Thursday, March 06, 2008

Aghast?

Some of the candidates for the Congressional seat being vacated by Congressman Tom Udall are aghast that Don Wiviott is loaning more money to his campaign. Wiviott pumped in another quarter million to his treasury recently. He wants to keep running those incredibly effective TV commercials of his and he is putting up his own dough to do it.

What I find amusing is that any candidate or person would find Wiviott's self funding offensive given our state campaign financing corruption. At least he is not selling himself to the oil and gas industry or others. Also, why are some of his opponents acting like he is trying to buy the election while at the same time remaining silent during the last legislative session on campaign reform in state political races. In those races the special interests can give any amount of money to a candidate, think Land Commissioner Pat Lyons donors for example, and get away with it with little criticism.

At least there are limits in Federal races on what individuals and special interests can give to a candidate. While there are no limits on a candidates personal wealth being used, at least it is a better situation than the states. I guess I do have a little problem with the uneven playing field that rich people have in funding their own campaigns. That is allowed by Supreme Court decisions so you cant really blame them.

How on earth can our legislature continue to rationalize not taking action on this issue of campaign reform in state races?

1 comment:

FF said...

I think we all agree that special interests in politics is a bad thing.

However, the problem with Wiviott's self-funded campaign is twofold:

1. That his personal fortune drowns out the voices of the many, many good people of Santa Fe who have serious concerns about Wiviott's fitness for office based on his past business and community activities (greenwashing, harrassment, bullying of neighborhood organizations, etc.) Those TV commercials ARE incredibly effective -- at obscuring the truth about a candidate who is neither particularly progressive nor all that green, but rather a corporate Democrat (AKA Republican light) trying to use his money to buy a seat in Congress as a rich man's ego-stroking hobby.

2. That Wiviott's need to pad his campaign funds with his own personal money means that he does NOT have the support of the people in his district. If he did, these "incredibly effective" TV ads would be generating individual contributions from actual people. That he's not able to do this, even with his massively visible campaign , is a testament to the truth of #1 -- that he is not well respected or supported in the progressive community.

This is very different from, say, Obama's campaign, which is supported by a large and diverse group of ordinary individuals and therefore doesn't need to rely on contributions from special interests. That's the model we need to follow, not Don Wiviott's vanity campaign.

Thanks for letting my put in my two cents.

FF