|
Kiowa County Signal - Kiowa County, KS
A blog 'for independent minds'
Why campaigns are so long
email print
About this blog
Opinion page editor Rick Holmes and other writers blog about national politics and issues. Holmes & Co. is a Blog for Independent Minds, a place for a free-flowing discussion of policy, news and opinion. This blog is the online cousin of the Opinion ...
X
Political Views
Opinion page editor Rick Holmes and other writers blog about national politics and issues. Holmes & Co. is a Blog for Independent Minds, a place for a free-flowing discussion of policy, news and opinion. This blog is the online cousin of the Opinion section of the MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, Mass. As such, our focus starts there and spreads to include Massachusetts, the nation and the world. Since successful blogs create communities of readers and writers, we hope the \x34& Co.\x34 will also come to include you.
Recent Posts
April 15, 2014 11:16 a.m.
April 13, 2014 5:16 p.m.
April 13, 2014 5:16 p.m.
April 11, 2014 12:01 a.m.
April 11, 2014 11:18 a.m.
By Rick Holmes
Nov. 19, 2013 11:15 a.m.



 

Charlie Baker came by for a visit last week, and we immediately found something to agree on. I complained that I don’t even like hearing from candidates for statewide office more than a year before the election.  Campaigns are just too damn long.

He agreed, and explained a one reason campaigns are so long in Massachusetts.

Federal campaign finance laws are organized by election, he said. Donors can give a certain amount before the primary, then can donate again to the general election campaign.

But in Massachusetts, caps are annual. Every year, you can donate a certain amount to a campaign or party.  To maximize the campaign cash harvest, candidates declare in 2013 so they can go back and hit up those same donors again for the max in 2014. Incumbents like it because they can fund-raise constantly, building up a warchest year after year. That advantages discourages challengers and gives the incumbent a head start against any challengers that aren’t discouraged.

Another point of agreement: A lot of states prohibit fund-raising by legislators while the Legislature is in session. On Beacon Hill, that’s the best time to raise money, at least from special interests. I’ve often decried a longtime tradition in which the House Speaker holds a fund-raiser within walking distance of the State House, aimed specifically at lobbyists, the week the Ways & Means Committee releases the budget. Could the message be any more explicit that if you want your favorite item in the budget, you’d better show up at “the Speaker’s Time” with check in hand?

Election reform isn’t necessarily at the top of Charlie’s campaign agenda. He said he wants to speak almost exclusively about the economy, schools and community development.  But I’d love to see election reform – not just campaign finance, but redistricting reform, early voting, open primaries and electronic vote-counting security – be part of the governor’s campaign.

Recent Posts

    latest blogs

    • Community
    • National