What do newly elected Members of Congress do? When they are not marching in parades or speaking to the local Rotary Club, they become telemarketers. Read the Boston Globe’s story on the gerbil wheel of Congress, where fundraising takes up as much as four hours a day:
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and its GOP counterpart, the National Republican Congressional Committee, function “basically like telemarketing firms,” said Tom Perriello, a Democrat from Virginia and former Frontline member who lost in 2010 after one term in the House. “You go down on any given evening and you’ve got 30 members with headsets on dialing and dialing and dialing, trying to close the deal.”
The room, devoid of decor or character, is abuzz with the sound of members courting money in all the accents of America. But it can be depressing, participants say, to witness fellow elected officials methodically working through the list of names and numbers that a staffer has organized into thick binders, or index cards, or a computer database — only to have appeal after appeal rejected in the full hearing of their peers.