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Turkey Sandwiches, Ron Paul, and Internet Democracy

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In July 2003 Vice President Dick Cheney was in Columbia, South Carolina for a fancy sit-down lunch with 150 big-money donors willing to kick in the maximum $2,000 to the reelection campaign of Cheney and President George W. Bush. Dick Cheney was to raise $250,000 from this exclusive group of black-tie diners in one afternoon. This would be an ordinary event for any campaign and lost in the pages of history, but this fundraiser is remembered for another reason. And that reason can best be symbolized in the form of a turkey sandwich.

Prior to the Cheney fundraiser, supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean were gathered online at the Dean’s Blog for America trying to figure out ways that the campaign could continue its small donor driven campaign fundraising success. One idea floated about was for the campaign to try and match the Cheney fundraiser dollar-for-dollar in online donations. The day of Cheney’s fundraiser the campaign posted a picture of Dean, eating a turkey sandwich while blogging, on their site asking supporters to chip in what they could to match the black-tie Cheney event. By 12:30 the next day the campaign had raised over $500,000, or twice as much as the Cheney event netted.

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