Originally published at Ramblings from the Flip Side (Site under construction). You can comment here or there.
Dear Governor Romney:
This morning I awoke to a CNN news story that days before the election, your campaign is flush with funds. In fact, your campaign is so flush with funds that you are now doing ad-buys and campaigning in non-swing states that you probably won’t win anyway, just so you can make President Obama’s campaign spend more money. It was an odd way to wake up considering that the bracketing stories in this morning’s news were about Superstorm Sandy’s death toll and devastation.
Your campaign’s relief event in Ohio, which included the purchase of supplies in case attendees didn’t bring any, was noted and appreciated. The fact that you only spent 30 minutes at the event was a little confusing, though, sending a mixed message to many people including myself. I have yet to decide if your relief efforts were just for show or if they were heartfelt but you were in a time crunch. Then I saw this morning’s news, that your campaign is “flush with funds” (CNN’s quote, not mine.)
Governor Romney, if you have so much money available to your campaign this close to Election Day, why are you not using it to assist the victims of Sandy? Why did your campaign buy only a minimal amount of food supplies for the relief effort? Why does your campaign not donate to the Red Cross?
Even if campaign finance law prevents you from giving the money to charity, why hasn’t anyone seen you donate blood (which is NOT prohibited by campaign finance laws, so far as I know) and why haven’t I seen you calling for people to help those displaced by the storm? So far as I know, the Red Cross always welcomes volunteers to hand out food and man shelters. They’d be more than happy to get your endorsement as it would encourage more people to assist those in need.
Every year, I donate funds through my employer’s Giving Campaign–an event encouraging employees to donate to their favorite charities. Every year, without fail, one of my charities is the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. I’m a middle-class American with little disposable income, but I donate what I can because I believe in organizations that unconditionally help people in need. This morning I was making plans for both a blood donation and a monetary one when I saw that news item from CNN. I know that you want to be President of the United States. But it shocked me that so close to a national disaster you seemed to have given only a token acknowledgement of a storm that killed, injured, and displaced so many voting citizens.
I am a voting citizen too, Governor. I vote in every election (local, state, and federal) unless I am too ill to get out the front door. I want a president who will acknowledge the suffering and need of the American people when disaster hits, not one who nods at it then goes off to do his own “more important” thing. Granted, you are not president right now and can’t run FEMA or direct the federal relief efforts, but still you could at least sound a call to arms. You could at least ask the people who gave you all that excess money to donate some of it (or an equivalent amount) to Sandy’s disaster relief effort.
Whether people are Democrats, Republicans, Independents, or have other affiliations on their voter registration cards, they all deserve to know that their presidents and presidential candidates will care for them in cases of emergency. Please don’t ignore Sandy’s victims. They need help from everyone.