Whether Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff or Republican Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler win the January runoff races in Georgia, we already know the losers.
The citizens of the Peach State.
Because the contest isn’t so much about who will best serve Georgia’s residents and advocate for their needs in Washington, but rather which candidates will tip control of the U.S. Senate.
The voters of Georgia are merely the delivery systems of party power.
To that end, outside influence on the election is ramping up, and Massachusetts Democrats are very much in the mix.
According to the State House News Service, Massachusetts Democratic Party and elected officials have sent out fundraising appeals, organized phone banking events and sold tickets to a virtual fundraiser with the cast of “Hamilton,” all to benefit the campaigns of Ossoff and Warnock.
“Massachusetts Democrats never sit on the sidelines when the stakes are this high. I know we can do this,” U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan said in a recent fundraising email, making the case for Ossoff and Warnock.
“This” is trying to influence who voters in another state choose to represent them — as if they can’t be trusted to make the decision themselves.
Republicans aren’t sitting out this dance either.
Fundraising emails from the MassGOP have come from party Chairman Jim Lyons, his wife Bernadette and MassGOP political director John Milligan, according to the News Service.
The parties are doing more than just firing up the autodialer. The most recent records of activity through Oct. 14 show Warnock raised $870,338 from 2,770 donors from Massachusetts.
Ossoff raised over $1.4 million from 3,604 Massachusetts donors.
.Loeffler raised $6,037 from 17 donors in Massachusetts through mid-October, while Perdue collected $71,357 from 68 individual contributions.
Whose election is it, anyway?
While this is not exclusive to Georgia or this election, the premise of outsiders pulling out the stops to get a member of their party elected to further political agendas in D.C. undermines the integrity of local elections.
And the desire to influence is reaching extremes in Georgia, as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that both Democrats and Republicans there are urging out-of-state residents not to move there for the sole purpose of voting in the Jan. 5 runoffs.
They can thank former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang for the concern. He tweeted a few days after the November election that he was moving to Georgia to campaign for Ossoff and Warnock.
“We will be getting organized — but in the meantime if you have a room available in Georgia for volunteers, post it here,” Yang tweeted. “We are going to fight it out in GA.”
He backtracked and said he didn’t intend to vote in Georgia, but the stew had already been salted. New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman said on CNN that he hopes people move to Georgia and vote for Ossoff and Warnock, and the idea’s been floated on social media.
A Georgia native would be no more inclined to make pecan pie with raisins than he would to let a Massachusetts caller tell him who he should vote for, and therein lies the pitfall of outside influencers.
Who would you rather check a ballot for — a candidate touted by locals who extol his or her competence at legislating for their constituents, or someone who is throwing elbows thanks to outsider money designed to further the party agenda?
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