Did you notice this?

UPDATE:Credit where credit is due.

After this diary was posted I noticed that frequent GMD poster Rama Schneider had also noticed this same phenomenon. And a couple of weeks ago, Shay Totten covered it in Seven Days. So no scoop for either GMD or the Burlington Free Press on this one.

 

The Burlington Free Press had a story this morning about the financial difficulties of the three Republican candidates for Congress. It's worth reading, particularly because Republicans like to hold themselves out as the party of financial responsibility.

The thing that really jumped out at me when I read the article was this sentence:


Beaudry is taking a $500-a-week salary from his campaign, and says the $174,000-a-year salary he would earn if elected isn't the reason he's running.

Have you ever heard of this before?
 
I have known candidates who have to keep their job and fit their campaign activities in around the limits imposed by the need to support themselves and their families. I have known and worked with candidates who have either left or taken a leave of absence from their jobs so that they have time to campaign full time.
 
But I don't think I've ever heard of a candidate for whom running for office was, in itself, a paying job. Have you?
 
And do you think that Beaudry's contributors thought they were paying his salary when they made their contributions?
 

 

16 thoughts on “Did you notice this?

  1. Nice paying temp job he’s there.

    Also worth noting the Free Press is just carrying the story from the Vermont AP which has dug up some good campaign stuff lately.

  2. I also recently discovered that I should have made a personal fortune in corporate America, then leveraged it in my campaign to crush the competition.  I have so much to learn about politics…

  3. Beaudry is a buffoon, and his contributors are probably as loony as he is!  A Limbaugh wannabe, he carpetbags on any issue that requires the least amount of brains to elicit the highest return of emotion.

  4. who paid himself a handsome salary — around $100K/year — out of campaign funds when he ran for the Senate in 1992. Haven’t heard of anyone doing it since, though.

  5. I’m a strong Democrat and am not bothered by the allegations that Beaudry is paying himself a salary as a candidate. That isn’t an endorsement of the candidate, but rather a perspective on the funding of a campaign.

    I ran for State Representative twice, and considered a run for State Senate this year, but money was a discouraging issue. It costs a lot to run a reasonable campaign. Part of that is handled with direct contributions, generally for things like media and palm cards. Some of the costs are secondary, such as local travel mileage. And finally there are opportunity costs incurred when the normal job needs to be put aside for campaigning. That loss of income can be significant, and it is reasonable for a candidate to cover some or all of that from the campaign fund, as long as he is above board and lists it clearly on the disclosure statements.

    Some candidates pay for child care from their fund. Some pay themselves the federal mileage rate for travel, while others probably just pay for the gas consumed. Some cover a few meals out of the fund, and some pay their admission charges to local field days and other events out of the campaign fund. Each candidate needs to balance his/her own financial situation against the availability of a campaign fund, and then make reasonable decisions about how to finance the effort.

    I didn’t pay myself any salary nor did I cover mileage expenses, and it really hurt. My opponent ran a stunningly large campaign in 2008, outspending me by about three to one, with most of his funds coming in large donations, and most of those from outside the district. As I looked at the financials this year it was clear that I couldn’t afford to run a competitive campaign, so I decided to stay on the sidelines. Money really matters when you are facing the hard reality of deciding whether to run or not, and unfortunately that means working folks are often kept out of the democratic process in favor of wealthy candidates.

    I think we need good candidates running for every office. To achieve that we need to keep the costs of campaigning at a reasonable level, and we should allow candidates to replace lost income with campaign funds. If we criticize candidates for supplementing lost income with the campaign treasury we will further restrict the kinds of citizens that can afford to run for office. That would be a shame, no matter which party they are representing.

  6. Remember Checkers and the slush fund for Nixon?

    I thought at some point it was made illegal – too many concerns about wealthy backers being able to put a candidate in their pocket.

    Perhaps this is part of deregulation – anything goes, as long as you can buy it.

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