The congressional debate over whether to launch military strikes against Syria has propelled the issue into the public discourse and made it among the most important political topics this year — but don’t expect candidates to raise money off of it.
House and Senate candidates alike have largely steered clear of using the war debate to solicit donations, cognizant of its highly sensitive nature and the lack of a clear partisan divide.
Touchy subjects can be molded into effective fundraising pitches. After Rep. Steve King made an inflammatory comment earlier this year about immigrant children, for example, he didn’t hide from it: he monetized it.
But, due to the weight of the discussion at hand, only a few candidates have ventured to raise money off of the charged debate over the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
One such candidate, Terri Lynn Land, a Republican running for Senate in Michigan, sent an email Thursday with a “donate” button to supporters, urging them to “stand up to the president” and oppose military intervention in Syria.
On Twitter, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesperson Justin Barasky said the tactic indicates that Land “needs a boot-camp.”
The campaign of Rep. Michael Grimm, R-NY, distributed a message similar to Land’s on Thursday — but quickly said the request for donations in the email was a mistake.
“The dollar ask was included automatically by the vendor, and was never approved by the congressman,” a Grimm spokesman told Politico. “He is furious over this inappropriate inclusion and has taken appropriate actions to ensure that this careless error never happens again.”
A request to Grimm’s office for further comment was not immediately acknowledged.