I have mentioned this in quite a number of my blog posts, but I think it is appalling how much is spent on campaigns in America. I was therefore both surprised and disappointed to find that Elizabeth Warren, who participated in the most expensive senate race in history, is currently in debt from her 2012 bid for Congress. Warren raised $42 million dollars for her 2012 campaign, which is more than any other candidate for congress raised. Warren sent an email today to her supporters asking them to donate to help her pay off the $400,000 she still owes.
Warren’s email to supporters noted that the reason her campaign ran out of money was a result of a last-minute surge of volunteers. Her emailed noted, “When my campaign team planned our final budget, we knew our Get Out the Vote push was going to be BIG. But it was far bigger than anyone ever expected”; with more volunteers, her emailed continued, “That meant even more last-minute coffee and pizza”. Warren’s campaign did not expect the increase of support they got as they neared election day and did not account for an increase in volunteers during their Get Out the Vote efforts.
Although the Boston Globe’s article “Elizabeth Warren ended Senate campaign in debt despite record fund-raising” notes that this is certainly not the first time a candidate has found themselves in debt following an election, Warren raised the most of any other congressional candidate this campaign season, including her opponent, Scott Brown. Additionally, Warren has often criticized the government for the country’s debt and, as the ad above shows, she has criticized the government for not having their financial priorities straight. Warren is seen as a voice for the middle class and I was therefore surprised that she thinks it is appropriate to continue asking her base for money, as many of her supporters are in the middle class. Had Warren not raised the most of any congressional candidate this election season it may not have been a shock, but the price of this campaign was enormous.
Coming from Massachusetts, I witnessed the efforts put on by both campaigns to win this race. Senator Brown’s seat was highly coveted, especially since Brown, a Republican, was able to win his seat two years ago that was previously held by a highly respected Democrat. While I can understand the significance of this race, especially as the democrats battled to maintain control of the senate, I find it disheartening that so much money was spent on this campaign. Although the government has tried to limit how much candidates can receive from individual donors, the inability for the government to regulate Super PACs has allowed for so much money to enter elections. I think that the federal government must start imposing laws on Super PACs and must limit the amount of money campaigns can receive. No candidate running for senate needs $42 million.