An urgent appeal to the richest Congress ever!

Matt Bai
National Political Columnist
An urgent appeal to the richest Congress ever!

From: Friends of Yahoo News' National Political Columnist
To: The 468 members of the wealthiest Congress in history who are running for reelection this fall

Friends, I'll be quick. The clock is ticking. They're trying to stop us. And I need your help.

Four years ago, inspired by all of you, my family and I set out on a mission to save the American dream. Specifically, I'm talking about the part of the American dream that entitles everyone to have a modern, functional kitchen.

They said we couldn't do it. (I don't know who "they" are, exactly, but trust me, they said it.) And yet we've worked hard to make that dream a reality. Together, we fumigated cabinets and installed little colorful pulls from the Home Depot. We stood up to the gathering threat of red ants. But our work isn't finished.

We still live every day with neon orange Formica and linoleum floors coated with some kind of residue from the 1950s. There's still a gaping hole in the wall where the Star Trek-era trash compactor used to be.

Together, we can do better.

Now, I know times are tough out there. I can't forget, because you keep telling me how tough times are out there, and why it's your opponent's fault. I've received your torrent of daily emails asking for just $5 more so you can continue to make a difference in the miserable lives of ordinary Americans.

To be honest, though, things don't seem so miserable for members of Congress. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, this is the first time in history that millionaires make up a majority of the House and Senate. The median net worth in Congress is just over $1 million. Congressman Issa, you lead all comers with a net worth of $464 million. Sen. Warner, you top the Senate at $257 million. Leader Pelosi, you round out the top 10 at $88 million.

And then there are these guys trying to unseat you all. Sean Eldridge, a Democrat who is running in an upstate New York district he apparently chose by spinning some kind of roulette wheel, is reported to be worth as much a $9.6 million, and his husband, Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, is worth about $450 million. That guy emails me for cash at least once a week. Mark Greenberg, a Republican running in Connecticut, is sitting on than $67 million, and he's collecting contributions, too.

More and more these days, candidates with mansions and car collections are muscling their way onto the ballot. But to actually win in November, it seems, they need the rest of us to stop being so selfish and do our part.

As a journalist, of course, I'm really not allowed to give your campaigns any money, much as I lie awake at night pleading with God to just show me a way. I'm not allowed to take your money, either, but my lawyer assures me that as long as we funnel it through an advocacy group that exists only to spread the proposition that all kitchens should be both remodeled and mine, I'll never have to disclose where it came from.

Now, we all know we have the right ideas to make our midcentury split-level the envy of the neighborhood. My family came to suburban Washington with a real plan for real results, a plan that started with a Thermador range, polished Brazilian granite and some kind of glass turret I once saw in a magazine.

But our opponents and the special interests have obstructed us at every turn. First it was the big banks on Wall Street, who rig the game and change the rules and all kinds of other meaningless sports metaphors. One by one, they rejected our loan applications, even as their CEOs shop for silver napkin rings at Sur La Table.

And then came the shadowy outside groups who are spending hundreds of dollars to subvert our remodeling process for their own evil ends. Just last week, a group calling itself the "Montgomery County Realtors Association," which like everything else in American life is really just a front for the Koch brothers, dropped fliers up and down the street claiming that home values in the neighborhood have fallen over the last year — when in fact you and I know they've remained perfectly stagnant. Make no mistake: This is an effort to scare us away from even trying to extend our credit.

Of course the pundits are saying we can't beat the 1 percent and its crony capitalists. As you probably saw, Nate Silver just predicted that I now have only a 33 percent chance of finishing my kitchen by the end of the year, if trends continue. Larry Sabato has moved our kitchen from the "could be nice" category to "leans disaster." Don't let the media have the last say!

Great news! (I know that sounds like a non sequitur, but the direct-mail firm that generated this email in exchange for 10 percent of your donation tells me that people really like to be jarred by sudden eruptions of great news.) I've just been told that if you contribute to our kitchen between today and Friday, your donation will be triple-matched!

I don’t know who will match it, and I’d rather you didn’t ask. I don’t even know what that means. Frankly, if I even asked anyone to triple-match your gift, I’m pretty sure we’d all be violating several provisions of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002. But whatever, we’re triple-matching it anyway, because I’m just that committed to the cause.

Friends, can you please spare just $50 before tonight's deadline to help us reach our goal? Or maybe $5,000, since we both know you won't even miss it? It's the last deadline before tomorrow night's deadline, and we need your help. Send a message to Wall Street. End kitchen gridlock. Don't let the establishment win.

I am grateful for your deep personal friendship.

— Matt

P.S. I've just talked to our finance director, and it appears you're not confirmed as a member on our list! Granted, my finance director is in kindergarten, and sometimes the crayon is hard to read, but still, you're not there! Please join our team today! Thank you.