The top 10 political donors (pictured) have contributed over $156 million to conservative and liberal campaigns during the 2016 election cycle.
Notice anything interesting? There is very little diversity among this group. Granted, it takes considerable success to freely give $150MM to campaigns. These folks run hedge funds and some of the largest businesses in the world. But, to change the faces in politics we have to change the donor pool. That change can come from a large number of people willing to make small donations, or from a new class of high-dollar donors of color who have not yet stepped up to the plate. Where are they?
The second key to seeing diversity in our local and national representation is to run in races that impact competition on a statewide and national scale. Mitch McConnell’s PAC is spending nearly $4 million on the Indiana Senate race not because he likes Todd Young, but because the PAC is committed to a Republican majority in the Senate. If African American’s want to play in the big leagues, we have to keep an eye on which seats matter to more than just the black community. Which districts will create a swing in the city council, statehouse, and Congress for the party? Can we be strategically aligned, trained, and well-funded to enter the pivotal races and attract outside donors whose contributions will add jet fuel to the campaign?
Creating a shift in power to those who reflect all Americans will take raising money from new sources and running in the right race at the right time.
What color is money? Whatever color that wins. That’s what matters in politics.