Thursday, October 19, 2006


One of the little quirks (deliberate) in the latest round of campaign finance legislation was that money for federal races was completely fungible and could be passed to other federal races. So, money can slosh around between say, Hillary "$16 million cash on hand" Clinton and the party committees or other candidates for federal races. It's ridiculous that Clinton has so much money and it's a major way our campaign dollars are poorly allocated (and not because bloggers raise a few grand for long shot candidates). It's understandable - she's a star, people want to meet her, they're willing to pay big money to go have lunch with her. People aren't giving her money because they think she needs it to win her election, they're giving it to her to spend a little time with her and to support brand Hillary.

Of course, there's one other major federal office - president. And, yes, Clinton's senate campaign cash can slide smoothly into her presidential campaign fund if that time comes. This little quirk rigs the presidential game in favor of high profile senators at the expense of governors, who can't funnel money from either their gubernatorial campaign fund or from a leadership PAC (Mark Warner couldn't have converted the money in his PAC into a presidential fund). So they get to have a jump on fundraising if they're considering running for president.

Still, what's more important? Taking Congress or sitting on piles of campaign cash that you don't really need.