Have you ever noticed how it's always the candidate with less money who proposes a campaign spending limit?
Today it's Mark Green, challenging Jim Doyle to sign a "clean campaign pledge" that is more about helping Green financially and politically than it is about cleaning anything up.
in Greenspeak, a "clean" campaign is one in which the candidate with the most money agrees not to spend it, and both candidates say they abhor independent expenditures, and will penalize themselves if some independent group spends money on their behalf -- which, of course, the law forbids them to control.
If spending limits are such a great idea, why didn't Green propose it for the Republican primary? Both he and Scott Walker could have spent a reasonable amount and saved the rest for the general if they won. But Walker got out of the race because Green had twice as much money as he did, because Green took advantage of a legal loophole, since closed, that allowed him to transfer $1.3-million from his House campaign to the governor's race. That -- not how much money Doyle has raised -- is what forced Walker out of the race.
Xoff's post inspired me to check further back (past Scott Walker), to see how often Green has taken his own advice on running a "clean" campaign. This data was taken from Open Secrets:
- In the 2004 election Mark Green ran against Democrat Dottie LeClair. Green raised $1,040,373 while LeClair raised only $13,191! UNCLEAN CAMPAIGN!
- In the 2002 election Mark Green ran against Democrat Andrew Becker. Green raised $876,073 while Becker appeared to raise $0! UNCLEAN CAMPAIGN!
- In the 2000 election Mark Green ran against Democrat Dean Reich. Green raised $803,158 while Reich raised only $15,235! UNCLEAN CAMPAIGN!
Clearly Mark Green has never had a problem with being an incumbent and raising tons of cash while his opponent had next to nothing. So his phony appeals for a "clean" campaign with spending limits (now that he is the one with less money) should fall on deaf ears. If the media insists on hyping this phony challenge, then they should also point out the Green history of hypocrisy on the issue.