Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY), who announced his retirement this week, writes in the New York Times about the unpleasantness of raising money since he was elected in 2000.
“The money race began, and I attended political action committee fund-raisers, which are like panhandling with hors d’oeuvres. There were hours of ‘call time’ — huddled in a cubicle, dialing donors. Sometimes double dialing and triple dialing. Whispering sweet nothings and other small talk into the phone in hopes of receiving large somethings. I’d sit next to an assistant who collated ‘call sheets’ with donor’s names, contribution histories and other useful information. (‘How’s Sheila? Your wife. Oh, Shelly? Sorry.’)”
“Since then, I’ve spent roughly 4,200 hours in call time, attended more than 1,600 fund-raisers just for my own campaign and raised nearly $20 million in increments of $1,000, $2,500 and $5,000 per election cycle. And things have only become worse in the five years since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which ignited an explosion of money in politics by ruling that the government may not ban political spending by corporations in elections.”
“John Boehner’s view of security is the security of his gavel and tonight it’s less secure.”
— Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY), quoted by Politico, suggesting last night humiliating defeat for Speaker John Boehner “could dislodge the GOP leadership team.”
“The president and the vice president are free to make their calls, but they don’t have a vote on the floor of the House.”
— Rep Steve Israel (D-NY), quoted by the AP, expressing his opposition to the funding bill that narrowly passed the House last night.