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Thursday, December 29, 2005 

A Call to Action

[Cross-posted at Knowledge]

One of this blogger's pet peeves about the United States is the absolutely, ridiculously minimal level of interest, knowledge, and involvement there is in politics. I harp on how little there is among young people specifically, but the apathy knows no age lines. I'm convinced that if more people just kept an eye on the political happenings in the country, it'd be a much stronger, better one (and, not coincidentally, probably a more liberal one as well).

Apathy is especially damaging when people don't donate money to political candidates and parties; when it doesn't happen, special interests are more than happy to waltz in and pick up the slack. There's nothing inherently more powerful about a million special interest dollars than a million dollars from ordinary people, but money from those ordinary people actually has to be there, because when the special interests donate more than we do, they win.

I'm writing all this because I want to make a plea to everyone who reads this blog to donate loan a little bit of money to their favorite state politician or political organization today.

In the great state of Minnesota, there exists a little-known thing called the Minnesota Political Contribution Refund program. The way it works is this: you donate to the campaigns of most candidates for state representative, state senator, or statewide offices up to $50 per person or $100 per couple and you can get it all back.

That's right; you can give $50 to your favorite state candidate essentially for free. And in fact, if you haven't done it so far this year, you can do it twice, once in 2005 and once in 2006. It's an incredible way to very easily exercise some political power. Please, please take advantage of it: donate to a (liberal) candidate. It's quick, it's easy, and it's important. Thank you in advance.

Hat tip to Brian for reminding me of the need for this post.

*Check and make sure that your candidate is participating in the program; some candidates do not. If you donate to Kelly Doran's campaign, as one example, you're not going to get any money back as he's not abiding by spending limits. The vast majority of candidates do participate, but a few don't. This is for candidates for state office only, NOT federal candidates. It also applies for certain state political units: the DFL, YDFL, etc.

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