Sunday, March 30, 2008

Buy a Ticket

People who know me best say, if I’m not the biggest skinflint tightwad miser who ever lived, I am certainly on the short list. For years, my bedtime prayers began something like this: “Dear Lord, I do not want you to think I am complaining, but I did not win the lottery again this week. I know I have mentioned this before, and you are pretty busy and may not have noticed.” Then one night, after I fell asleep, a booming voice came to me in a dream and said, “Paw Paw Bill, buy a ticket.”

Illinois Senator Barack Obama, my Democratic Presidential candidate, is planning a different kind of fundraising dinner with four supporters in the sort of cozy and nice but unpretentious restaurant where people I know might go with our spouses on our anniversary. These four guests will be chosen from supporters who have made on-line contributions to the campaign and completed a statement of some things they would like to discuss with Sen. Obama over dinner.

Here is what I told him I wanted to discuss:

There are many things I would like to have the opportunity to discuss with Senator Obama. I am a 63-year-old white male, currently on disability but who worked as a telephone switch technician for 30 years. Then two years ago, I was hospitalized with meningitis and was in a coma for three weeks. When I woke up, I was 100 percent deaf and had suffered a 100 percent loss of balance function in both ears. Physical therapy has assisted me in walking again. I walk like a drunk leaving the bar at closing time, but I walk. I have received a cochlear implant, which has returned an ability for me to hear, bypassing my damaged ears. It is a miracle, but it is far from perfect. I lived in silence for seven months. My insurance company denied approval of my cochlear implant, the only available treatment for my complete hearing loss. A wonderful advocacy group called The Let Them Hear Foundation, which appeals insurance company denials for hearing impaired cases, particularly children, managed to get my former employer to remove the cochlear implant exclusion from its insurance coverage. I would like to talk to Sen. Obama about how we can have a health care program in this country that does not require lawyers, only doctors. I am also a Vietnam-era Army veteran and would like to discuss with Sen. Obama the importance of patriotic Americans supporting our troops by keeping them out of harm’s way whenever possible and not squandering their bravery down the bottomless hole of geopolitical ignorance, in the wrong place at the wrong time, while bankrupting the country.

I included my credit card information and checked a contribution for $25. This is the second time in my life I have made a political contribution to a candidate for public office. The other time was on Martin Luther King Jr. Day when I went to the office of Obama ’08 Georgia Headquarters and picked up my yard sign, bumper sticker, and campaign pins. My total contributions so far will not pay the dinner tab for one of the lucky four guests at Sen. Obama’s new kind of fundraising dinner. I read a report recently that Obama had raised over $57-million, 90 percent of which came from contributions averaging less than $109. So far, I’m still way below average.

Copyright 2008 by William C. Cotter


Tina said...

Well, I hope you and Annette get to dine with Obama ! That would be the experience of a life time. I quite agree with you about needing doctors more than lawyers when you or a relative is ill. It took me three years and a lawyer to get my mentally disabled daughter on SSI.
It was an awful experience.

Luther said...

You may have forgotten, but in the summer of 1962, we attended a garden party fundraiser at a house in Buckhead for Charles Weltner, who was running against incumbent James C. Davis for Congress. I remember putting in $5 when they passed the hat and handing the hat to you. Are you saying you just did the old church pew hocus pocus and stuck your hand in the hat but did not deposit anything?

Paw Paw Bill said...

I remember voting for Charlie Weltner against James C. Davis for the Georgia 5th District Congressional seat. I even remember meeting Mr. Weltner at a fundraiser, although I cannot imagine who invited us. I certaily would not have had five dollars to put in anybody's hat. Where did you get the money?


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