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Spending rules invite gaming

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By Harold Morgon

The primary election has passed. Political advertising won’t disappear until the end of Election Day, Nov. 6.
Political campaigns are a small business with a heavy marketing orientation. The business has two products—the candidate as an individual and the candidate’s ideas. The business must sell the products to customers—the voters—and distinguish itself from the competition. Discussing the competition’s record and beliefs is called “negative campaigning.”
To make the sale, campaigns must create a movement, a process requiring theater and spectacle. This sales process takes money.
Another trait is writing ever-more detailed laws to regulate human behavior. The federal campaign laws are the immediate fault of Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican, whose private sector knowledge comes only from marriage, and former Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, a so-called “progressive.” Finding two people better suited to seeking government solutions would be tough.
Years later, Rick Homans raised the legality question when he ran for mayor of Albuquerque. Homans had the money pay lawyers and got the rules dumped. He also didn’t win, which was good.


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