With all three Albuquerque mayoral candidates having expended between 10% – 20% of their taxpayer funded campaign dollars so far, one thing is very clear. It’s an awfully quiet campaign. This works in the incumbent’s favor. Everyone knows I really dislike taxpayer funded campaigns, because I believe they hurt, rather than help the process.
The irony here is that the advocates of these taxpayer funded campaigns argue that they enable people who would not otherwise be able to run the opportunity to seek elected office. Of course, the three people who are running on the taxpayer dollar have all been successful at getting elected in the past through voluntary contributions as opposed to forced taxpayer support. So, that argument doesn’t really hold much water.
Worse yet, the incumbent has been able to leverage his position as mayor to basically ignore the race until the final two months and focus on generating positive press through city staffers. With government budgets being tighter, maybe we can eliminate all taxpayer funded campaigns as one measure of belt tightening.