Monday, February 2, 2009

Short of Cash in South Carolina

Today WAYLA reports on local politics from South Carolina.

The hard economic times facing the nation are especially hard in South Carolina, where the recession has hit yet another industry - campaign politics.

According to an article in The State yesterday, campaigns and fundraising consultants throughout South Carolina are finding it especially difficult to raise money in the current economic environment. It may even make the campaign timelines there shorter.

Techniques such as small frequent donations and payment plans aren't working. Many frequent contributors are still tapped out from the last election cycle, and the recession is not helping them regenerate.

In part, the Palmetto State is getting hit by the recession harder than most places. South Carolina now has the third highest unemployment rate in the country at 9.5% - the national rate is 7.2%. State budget difficulties convinced the State Senate to work only once a week this week in order to "cut back" as they claim.

Yet this is particularly scary for those of us who work in campaign politics - for we have always felt this was a safe industry given that politics doesn't stop with a recession. Perhaps South Carolina is only the first to see such a trend. After all, President Obama has said it will get worse before it gets better.

In other unfortunate news (for those of us in the North) the Groundhog did see his shadow today - which means six more weeks of winter. Nonetheless, happy Groundhog Day.

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