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Sometimes doing it yourself is the best way

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By Jay Miller

SANTA FE — A new trend has emerged in political campaign financing. It’s called doing it yourself. Digging into your own pocket. Needless to say, it helps if those pockets are deep.

A basic rule of politics is that if you can’t raise money, you won’t be any good at rounding up votes either. But in an era when the rich are getting richer, many candidates are finding it possible to dig deep enough to find sufficient money for a victory.

Former Gov. Gary Johnson started it in New Mexico. He turned a handyman business into lucrative construction contracts, mostly at Intel in Rio Rancho, and made millions. That got boring so he decided to use some of that money to run for governor.

Johnson wasn’t a great campaigner. He didn’t care for large crowds where he was expected to shake every hand and remember nearly everyone’s name.

His opponent, Gov. Bruce King , was the master at that. King was one of the biggest landholder’s in the state and could have personally financed his many campaigns, but I feel supremely confident guessing that he never spent a penny of his own money on a campaign.


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