like Pelosi because of her fundraising ability. Many conservatives don't like her for the same reason.

Good. Thank god someone is raising money to elect progressive candidates. Look at who she was raising money for? Tough progressives like Tammy Baldwin.

See here for one example. "Democratic Whip Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., gave Baldwin the maximum $10,000 from her ``PAC to the Future.'' Baldwin supported Pelosi in last fall's whip race. ``Tammy Baldwin seems to be challenged in almost every election,'' said Leo McCarthy, treasurer of Pelosi's PAC. ``Nancy thinks she's a very good lawmaker, and anticipates she may have another serious challenge this year, and waned to give it to her early.'' Sharpless hasn't decided whether to run again. That leaves Ron Greer _ a black minister who called Baldwin a ``left-wing lesbian'' during the 1998 Republican primary and who is likely to run _ and real estate business owner Phil Alfonsi, who is running. "

See the full list of candidates getting money from her PAC at Open Secrets.

Fundraising may not be the most attractive aspect of modern politics but it is silly to condemn a progressive for being good at it and using that ability to help other progressives fend off the far more pervasive rightwing money machines.

Back in the 1980s, we had a progressive Tip O'Neill leading the Democrats, but he wasn't a national fundraiser, so power gravitated at times to more conservative fundraisers like Tony Coehlo. Pelosi is more progressive than Tip was in her politics and has Coehlo's ability to fundraise, meaning that DLC types won't have the clear ability to block her based on stronger fundraising ability.

It's worth remembering that Newt Gingrich helped build his Congressional Majority with strategic fundraising through GoPAC. Progressives need and want more than that from its leaders, but it's self-indulgent for any progressive not to recognize that ability by Pelosi as an asset as long as its helping good folks get and stay elected.

Pelosi is not god but she is a member of the Progressive Caucus and a voting record of almost pure progressivism. And she has the political and fundraising savvy to back it up. which is something we should be happy about.

Posted by Nathan at November 10, 2002 02:29 PM

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Incidentally, it's a) Bill Keller and b) he is as much a liberal as InstaPundit is a fence-straddling moderate.

Posted by: Jeff at November 14, 2002 08:40 AM

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