Big spending by candidates doesn’t always win elections. For instance, New Jersey Governor — soon to be ex-Governor — Jon Corzine outspent his opponent, Chris Christie, more than three to one . . . and still lost.
Of course, spending more money usually works better than spending less.
Michael Bloomberg won his race for mayor of New York City. But barely. Bloomberg spent 16 times more than his challenger — over $100 million dollars to get just 50 percent. It cost him more than $150 for every vote. Ouch.
So, why did the mayor have to spend so much to eke out a win? Two words: term limits.
Bloomberg’s deal with the council to gut the city’s two-term limit and allow them all to run for a third term didn’t cost him his powerful perch. But it did cost him millions of dollars. And his reputation.
There were also a number of initiatives on the ballot. Before Tuesday’s election, at Townhall.com, I highlighted Maine and Washington State measures to put a cap on state spending growth. Both measures were defeated, but it was educational to take note of the spending.
In the final months, Maine’s measure was outspent by about ten to one. Washington’s? $3.5 million to nothing. Predictably, the big money came from groups already wealthy from standing in the receiving line for government spending.
Spending money to make money . . . spending money to take money.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.