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Elections 2010: An expensive slurry of repeated slams

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By Sherry Robinson

On her retirement, a friend dedicated herself to public service and has since served on boards and run for office a few times. In the recent election, she lost her race for county commission.
“My opponent spent $95,000. $95,000! For county commission! I raised $6,000 from my savings and by asking everyone I knew for money,” she said.
For the lesser offices, she wonders, how does an ordinary person finance a campaign? Apparently all that cash flowing into races at the top of the ticket also flowed downhill to the well connected.
It’s disturbing that in a time when entire programs will live or die on $1 million or less, Susana Martinez spent $5.76 million and Diane Denish spent $7.03 million on the primary and general elections for governor, and congressional candidates altogether spent nearly $10 million. Hector Balderas dropped upwards of $180,000 to remain state auditor, far outdistancing his opponent; the treasurer’s race was also lopsided, with James Lewis spending more than $24,000 to his opponent’s $1,300 (reported a week before Election Day).
In the attorney general’s contest, Gary King spent some $484,000; Matt Chandler, $283,000.


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