Skip to comments.Only rich need apply - California's Era of Millionaire Candidates
Posted on 04/05/2006 9:21:12 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
SACRAMENTO - After decades of wealthy and wealthier candidates running for governor, voters may this year glimpse the future of California politics:
Mega-millionaires -- perhaps only mega-millionaires -- cracking open their checkbooks for a chance to run the Golden State.
California has had its share of the rich running for office, but never quite like this year's governor's race, in which all three major candidates have amassed personal fortunes.
Combined, movie star Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger -- believed to be the richest governor in the nation -- former eBay executive turned Controller Steve Westly and former real estate developer turned state treasurer Phil Angelides are worth more than $1 billion, according to estimates.
And they're not afraid to spend it.
The three candidates already have shelled out more than $62 million of their own money in the past five years to win elections, fight for political pet causes and prep for this year's campaigns. That number is only expected to increase before the election is out.
Given the enormous cost to run a statewide election, competing interests for campaign dollars, new finance rules squeezing career politicians and an abundance of such millionaire candidates, California may have reached a new political reality, capital observers say.
``I don't want to say it will never happen again -- that someone who's not a millionaire couldn't become governor -- but millionaires are now the most likely candidates,'' said Bruce Cain, director of the University of California Washington Center.
``Frankly, there are only two kinds of people who can think about running for governor of California: millionaires and people who have been in politics long enough that they have lengthy Rolodexes of ready donors.''
``Basically,'' Cain said. ``The rich and famous only need apply.''
(Excerpt) Read more at mercurynews.com ...
When was the last time, a poor man was elected to a major office?
"The rich and famous only need apply"
I would argue it's more the famous than the rich.