Rick Hasen linked to this story already, but I wanted to add some additional excerpts from political insiders. These excerpts bolster the concerns I’ve expressed for some time now about small-donor money fueling the more extremist forces in politics:
“The outrage machine is powerful at inducing political contributions,” said Carlos Curbelo, a former Republican congressman from Florida.
Shortly after the storming of the Capitol, some prominent corporations and political action committees vowed to cut off support for the Republicans who had fanned the flames of anger and conspiracy that resulted in violence. But any financial blowback from corporate America appears to have been dwarfed by a flood of cash from other quarters….
The sums reflect an emerging incentive structure in Washington, where the biggest provocateurs can parlay their notoriety into small-donor successes that can help them amass an even higher profile. It also illustrates the appetites of a Republican base of voters who have bought into Mr. Trump’s false claims of widespread election fraud and are eager to reward those who worked to undermine the outcome of a free and fair election….
“We’re really seeing the emergence of small donors in the Republican Party,” said Alex Conant, a Republican strategist. “In the past, Democrats have been the ones who have benefited most from small-dollar donations. We’re seeing the Republicans rapidly catching up.”..
As provocative freshmen like Ms. Greene, Ms. Boebert and Mr. Cawthorn took in high-dollar figures, other more conventional members of their class in competitive districts — even those praised for their fund-raising prowess — were substantially behind….
“It pays to be high-profile,” Mr. Conant said. “It’s more evidence that there’s not a lot of grass-roots support for milquetoast middle of the road. It doesn’t mean you have to be pro-Trump. It just means you need to take strong positions, and then connect with those supporters.”
If Dave Wasserman wrote about small donors and political extremism, he would probably about now be writing: “I’ve seen enough.”