I first got an inkling of just how big of a problem fundraising is for Congressional members when I went to the Veterans Campaign seminar a few years ago. A large portion of the training emphasized the need to raise funds. The underlying message was that one would never be a good politician unless one were also a good fundraiser. It was an eye-opening introduction to the real world of a Congressional representative.
The question is what to do about it? Implement four-year terms for House members? Public financing? How does America wrestle its representation back from those who have bought and paid for it?
The amount of time that members of Congress in both parties spend fundraising is widely known to take up an obscene portion of a typical day — whether it’s "call time" spent on the phone with potential donors, or in person at fundraisers in Washington or back home. Seeing it spelled out in black and white, however, can be a jarring experience for a new member, as related by some who attended the November orientation.