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Beware The Self-Funders

Money Can't Buy Me Love

Patrick Ruffini has a very insightful post at The Next Right on self-funding candidates and their role in the conservative battle against the GOP establishment. I don’t necessarily share quite his vehemence against self-funders, but he makes a lot of excellent points about why Republicans should be skeptical of them as standard-bearers. A sample:

Self-funders are particulary popular among money-addled political insiders for a few key reasons. First, their personal money takes the need for much party money off the table, or so it’s thought. Second, they can afford to pay consultants, and lots of them, and for eye-popping amounts. Third, they will often refill the coffers of local parties in a wink and nod exchange for much-needed endorsements.

But the record of self-funders in American politics is notoriously poor…

It’s not just that these candidates were running unwinnable races. Often they were way ahead after an early barrage of advertising. But they blew it, despite their money.

The dollar signs dancing around in consultants’ heads don’t make up for the fact that most self-funders tend to be subpar candidates for important structural reasons. First, they’re political dilettantes unfamiliar with the rigors of elected politics. They make rookie mistakes. They assume their records before their recent entries into politics aren’t relevant or won’t be scrutinized. They have less political acumen or knowledge than many of the people I follow on Twitter, or even most of them.

Read the whole thing.

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