Former RI congressman Eddie Beard got held up last October as an example of something quite rare -- a blue-collar worker who went on to serve in the hallowed halls of the nation's capital.
If you want a sense of why this situation persists, consider the latest breakdown by the watchdog group MapLight of how much it cost to win a seat in Congress in 2012:
- House members, on average, each raised $1,689,580, an average of $2,315 every day during the 2012 cycle.
- Senators, on average, each raised $10,476,451, an average of $14,351 every day during the 2012 cycle.
Aaron Blake added this note on the findings:
Talk to any new member of Congress, and you will hear nightmare stories about the dozens of hours per week spent dialing for dollars. The ability to do so successfully is one of the major differences between political wannabes and members of Congress — if not the major difference.