Locally, candidate for Vermont Lt. Governor Dean Corren is highlighting the dangers of big money in his publically funded campaign. He says:
“You have to believe who is paying the piper is calling the tunes,”
I had that in mind while reading this in NYTimes.com
Republican candidates for governor are in a strong position to retain their current 29 governorships and perhaps gain two or three. The improving economy and Obama’s approval rate are factors. One other weapon is a huge funding advantage.
[…] campaign money is gushing into national Republican groups that focus on state capitals, including the Republican Governors Association, whose chairman, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, has set fund-raising records for the group even under the glare of multiple state and federal investigations.
A couple Vermont links pop up here and there in this drama. Chris Christie, New Jersey’s money-man, visited the VTGOP this past winter in an effort to boost money and morale. He seemed to fail to do much more than help them pay down some existing debts. Despite glowing reports following the closed-to-the-press fundraising dinner the Vermont Republicans were reportedly only “no longer broke”. That’s Christie’s magic, Vermont GOP-style.
Nationally he hauls it in…
But nationwide Christie hauls it in big-time.
The association raised $100 million during the 18 months ending in June, dwarfing the amount it amassed in 2010, and had $70 million in cash at the beginning of July. The chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, Governor Peter Shumlin of Vermont, said his group would be outraised by about two to one.
No slouch when it comes to fundraising, Peter Shumlin is left in Christie’s shadow.
Both groups get a share of corporate and billionaire money with the DGA getting more labor union donations.
The governors associations of both parties raise substantial amounts of money from overlapping lists of heavily regulated industries such as tobacco, health insurance, and telecommunications. But Republican groups have had far greater success this election cycle in persuading the party’s leading individual donors to invest in the relatively less glamorous world of state elections.
By the end of March, eight individuals or couples — including the industrialist David Koch, the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and the hedge fund manager Paul Singer — had contributed $1 million or more to the RGA. [added emphasis]
One million dollars or more from eight individuals could buy a lot of influence in governor’s mansions. You know it is just free speech according to the Supreme Court. I’d bet eight individuals are likely to get their calls answered almost one million times faster… or more.