Show Me Progress continues to do an excellent job of watch-dogging campaign contributions reported at the Missouri Ethics Commission. But here’s a story that won’t show up on Show Me Progress, because it’s under the campaign fundraising radar:
Arthur Lieber, a progressive Democrat, is running for Congress against incumbent Republican Ann Wagner in St. Louis’s 2nd District. But, while contributions from Wagner’s corporate friends, fat cats and lobbying groups regularly make their presence known at the Missouri Ethics Commission-and are duly reported by Show Me Progress-you’re not seeing anything about Lieber.
Why? Because Lieber is not accepting donations from corporations, fat cats or lobbying groups. In fact, he’s accepting only donations of $10.10-an amount that is symbolic of the proposed Federal Minimum Wage.
He’s getting donations, but they don’t add up to enough to require reporting to the FEC. And, since mainstream media outlets [erroneously] judge the seriousness of political campaigns by the amount of money raised, Lieber is getting zero coverage. Not just on Show Me Progress, but anywhere.
That’s unfortunate, because Lieber is definitely a serious candidate. Serious about issues, that is. He’s a real progressive. His positions on key progressive issues should earn him a top rating-and an outpouring of votes-from people who care about workers’ rights, women’s reproductive rights, preserving the social safety net, expanding healthcare via a Medicare-for-All system, tax fairness, economic equality and voting rights.
He’s serious about money, too, but not in the conventional way. By refusing large donations, he’s making a serious point-getting big money out of our political system.
But because in our money-obsessed system, dollars equal viability, and thus media visibility-Lieber is being ignored. Not just by the media, but by the Democratic establishment as well. And, once again, the party powers that be are rolling over and ceding the 2nd District to the Republican incumbent, without even a whimper. [The same fate befell another worthy Democrat-Glenn Koenen-in 2012].
By the way, while the demographics of the 2nd Congressional District still look more R than D, redistricting after the 2010 census did change things somewhat-adding more of Kirkwood and subtracting portions of St. Charles and Lincoln Counties-to create a slightly more bluish tinge. That shift could make the district winnable for a Democrat-especially if Democrats know that there’s a progressive on the ballot-and especially if Democrats turn out to vote in November.
So, although it might take a bit more effort to learn about his campaign, it would be worth your while to take a look at his website, Lieber for Congress, let others know, prod the media to pay attention, and, of course, vote for Arthur Lieber in November.