10/12/06 — Big bucks tossed: High-dollar campaigns are sign of need for reform

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Big bucks tossed: High-dollar campaigns are sign of need for reform

Are you sitting down?

There is actually a race for a North Carolina seat in the U.S. House of Representatives that has already cleared the multi-million dollar mark in donations.

That’s right, we said millions.

Incumbent Rep. Charles Taylor, a multi-millionaire himself, is trying to fight off a challenge from former NFL quarterback Heath Shuler — no pauper himself.

There are many conclusions to be drawn from the battle of the bucks in the 11th Congressional District.

The first is that NFL quarterbacks must be pretty brave if they are willing to stand toe-to-toe with a man who can LOAN his campaign $1.6 million.

The other is that perhaps just a bit too much money is spent to run for and win public office.

And this race will not be the only one to hit the high-dollar mark. This is just the one in our own state.

It is shocking just how much it takes to actually keep or mount a challenge for a seat in the U.S. Congress on either side of the aisle.

It might make you wonder just what could be done if a little less was spent on campaigning and a little more was funneled toward some of the issues the candidates will pontificate about as they compete for the voter’s punch on the ballot.

Imagine how much good could be done at Goldsboro High School with $1.6 million. That amount is only a bit more than the goal that United Way of Wayne County has set for its 2006 campaign goal. What do you think campaign chairman Geoff Hulse would say if someone came up and handed him a check?

And this is just a mid-term election. Wait until the spending starts on the 2008 presidential campaign. That could keep a state in the black for a year.

Makes you stop and think just a bit about priorities and campaign finance reform — doesn’t it?

Published in Editorials on October 12, 2006 11:45 AM