I understand raising money is difficult in politics, but a little more clarity from one of our own is in order. Mark Dayton, the Democratic senior senator from Minnesota, has been actively soliciting donations for his re-election campaign via e-mail. The problem? He's not up for re-election until 2006, and naturally his communiques make no mention of this important fact. (Check out his "campaign" website
too, it makes it sound like he's in the thick of things right now...)
There's no question he's trying to leverage the heightened atmosphere and interest in the Presidential election season to get off to a good fundraising start, and I have no doubt that he'll be at the top of the Republican hit list in 2006. But I also have no doubt that many of those national Democrats from whom he's asking money have limited funds, and a donation from them now might mean they don't give to a candidate who needs it more in this cycle. That, and his shameless wrapping of himself in Paul Wellstone's legacy is a little off-putting. I have nothing against Dayton, he's a decent if nondescript Democrat in the sinecure-plutocrat mold of Herb Kohl, Jon Corzine, or Maria Cantwell. I just think he's playing a little too free and easy with the current political climate, and, if you have limited funds to donate to campaigns this time around, keep in mind that he's not an urgent priority.