Rep. Anothony Weiner was considering a run for mayor of New York City. Now he’s not and part of the reason appears to be the money it would take to do so, according to his piece in The Times today.
The sad truth for a political candidate without deep pockets is that while money isn’t the only thing, it does matter. Campaign finance laws are vital, not just to keep special interests from dominating campaigns, but also because in this case they could help prevent vast disparities in spending.
The other truth is that the Supreme Court decision in 1976 in Buckley v. Valeo, which allows candidates to spend however much they want on their own races, makes it possible for billionaires to swamp middle-class candidates. In this case, a sports analogy is apt: If one football team has 110 players on the field, the team with 11 has a hard time getting through the blocking and tackling on the crowded turf.