Matt Gregory sent us a letter to the editor regarding Representative Larry Springer. As a courtesy to elected officials, we offer them an opportunity to respond to such letters whenever feasible. - Admin
I appreciate the concern my longtime colleague, Matt Gregory, has regarding the cost of political campaigns. As a candidate whose has had to raise over $800,000 the past four elections to run campaigns in a very competitive district I would very much welcome campaign finance reform.
To answer Matt’s concerns about my “extravagance” I should share a few numbers to put the spending in perspective. But first it is important to recognize that the money I have spent on the campaign was given to me by supporters who in fact want me to spend the money they have contributed on the most effective campaign strategy possible. If they did not want the money spent they would not have contributed. That is considerably different than making spending decisions in Olympia about taxpayer money which comes from people who in many cases would rather not send it to the state in the first place.
A campaign in the 45th District generally costs about $250,000, sometimes a little more sometimes a little less. We are prepared to raise that amount if necessary, hopefully we won’t have to but complacency is a mortal sin in politics. I have sent one mailer to voters in the district at a cost of about $9000 and have purchased air time on cable for a cost of about $14,000 (final invoices have not been received.) That is the extent of my primary expenditures which amount to less than 13% of our overall campaign budget, hardly extravagant. This is the least amount I have spent on the primary in four elections.
Lastly, I would point out that I have built a reputation in the legislature for fiscal restraint, often at the expense of support from my own party supporters. It is important to tell that to voters prior to an election, whether a primary or a general, to counteract claims from opponents that I have simply taxed the state to death and want nothing more than to find new ways to spend more taxpayer money. Of course nothing could be further from the truth. Unfortunately it costs money to communicate that message during an election.
I appreciate Matt’s recognition that we try to recycle old campaign materials, I am still using yards signs purchased in my first election 6 years ago and used the final few thousand handbills from the last campaign to begin doorbelling this year.
As always I would welcome any feedback constituents in the 45th District have for me. I can be reached at 425 822-2907 or firstname.lastname@example.org.