Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Chris Dodd's Fabulous Pander

Connecticut Senator and presidential hopeful Chris Dodd has found a great gimmick for soliciting donations to his campaign. Raffling off Red Sox ALCS tickets:

There's something magical about playoff baseball under the shadow of the Green Monster, the Citgo sign in Kenmore Square, or the fact that if you squint hard enough you can almost make out Ted Williams patrolling the outfield or Cartlon Fisk waving that ball inside the foul pole. So let's go to Fenway Park... I've got two extra seats -- great seats -- to Game Six of the American League Championship Series against the Cleveland Indians. And I believe they have your name on them . . . Here's how it works. You make a minimum contribution of $20.04 (in honor of the last time the Red Sox won the World Series, 2004) and you have as good a shot as anyone else to attend the game.

Awesome! But Chris, what if there is no Game Six?

If our Red Sox clinch it in Cleveland before Game Six, then we'll be sitting together for Game Two of the World Series in Fenway Park!

Wow! That's even better! But Chris . . .what if the Indians win it in four or five games?

If by some strange twist of fate our Red Sox don't play a Game 6, or don't make it to the World Series, you and your guest are invited to spend a day on the Presidential campaign trail with Senator Dodd in Iowa or New Hampshire. We will fly you to Iowa or New Hampshire (if necessary) and put you up for a night.
Um, yeah. That's the biggest falloff for second place I've seen since the steak knives in Glengarry Glen Ross.

(link via Swampland)


Jason said...

So at what point does something like this turn into a(n illegal) lottery? Don't sweepstakes rules always begin with NO PURCHASE REQUIRED?

... a-always, b-be, c-closing ...

Shyster said...

Actually, I am a bit of a campaign finance/election law expert in my day job. My understanding of this is that a raffle like this is perfectly fine as long as Dodd reports the donation of his personal tickets to the campaign as an in-kind donation on his FEC filings. There may be some regulation about how much the value of the prize is compared to the donations needed to become eligible to win it (at least that's the law in many states; not sure about on the fed level), but I'm guessing that he will take in many times the value of the tix in donations.

Given that Dodd's father was more or less ruined by a campaign finance scandal back in the late 60s or early 70s, I'm assuming Dodd himself makes sure that it's all above board.