Friday, December 16, 2011

Donate to a candidate's (Diet) Coke habit

In a new letter to supporters (and potential supporters), Senate candidate William Tong breaks down the numbers. It's perhaps meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but whether or not the message will translate into dollars is a question.
In his most recent appeal for campaign cash, Tong's campaign manager, Marc Bradley, told supporters exactly how their money would be spent:
$1 gets William a beloved Diet Coke to keep his energy up on the campaign trail.
$15 gets bagels and coffee for a Saturday workday for the staff.
$30 pays for month to have our website online.
$73 fills up William’s gas tank for a trip across the state and back.
And just because math is fun, kids, let's figure out the gas bit.  I have no idea what kind of car Tong drives, but let's say, just for the sake of argument, that he drives a 2011 Chevy Tahoe. A Tahoe has a 26-gallon tank. The average price of a gallon of gas in Connecticut is about $3.50. So, if candidate William Tong spends $73 on gas at the state's average price, how many tanks of gas can William fill?
Answer: >1. To fill William's gas tank would take $91.
But Tong spends the $73 you gave him, so he can only get about 21 gallons of gas. The theoretical Tahoe that he drives gets 21 highway miles to the gallon (15 at slower speeds), which means that $71 (plus 50 cents he had in his pocket) will keep William going "across the state and back" for 441 miles, from Stamford to Hartford about five-and-a-half times.
Maybe all candidates should drive hybrids.

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