We are familiar with politicians asking for money. But did you realize that candidates are frequently one of the biggest contributors - to other politicians? Unlike you or me, they usually don’t use their own money. Instead they use their campaign contributions to support their friends and other incumbents.
This is a common practice, and it goes on extensively in Georgia.
Those of us who campaign contributions do so because we believe the candidate would be a good representative of our values and we would like to see him or her in office. We know that the candidate is in control of how the money is spent, and we believe he is making the best decisions for the campaign.
But what do you think about a candidate who then takes your donation and gives it to another politician? One you have never heard of, one who doesn't represent you, one who has a district that is hundreds of miles away? It is very upsetting to find that you gave $50 of your hard earned cash to your local representative and then he turned around and gave $2,000 to someone in Savannah.
Why do politicians give to other politicians? There is only one reason - to keep their friends in power. And the more popular the politician, the more money he has control over, and the more money he feels he can shell out to keep (or get) his buddies in office. They send this money thousands of dollars at a time. For instance, in January alone David Ralston, the powerful Speaker of the Georgia House, contributed almost $10,000 from his campaign fund to other candidates. He won’t miss it much. Last report he filed he had almost a half a million dollars of other people’s money still left to spend. We know politicians are good at spending other people’s money. This is just one more way that they do it.
This practice is not illegal. However it is one more thing that makes it difficult for the regular taxpayer to run for office against an incumbent, or against someone who the incumbents believe will do what they want. Look for the candidate that has received campaign contributions from other campaigns and know that he will be asked to pay back the favor in some form.
Here is a tip - you can find out how much any politician gave or received with just a little research. All of the information is available online, for candidates as well as elected officials. Check out the candidates you are thinking about supporting before you send that check by clicking HERE.
Follow-up: To see all David Ralston's expenses as of January, 2014 click HERE