Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Does the title of this piece seem just a tad overly dramatic? “Addicted.” “Taking… money.” Maybe a bit, but it’s true.
Consider the following table, based on Federal Election Commission data for the September 30, 2012 campaign financing reports for Second District incumbent Democrat Dutch Ruppersberger and his Republican challenger, Maryland State Senator Nancy Jacobs. (You can click on the table to make it larger.)
Notice, first of all, that Congressman Ruppersberger has received 2.47 times as much “Total Individual Contributions” than State Senator Jacobs. He’s a Democrat. She’s a Republican. Democrats outnumber Republicans in Maryland about two to one. Before he was elected to Congress 10 years ago, Mr. Ruppersberger was the County Executive for Baltimore County, a good deal of which is part of Congressional District 2.
Neither candidate has received any real money from his or her party. Why? Because the Democrat Party doesn’t think that Congressmen Ruppersberger stands a chance in hell of losing. And because the Republican Party doesn’t think that State Senator Jacobs stands a chance in hell of winning. That’s unfair and somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophesy in that she would undoubtedly do better if they did fund her. In any case, no one ever said the DNC or RNC were venture capitalists. (Wouldn’t it be great if voters proved them both wrong?)
More to the point of this article, Congressman Ruppersberger has received 98.31 times as much money from special interests than Ms. Jacobs, and that’s if I include money that came from other Republican candidates in her total. Basically, he’s taking loads of special interest money, and she’s not.
In the third quarter, Congressman Ruppersberger raised yet another $118,700 of special interest money – even though he already had well more than enough to win. Hence, my point about his being addicted to it. He can’t help himself. Even worse, he can’t help the people of Maryland’s Second Congressional District without checking with those special interest contributors first. That’s the thing about taking special interest money. Those contributors invariably want something in return for their investment.
If you’re wondering what Congressman Ruppersberger’s “secret sauce” is that keeps helping him get re-elected, it’s cash. As of September 30, he had $954,734 cash on hand versus Ms. Jacobs’ $65,155. Hardly seems like a fair fight, does it? Trust me, “fair” has nothing to do with it.