Saturday, February 18, 2006

Millionaires' Amendment In Play in CA-50

The "millionaires' amendment" may be into play in the race to replace former congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham. Republican candidate, Eric Roach, notified the Federal Election Commission that his self-funded congressional campaign had crossed over the notification threshold required by the Campaign Reform Act of 2002.

According to the North County Times, millionaire Roach has already loaned his campaign much of the over $750,000 it has spent on the special election campaign.
In Roach's notification, he reports that as of Thursday, he had spent $750,000 on the April 11 special election where voters will pick a replacement for former U.S. Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, who resigned from office in November after pleading guilty in federal court to receiving more than $2.4 million in bribes.

A spokesman for Roach said in a phone interview Friday that in a hotly contested election, with 23 candidates already in the running, Roach had little choice but to spend generously from his own pocket.
Roach is one of three millionaire Republicans in the race who are self-funding the vast majority of their campaign costs. Of this club, Roach is the most recent and least know of the three. He is spending heavily just to earn some name recognition against entrenched and well know Republicans politicians who are in the 50th race.

Roach's tripping of the "millionaires' amendment" potentially allows the 20 or so non-millionaire candidates in the race to dramatically increase their fund raising both from individual donors and, in the case of Democrat Francine Busby, the state and national Democratic Party.

All of the non-millionaire candidates are studying the provisions of the complex law to insure that they understand how Roach's self-funding opens the door to increased fund raising for their individual campaigns.

The top three Republican candidates in the 50th race are now going to have to scramble to get more money flowing into their campaigns. Bill Morrow, Brian Bilbray and Howard Kaloogian have been getting most of their money from outside of the districts and from right wing issues organizations.

Busby, with Democratic Party support in place and the only true grassroots campaign in the race, is in an excellent position thanks to Roach. A Busby spokesman talked about the impact of the "millionaire amendment" on Busby's grassroots campaign and the financing of her Republican opponents.
"It's more confirmation that Francine is running against a group of career politicians and millionaires trying to buy this election," Busby spokesman Brennan Bilberry said. "It means that a grass-roots candidate with support from the community will still be able to run a strong race against a mega-millionaire."
Busby needs your support now more than ever to take on the right wing nut jobs and the millionaires who want to insure that its business as usual in Washington.