Campaign finance laws. Ick…one of the most complicated issues in politics today. Let’s just take a quick glance at the foundation and democratic purpose of these laws and then see how Corzine’s campaign funding matches up.
Giving money to a political candidate is a form of free speech. We are expressing through monetary means that we agree with the policies of someone, and we would like that someone to serve us as a public official. Makes sense, form of expression. Got it.
Public financing for elections. Candidates can agree to spend only a specified, equal amount of money during the main campaign season, provided through the government. This is because seeing that the candidate who spends more money virtually always wins the election can make it seem like money is what it all comes down to. That’s no good, and not very democratic.
Corzine. He rejected public financing. He has outspent his candidates in his previous two campaigns, gubernatorial and senatorial, by almost 2-1. And won. He has already loaned $1.1 million of his own money to next year’s campaign. Since beginning fundraising for it, he has raised around $150,000.
So, people in New Jersey who want to express their support for Corzine and their desire for him to be our governor for another 4 long years have donated $150,000 to the cause. Ok……wait. Apparently only $9,000 of that money was from New Jerseyans. So as long as I can do math, that makes 6% of Corzine’s campaign donations from people within his district who support him. That’s assuming these are actually regular people too, as opposed to companies with whom he has certain, shall we say….agreements. Or in other words, .7% of his entire warchest is from citizens of NJ. Less than 1%.
.7%. What does that say about the state of democratic support for our Governor?