Humble Fundraising

In this e-mail to supporters, unsuccessful congressional candidate Chris Owens offers this depressing update about his post-primary financial situation:

“We raised $380,000. But we now have some $30,000 in outstanding obligations. Having been “unemployed” for over a year while campaigning, I am not in a position to meet these obligations on my own and I am asking for your assistance one final time. Fundraising during a campaign is a humbling experience; doing so after the election is even more so.”

He goes on to say:

We must remember that our increasing dependence upon money to activate the electorate is a most insidious disease. It leads sensible people to lose their sense when deciding who to support for public office. It leads good people — individuals as well as well-meaning organizations — to violate the law. If we do not pursue significant campaign finance reform from the top on down, then the alienation of our people from the political process will reach a point of no return.

Full text after the jump.

–Azi Paybarah

Thank you for your support of my Congressional campaign. I wish I had better news for you, but as you may be aware, I was unsuccessful in my quest to win the Democratic nomination for Congress. Yvette Clarke was the winner of Tuesday’s contest; I wish her well and endorse her in the upcoming General Election. You can read my full statement on the Primary Election by going to my website.

I won’t pretend that it is easy to lose; it’s not. I have invested years of my life in an effort that, at first glance, was unsuccessful. That is the hard reality. As someone reminded me, however, “success is a process and not an end.” I am thankful to have shared this chapter of my life with you and so many others — and I want you to know that.

The support of people throughout the district and throughout the country allowed me to run a campaign in every part of the district. In the days leading up to the election, our campaign printed literature, aired radio commercials and put hundreds of people on the street to get our message out. I received almost 10,000 votes, but was not able to overcome the financial advantages of my opponents, one of whom spent almost $1.5 million. We raised $380,000. But we now have some $30,000 in outstanding obligations.

Having been “unemployed” for over a year while campaigning, I am not in a position to meet these obligations on my own and I am asking for your assistance one final time. Fundraising during a campaign is a humbling experience; doing so after the election is even more so. Yet I must ask, as there are bills that must be paid. Your contribution of $50 or more today will help us retire this debt. You may make a contribution on-line by clicking here, or mail a contribution to 328 Flatbush Ave #333, Brooklyn, NY 11238.

This campaign has brought together different people who share a vision for a greater America. We share the hope that our nation will re-establish itself as the “beacon of hope,” as my father likes to say. I have spoken out and acted on behalf of my principles and I have tried to be the leader that so many people have asked for. On the national level, we must end the Iraq War and stop the Bush Administration’s illegal activities. Here in Brooklyn, we must rejuvenate our Democratic Party and fight irresponsible development. All of these things, and more, are possible if we keep together.

Simultaneously, we must remember that our increasing dependence upon money to activate the electorate is a most insidious disease. It leads sensible people to lose their sense when deciding who to support for public office. It leads good people — individuals as well as well-meaning organizations — to violate the law. If we do not pursue significant campaign finance reform from the top on down, then the alienation of our people from the political process will reach a point of no return.

So, what’s next? I hope all of you will join me in forming a “New Brooklyn Leadership” dedicated to humanist policies, empowerment of the disempowered, and political reformation. We want to cross the lines of party, race, class, and age. America should be the leader in building peace around the world, not in perfecting war and ignoring global warming. America should be the leader in building security at home and not the expert in abandoning its obligations to hurricane victims, public education, skyrocketing housing markets, Social Security, quality health care, and the middle class as well as our poor.

There is much to do. Please stay tuned for details.

Thank you again for your support and your efforts. We have not lost, we have only started our work.

Sincerely,

Signed
Chris Owens