Voting Special Part 3: Financing

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How much time and effort do candidates spend gathering money? What role does money play in a candidate’s campaign?

Political Analyst Chris Herstam explains how are candidates finance during their campaigns.

There are now a variety of groups, interests and wealthy people can fund money to Arizona as long as they are not coordinating with the candidate or their political party, according to Herstam. This is what impacts the races, but the candidates do not have control over this.

Social media has now become a way to raise money and finance a candidate as well.

“The fundraising mechanisms in Arizona have changed dramatically,” Herstam said.

There are certain people, like Mark Kelly, who is a “fundraising machine,” Herstam said. He can retrieve money from individuals and small contributions and also from large corporations.

How Important is Being the Best as Fundraising?

“It’s everything,” Herstam said. “We really don’t have elections anymore like you heard about in eighth grade civics class. We have auctions. And the winner of an auction is the highest bidder. The people that plow in the most money, they can raise the most money, they’re gonna have the most influence. And 9 times out of 10, the candidate that raises the most money in a competitive district is going to win.”

A winning message can overcome the lack of funds, but you need money to get the message out in the first place, Herstam said. The message has to be strong and free media coverage needs to be offered to get it out.

“Normally, the candidate that can consistently raise the most money is going to make it through the primary and win the general,” Herstam said.

All of this is not healthy for politics and America, according to Herstam.

Thanks to the wealthy groups, the only way to combat this is to have a clean financing system for elections, Herstam said.

Chris Herstam, Politcal Analyst

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