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Stimulus Prototype: walking around money

The stimulus efforts could focus on public goods and durable infrastructure, taking advantage of a lull in private investment to deploy underutilized resources without
crowding out much private investment.

Or, the stimulus could just be a lot of walking around money.

Some street money comes from party fundraisers, like the Philadelphia Democratic Party's biannual Jefferson-Jackson dinner. But most of it comes directly from the candidates. Everyone from the presidential nominee to congressmen and state representatives are expected to chip in. (The top of the ticket usually contributes the most.) In Philadelphia, the candidate sends a check to the chairman of the city's Democratic Party, who then divides the money up among the 69 ward leaders, who in turn divvy up their cash among the 50 or so committee people in each ward. In 2004, John Kerry spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on Philadelphia street money, and ward leaders received checks for as much as $8,000. Individual volunteers can generally expect anywhe
re from $10 to $200, depending on the location and the type of work they're doing.


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