Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"Shock and Awe"

Will Flanagan is not the first politician whose basic campaign strategy was to outspend the competition. Hell, he's certainly not the first Fall River mayor to employ the strategy. Bob Correia raised more than his competition in 2007 when he won election. In 2009 he still raised more than anyone else, but decided to conserve most of it for the general election that he failed to make. (Oops!)

Flanagan's ambitious goal of raising $200,000 is minor league popcorn compared to the lofty totals Ed Lambert was able to spend during his reelection bids in 2003 and 2005.

Will may be the first politician, at least locally, to arrogantly state that his fundraising plan was to shock and awe his opponents. Will says he's not trying to buy an election but honestly isn't that what it amounts to?

This isn't a criticism of Mayor Flanagan but over politics in general the rampant spending that goes into getting someone elected gives a huge advantage to those who have the ability to raise big sums of money. Some would argue that people are free to donate to whichever candidate they chose and it's a sign of "what the voter's want". The problem is I don't buy it. How much can you afford to donate to a political campaign? It seems to me people who can afford to donate large sums of money are basically buying elections and the best candidates usually end up staying unelected. When that happens I'm usually shocked that anyone would support the idiot who gets elected and awed that they would donate to his campaign.

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