Monday, February 20, 2006


The St. Petersburg Times reminds us that serving in Congress has it's undeniable perks, but it has significant hardships for those seeking to run for office back in their home states.

That is the situation facing Democratic congressman and candidate for governor Jim Davis.

Being in the House of Representatives provides an knowledge of the federal level and how the system works in Washington that someone in the state Legislature simply cannot understand. That can be helpful when it comes to working for funds to pay for needed programmes at the state level.

But in running for office, he's still bound by federal fundraising limitations. While his opponents don't have to worry about those limits, Davis cannot solicit money from corporations or unions, and cannot solicit "soft money" contributions for the state Democratic Party of more than $10,000.

Florida law caps donations to candidates at $500, but campaigns also rely heavily on their state parties, which can raise unlimited soft money. Besides raising money for their own campaigns, statewide candidates also aggressively raise soft money for their parties, which in turn cover much of a campaign's overhead expenses, such as staff.

State parties are legally barred from earmarking soft money to any particular candidate, and there is no way to track how much soft money any candidate has raised for his party. But finance reports provide at least a hint of how much soft money [State Senator and Democratic primary opponent Rod] Smith and Davis have raised for the state party: It covered more than $710,000 of Davis' campaign expenses and nearly $600,000 in Smith expenses.

That said, Smith faces his own fundraising issue: He is barred from raising any money during the 60 day legislative session, which begins March 7.


Anonymous Bob said...

And considering both Davis and Smith are already way behind Crist and Gallagher is fundraising, this situation is not good news for Democrats, especially if Davis and Smith have to spend a lot of the little that they have during the primary campaign. The only shot the Democrats have is if one of their candidates drops before the primary, allowing the remaining candidate to save his money for the general election.

10:00 AM  

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