The 435 strategy
by rdf, Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 02:35:16 PM EDT
A short story (below the fold) will illustrate:
The moral is, if you want someone to put the time and money into a symbolic race you need to be able to offer something in return. In addition to the traditional patronage jobs there are also jobs with firms of party backers. Another option is to run again for a different position building on the name recognition from the first campaign.
In the days of the party machine these types of arrangements were standard operating procedures. If the new idealists brought in via the web are going to have an effect they need to study the rules of real street politics.
Another technique is to "buy" existing incumbents who are too pro-business. It is easier to get an incumbent to change the policies they support than it is to replace them, especially with someone from the same party. The national party looks with disfavor at challenging an incumbent in a primary. It just gives ammo to the Repubs.
So, in exchange for a pledge to vote the liberal policies, the incumbent gets enough funds to be able to refuse the corporate funds that were provided previously. In smaller districts the amount of money required to do this may not be as great as might be thought.
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