Follow the numbers

To the Journal editor:

Can you count? Hold that thought. Before you answer, here’s another question: When it comes to elections, does the money win?

The simple answer is, yes. In most cases, anyways.

In 2022, 93.65% of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives were won by the candidates who spent the most money. In 2020, it was 87.71%. In 2018, 88.54%.

(OpenSecrets (n.d.). Did Money Win? OpenSecrets – Following The Money In Politics. https://www.opensecrets.org/elections-overview/winning-vs-spending)

Since all politics is local, let’s look at 2022’s numbers for our MI-01:

Rep. Jack Bergman – $ 1,828,501 spent / 233,094 votes / 60%

Dr. Bob Lorinser – $ 578,148 spent / 145,403 votes / 37%

(Source: Ballotpedia. https://ballotpedia.org/Jack_Bergman#2022)

Yes, it would be awesome to imagine a world where money and religious interests have zero influence in our system of government. Currently, this world does not exist. Thoughts and prayers.

Fast forward to present day, I offer some current numbers for the total raised per candidate for MI-01 from FEC.gov’s Campaign Finance Disclosure Tool to chew on: (for the period ending 03/31/24)

Rep. Jack Bergman – $1,177,126.32

Callie Barr – $350,231.28

Dr. Bob Lorinser – $257,332.96

(FEC.gov. https://www.fec.gov/data/elections/house/MI/01/2024/)

I encourage every voter in this district who is interested and/or super nerdy about data, like myself, to do a deeper dive and see how these numbers break out: in-state vs out-of-state donations, PAC donations, individual donors, etc. You will see an emergent pattern.

By the time you (hopefully) read this, three things will have occurred that you may or may not be aware of:

1) Former Congressman Bart Stupak, who represented MI-01 for 18 years, has officially endorsed Callie Barr as his candidate-of-choice to go head-to-head with Rep. Jack Bergman. (https://callieforcongress.com/endorsements/)

2) Callie appeared for an interview with Fred Wellman of the Meidas Touch Network, whose subscriber base is 2.7MM people. The interview has garnered 57K views in the last week and a half and rising. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeOjUXk42pI)

3) Callie will have just been interviewed by Political Strategist and (RIP) Sen. John McCain’s former campaign manager on his podcast “The Warning with Steve Schmidt” and it will be released on Monday, June 13.

His influence bridges traditional and digital media. His endorsement moves the needle. He has earned the respect of the Left, Right and Center because he’s man of his word and he puts his money where his mouth is. I challenge you to prove me wrong. He has decided to personally get involved and back Callie, and candidates like her, because this nation’s future will be decided at the local level. He believes Callie can beat Jack Bergman and attests to this. This nation’s future will be decided by the state of Michigan. I want you to let that sink in. I hope it wakes you up at night the way it does me.

As I was watching one of my favorite movies of all time last night “The Warriors” (1979), I circle back to my original question the movie inspired, with some additional ones:

Can you count?

Can you distill the narrative that the numbers have presented before you and reach a logical conclusion?

Can you separate emotion from the equation?

Can you do what needs to be done?

Can you put country before party and resist the understandable urge to vote the way you always vote just because that’s the way you’ve always voted?

Jack Bergman wants you to give in to this urge.

He’s counting on you to give in to temptation.

His job depends on it.

When he loses, perhaps he will run for Congress again.

In Louisiana. Where he actually lives.

Can you dig it?


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