North Dakota Full Of Cheap Bastards!

No, Wall Drug is in the other one

Americans know that you get what you pay for, whether you're talking about nice clothes, decent cars -- or presidential candidates! That's why we give so damn much money to them: millions upon millions of dollars, most them handed over to losers who will never get within a mile of the Oval Office. We know that this wasted cash is the price of good governance. But one state isn't holding up its end of the deal. While the good citizens of New York and Connecticut are paying upwards of $2 a head to fund the 2008 election insanity, the inhabitants of North Dakota (aka "Baja Manitoba") have only ponied up 9 cents apiece to our various beloved candidates! What lies behind this miserly attitude? The New York Times investigates, and we summarize, after the jump.

So, what are the possible motivations for North Dakota's lack of team spirit in this area?

*A belief that things should just be handed to you without payment. "In a restaurant housed in what once was the Patterson Hotel, where decades of political deals were made in this state capital, Mary Barbere said that she was put off by all the talk of money swirling around campaigns, adding, 'You shouldn't buy your way into politics.'"

*A pathetic need for personal attention. "[North Dakotans'] politicians know them personally. 'Even for a statewide political campaign, you have to get to the lutefisk feed,' said Mark S. Jendrysik, [the chairman of the political science department at the University of North Dakota]."

*An irrational, pathological hatred of their more generous neighbors. "There's a feeling that you shouldn't be doing the fund-raising, that it's somehow corrupting. A lot of people look sort of askance at all the money that's been spent in places like South Dakota."

*A stubborn defensiveness about their poor choice of location. "And coming to ask is complicated. You can't exactly make a quick swing by on the way to Florida or something when every minute counts. We're not really on the way to a lot of places."

Farewell, Wonkette readers! Your very own Ken Layne will be back in his usual fine form tomorrow, and of course young Jim will be providing the blow-by-blow of tonight's debate. As for me, I'll always remember today as the day I added "get to the lutefisk feed" to my array of filthy phrases.

Big-donor politics elude North Dakota [NYT]


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