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August 15, 2007 | Tate Linden
Ever want to have a big-time title? The Republicans are ready to let you earn one. For five million dollars.

Yep. Five big, big, big ones donated (or rather offered to the RNC to sponsor the Republican National Convention) gets you:
  • A private reception with Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Sen. Norm Coleman, and the mayors of the cities ear the convention.
  • A private dinner with Republican leadership.
  • Golfing with Republican leadership.
  • An opportunity to sponsor water bottles, volunteer outfits, city banners, billboards, bus signs and events.
  • Access to the media party.
  • VIP access to the convention.
And... best of all... the RNC will officially give you the title of "Finance co-chair."

(Perhaps this is because as the minority party they figure someone on the right side of the fence should get a co-chair title.)

And the Democrats, you might ask? What are they offering up?

For the bargain price of $1 million you can have:
  • Invitations to private events with the Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, Mayor John Hickenlooper, Sen. Ken Salazar, and more.
  • VIP access to the convention
  • Premier sponsorship of the media party
  • Top sponsoship of the "coveted fete" media party
  • An opportunity to place products with corporate logos in delegate and media goody-bags.
  • Invitations to all host-committee events
And yes... the Dems are offering up a title. Sort of. Actually, they're selling adjectives.

The adjective in question? Presidential.

If I were going to donate a million bucks I think the more obvious title would be "Rich." It's a good thing that the title the Dems selected doesn't suggest that power and influence can be bought, isn't it?

If you don't have that top level of funds available you can consider offering up a bit less. Both parties have developed nifty - and strangly similar - levels and titles. Check this out:


What does this tell us? Perhaps:
  • There are no Democrats with more than a million dollars to spend.
  • If the Democrats win the presidency all precious metals will be cheaper.
  • For Democrats, though there's assuredly a second place, there is no third.
  • Republicans are either having their convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul, or they're really big fans of Norse mythology.
  • You probably don't want to use that plane restroom after a Democrat has vacated it. Or if you do, bring some Sani-wipes.
I'm not saying that naming funding levels is easy. But "Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze" is only slightly less mundane than having "Red, White, and Blue" levels (which isn't often done on a national level nowadays since no one wants to label a donor as "white.") Why aren't we seeing a tie-in to the party platforms? Is appreciation for precious metals really that much of a key to the identites of both parties?

You want to see a spike in donations? You want to get press? You want to get people talking? Here's how:

Use controversial platform topics as your funding levels.

Imagine the Democrats having an "Equality Advocate" level or the Republicans with a "Protectors of Marriage" sponsorship. Sure it is divisive. But imagine the power of being able to show that there are 5,000 people or companies willing to not only say that they are for (or against) gay rights, but show they are committed with a dollar sign next to their name. You want more notice? Add in right-to-life issues, death penalty, and the like. How many churches and community groups wouldn't be throwing dollars at the campaigns to show their support for a cause that mattered to them?

Will it happen? I'll almost guarantee that it won't. But I'd love to actually see a party or candidate take a stand like that. If it matters to the candidate/platform then why not allow the constituency to show their support for the idea? We'd know real fast whether or not an issue had real support.

Are you with me?

Interested in more on this topic? Earlier this year I wrote a post about the terms the individual candidates used for their fund-raising efforts. I must admit that even the worst ideas used by the candidates can trump the best the DNC and RNC have pulled together.

Is it because the categories were developed by committee? Probably.

Add another nail to the coffin that contains focus groups and working committees, please. (Though "Mile High Plus" is a pretty impressive name to be approved by committee... hard to believe someone didn't choke on the sexual connotation.)