Rich man’s game?

Running for political office has always been a rich man’s (or rich woman’s) game. As Will Rogers wrote decades ago, “Politics has got so expensive it takes lots of money to even get beat with.”

And that was in the days before Super PACS and the Supreme Court’s declaration that corporations are people too, with the right to freedom of political speech, freeing them to spend as much money as they want on political donations.

The past week Scott Honour, a candidate in the Republican governor’s primary, announced he had raised another $600,000 for his campaign – $100,000 in donations, and another $500,000 from his own pocket. This brings Honour’s personal financing of his own campaign to $901,000 over the past two years.

It’s his money, earned as a former director of a global investment group.

Some people are suspicious of politicians who they think are trying to “buy” their way into office. But money is the fuel of politics, and the higher the office, the more costly it becomes. Members of Congress, especially House members who are re-elected every two years, spend inordinate amounts of time on the phone or making appearances to raise campaign funds for themselves and their party.

So if Honour wants to spend his own money on his campaign, let him. After all, the man who is currently holding the governor’s office, Mark Dayton, is well known for spending his personal fortune to fund his political campaigns, including his one term in the U.S. Senate.

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