I think that people overestimate the value of money in politics. I think that there is a threshold effect; that is to say, you need a minimum amount to be competitive. And I think up to a certain point, in any given race, there’s enormous value to each additional dollar that is raised, because it will be spent efficiently in increased votes. But I do think that there is a point at which it levels off and at which point each additional dollar doesn’t really help very much, if at all. I think that there’s also a downward point at which you have too much money, and you actually start alienating potential voters by running too many ads, doing too much stuff that just alienates, irritates them, so you actually end up being worse off…
I think campaign consultants basically know this, but there’s an enormous bias in the system. That results from the fact that basically campaign consultants make their money, by running as many ads as you can possibly raise the money to run. I’m not sure how many contributors really understand how the system operates.
See, what happens is, these consultants, they own the advertising companies that buy the advertising time and so they get a commission of like 15 percent on every dollar of advertising that a campaign buys. The more advertising that they buy, the more money that goes into their pockets. So it’s in their interests to keep buying more and more advertising, long past the point at which diminishing returns have set in. I’m not sure very many contributors understand this; and also I think candidates are just sort of conditioned to believe that more is always better. Advertising is something you can do pretty easily these days. You can cut an ad today and have it on the air tonight. It’s something you can always do right up to the very last minute that you think might help and probably won’t hurt. So there’s always tremendous pressure inside the system to keep doing more and as long as there’s somebody out there willing to write the check, there really isn’t any way of stopping it.
Utter Insanity and Stupidity