Some state politicians spent more than half-million for $14K job, C-T’s Boyle estimates

Asheville Citizen-Times columnist John Boyle reviews information from the latest campaign-finance reports filed by North Carolina candidates for the 2012 election.

from the Asheville Citizen-Times

… Keep in mind that state senators and representatives make $13,951 a year, plus a travel stipend. So for the equivalent of a part-time job at a fast food restaurant, how much you would spend?

The campaign of State Sen. Jim Davis, R-Macon, who defeated Democrat John Snow for the 50th District Senate seat, took the cake. His total receipts through Oct. 20 were $807,182, and spending totaled $644,098. …

The Tim Moffitt-Jane Whilden race in south Buncombe brought in a mere $864,050, with almost $650,000 of that going to Moffitt. A Republican, Moffitt alone spent $517,705, and remember, that’s likely to go way up with the next reporting. …

“It’s a big trend we’re seeing: the professionalization of state legislative campaigns,” [Western Carolina University political science professor Chris Cooper] said. “Every year they’re looking more and more like congressional races, which is ironic for an office that pays less than $20,000 a year. To raise and spend that much for a job that pays nothing is pretty amazing, and it pretty much ensures that only rich people can run.”

The Nathan Ramsey-Susan Wilson House race seems relatively cheap compared to the others. Ramsey, a Republican, raised $212,004 through Oct. 20 and spent $170,493, while Wilson, the Democrat, brought in $144,319 and spent $130,200. …

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