Our “People’s Campaign” for Congress released its latest financial reports today. Let me just say this: Money is not destiny – nor is it the story of this campaign or primary election. Money is not the measure of all things.
I made a promise to people of the 8th District when I announced my candidacy to be the first woman to represent them in the U.S. Congress. My pledge was simple: I would bring people together and let them know that we still have a voice about our future. I promised a campaign based on conversations, not cash. I’m proud to report our financial numbers represent our commitment to that guiding principle.
This primary season has never been about me. I’ve been focused on those people who felt they were being ignored, who voted for change in the last election. While they looked for inspiration, they were subjected to politics as usual. The campaign for congress two years ago was awash in money, with some reports putting the total expenditure at near $20 million.
I haven’t spent 8 hours every day “dialing for dollars” as advised by political insiders. I have spent 14 to 16 hours every day listening to people in this district. Not everyone I’ve met shares my position on the issues. That’s ok. They have been as honest with me as I’ve been with them. I’ve found we share the same basic core value: we want a future that provides opportunity for our families.
Our campaign has received more endorsements than the media has reported, largely because of the focus and emphasis on money. Here are the dollar facts: We’ve raised just over $50,000 in this campaign with an average donation of about $100. Not a single penny came from a PAC or a corporation. Almost all of the money came from the people within the district I’ll represent; people who know money doesn’t equate to quality and choose to believe they’re more important than special interests who want a return on their investment. We’ve spent just over $34,000. As for the endorsements, those individuals and organizations that have placed their trust in this campaign represent an incredible cross-section of this district: farmers, miners, stay-at-home moms, environmentalists, business leaders, retirees…you get the idea. Our People’s Campaign has given voice to everyone who believes we are better when we move forward together.
No campaign exists without volunteers. Some campaign advisor once said you need a core of people who will bleed for you. I’ve had a core group whose passion, intelligence and faith have given me the strength to travel this district to listen and share the stories of people who I want to represent in Washington. No candidate could have been better represented than by those who have advocated on my behalf.
One month from today, we’ll know which of the DFL candidates will represent our party in the general election. This campaign hasn’t been like any other. I don’t plan any changes between now and then, nor do I intend to change this campaign after the votes are recorded.
I believe I can defeat Pete Stauber in November. Not with cash, but with the continued shared conversations I intend to have with the good citizens of this district. He’ll flood this district with campaign advertising because that’s what almost every campaign does. Money is not the measure of all things and it’s not our destiny.
My values won’t change between now and November 6, or any time after that. I believe I can make a difference in Washington, working with others who will share the stories they’ve heard during this campaign season from people who believe they’ve been ignored for too long, and people who look for opportunities to improve life for their families.
I want to thank everyone who has taken time to talk with me during this campaign. I’m asking for your vote, and for you to commit to do all you can in the days and weeks ahead to bring this People’s Campaign to Washington. We can move forward together to a new politics, returning power and decision-making to the people, and to an America that lives up to the values we share.
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