Thursday, September 17, 2009

The evolution of campaign finance

Both Secretary of State Karen Handel and Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine have used federal issues to generate voter interest in their gubernatorial campaigns recently.

For Handel it was voter I.D. For Oxendine it's been "Obamacare." They're both clever ways to draw people in. Your typical Georgia conservatives might not be worried about the 2010 governor's race right now, but they're very interested in health care reform.

They sign a petition, and the campaign collects a name and an email address, plus some geographic data on interest in that issue. The Oxendine campaign has taken things a step further today in asking for donations to help him "continue to oppose Obamacare and the Washington power-grab of healthcare in America."

From a campaign email blast:
If you are a doctor or a business owner you have a choice. You can send me a contribution today and I will go to work fighting the healthcare power grab or you can hold your money today and pay it to the federal government in higher taxes later. I hope you will send your most generous contribution to me today so we can save healthcare in America.
I'm particularly interested in this because the email blast makes no mention of Oxendine's gubernatorial campaign, except for the "Oxendine for Gov" mailing address included at the bottom.

Oxendine Campaign Manager Tim Echols said the gubernatorial campaign has spent quite a bit of money on color fliers for its anti-Obamacare campaign and is hoping to recoup some of those costs. He said an email blast like the one I'm quoting from above might bring in $3,500, which probably won't cover the cost of all the fliers.

I don't know what point I'm trying to make here, beyond it's an interesting strategy, and a potential gray area in this age of electronic campaigning.

2 comments:

Page Pate said...

I think the point you are trying to make (and did make, in my opinion) is that most politicians will say virtually anything to separate someone from their money. Obviously, there is not a single thing John Oxendine can do to "fight Obamacare" except whine about it, and that's true even if he actually becomes governor.

After following your blog for a few months, I believe that you are one of the most astute reporters following Georgia politics this year. Please keep up the good work.

Lucid Idiocy said...

Wow. Thanks, Page.