Friday, January 16, 2004

Texas Special Election Draws Big Candidate Loans
A press release put out today by the group Texans for Public Justice reveals that candidates running for two vacant Senate seats in Texas have raised nearly $3 million. Of thirteen candidates, just seven have raised more than $20,000. This effectively cuts the field of candidates in half from a wealth primary long before any voter has their say.

The seven candidates with big money have raised a third of their funds from personal loans. This is troubling for two reasons. First, it means that only rich folks who can afford to loan their campaigns huge sums of money can afford to become "viable" candidates. Second, it means that whoever wins will then turn around and raise funds that will in effect going into their own pockets to repay their loans. It doesn't get much closer to bribery than that, does it?

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