There is a popular notion that rich office-seekers are free of the corrupting influences that burden candidates of lesser means. But self-funding hasn’t proven to be a guarantee of righteousness. Rather, the need to spend hugely on campaigns can grind principles to dust and corrupt the entire political process whether the funds come from lobbyists or self-made men and women on ego trips.

In New York City Mayor Bloomberg was able to get approval from the City Council to run for a third, four-year term. His rallying cry? – – that the city would be best served by his experienced stewardship of the New York economy “as it faces the fallout from Wall Street” 11/3/08. An updated campaign finance report indicates he spent over $100,000 to win, by a surprisingly slim margin. Perhaps he was the best candidate however the public had upheld term limits in two previous referenda and Bloomberg had supported them as well until they interfered with his personal political aspirations.  In any case money was no object in his re-election bid.