Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Money Story

We guess campaign season is officially underway now, since the ABH has published the first “money story” of 2006.  We’ll sum up.  Chasteen and Maddox, decent fundraising; Andy Rusk, not so much; Heidi Davison and Keith Johnson, none at all.
And that’s a great example of why the “money story” is more or less useless at this stage of the game.  If Heidi Davison runs, do you think she’s going to have any trouble at all raising the money she needs to be competitive?  Are Tom Chasteen and Andy Rusk going to run remotely similar campaigns?  Then why would you expect Andy to be competitive with Tom in fundraising?
It’s not so much how much you raise, although that’s important.  Andy Rusk, for example, has a fantastic message (albeit one in need of some tightening up), but we’re worried that he won’t have the money to get that message out.  Tom Chasteen will have plenty of money, but if his behavior as the Commissioner from D9 is any indication, his message will be safe enough not to piss anyone off.  (It’ll also be safe enough not to inspire anyone who wants to move past the status quo.)
It’s not how much you raise, it’s how you spend it.  Take a look at Charlie Maddox.  According to the ABH, “[Maddox] spent $3,764.47, about two-thirds of it on a campaign Web site.”  We were told there would be no math, but by our rough calculations, that comes to about $2,400.00.  Ain’t no website in the world worth that much dough, unless you’re running a national or very large state campaign with a fulltime web person to do frequent updates and lots of multimedia and interactive content.  We’ve seen Mr. Maddox’s website, and we think he got hosed big time.  In a town where you can’t spit without hitting a web designer, he could have done that cheaper.  Put in real terms, $2,400.00 buys a decent amount of radio on the local AM stations, which would reach a lot more people, if used at the right time.  (By “right time,” we mean October or November.  Please, candidates, do not buy advertising now.)
We use that as an example only, of course.  We don’t know Mr. Maddox, and he probably doesn’t know about us.  But, to tie things back into democracy, you might want to take a look at your favorite (or least-favorite) candidate’s fundraising reports and see what they’re spending money on.  It might give you a clue about how they’re going to act with your tax dollars if they win.
More on the money chase and how we’ll contradict everything we just said when we talk about the Jane Kidd/Bill Cowsert race at some nebulous later date.


Anonymous said...

$2400 for THAT? It HAS to be a mistake...

Publius said...

Let me be very clear here and say that I have not looked at Maddox's filings, and all I know is what I read in the paper.

But if he paid even half that, heck even 20% of that for any website, he got hosed.

Not trashing Maddox's website, by the way, at least he has one up. But $2,400.00 is a lot of bread.

hillary said...

You could trash it a little. Hell. I could've made that website and I know jack-all about web design.

andyrusk said...

I laughed out loud reading that article. I only raised a measley 200 bucks, but got probably more press than any other candidate.

I blew all my dough on buttons, bumperstickers, a PO box, and a business license so I can run the campaign office out of my house. And that pretty much wiped me out by years end.

Man oh man! 24 hundred dollars on a webstite? I could chide Maddox for being fiscally irresponsible, but I won't. Still it does remind one of those notorious $600 Pentagon toilet seats, eh?

Democracy is free, ladies and gents. So is walking the street and shaking hands. I ain't worried about not being able to get my message out.

If I don't raise another dime, I'll still give 'em hell.

Fishplate said...

Andy Rusk - Kickin' Ass And Takin' Change!

I always vote for the guy who promises to stir things up...