Money can't buy happiness -- or elective office
One of the lamest arguments against self-financed candidates running for office is that they are buying elections. Campaign graveyards are filled with moguls who thought their business success, boardroom acumen or deep pockets would easily translate to a ballot-box victory. The 2010 midterm elections, once again, proves my point.
Meg Whitman spent an astounding $175 million of her own dough just to get trounced by former governor, current state Attorney General and now future Gov. Jerry Brown. Back in February, when Whitman was running for the Republican nomination, I warned that her vast wealth was not a guarantee. And I rattled off a list of other wealthy candidates who fell over their own money bags: (President) Ross Perot, (Sen.) Michael Huffington, (Gov.) Pierre Reinfret (R-N.Y.).
Proving my point today, The Post's Dan Eggan writes about the self-financed candidates who came up short. Citing data from the Center for Responsive Politics, Eggan notes, "Since 1990, only five of the top 20 self-financed candidates have won." And of the 10 deep-pockets who ran for office in the 2010 midterm elections, only two got elected.
The lesson learned Tuesday is one we seem to relearn every election cycle. Money only buys candidates the ability to get their message out. If that message neither resonates with nor is to the liking of voters, they will not vote for you. People want their voices heard. No amount of money will muffle them.
Posted by: texasnative46 | November 4, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: brianshapiro | November 5, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse