A recent piece by David Race encapsulates the issue perfectly, (“In Virginia politics, professionals run deep – and that’s big business,” Oct. 27). Virginia possesses some of the most feeble campaign finance regulations in the nation and, as per Race’s article, over $80 million has already flowed into the coffers of media and consulting firms. Voters are increasingly exasperated by this state of affairs. Even residents of neighboring Washington, D.C. and Maryland bemoan the ceaseless barrage of our election advertisements. Unlike 45 other states, we lack constraints on campaign contributions. Who reaps the rewards of this expenditure? Certainly not the voters of Virginia, but instead the entities entrenched in the political-industrial complex.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
Our campaign finance protocols, or rather the absence thereof, have permitted out-of-state tycoons to pour millions of dollars into manipulating our elections and compelling candidates to dedicate all their efforts to soliciting funds. Following the release of candidate applications, contributions to Virginia candidates surged to $44 million in just one month, based on data from OpenSecrets, a national organization that monitors election finances. This elevates the cost of our elections to $174 million, even before November draws to a close. We presently find ourselves in an unprecedented scenario with the loftiest promotional expenses in the nation.
This need not continue. Virginia legislators could enact a law imposing boundaries on campaign contributions during the upcoming General Assembly. This was advocated three decades ago in a report by the former Governor Doug Wilder. A 2021 Wason Center survey conducted by our organization, BigMoneyOutVA, disclosed that, irrespective of their political affiliation, 4 out of 5 Virginians believe that major donors wield excessive influence in our elections. This year is undeniably proving them right, with media consultancy firms reaping the benefits. Your voice carries weight. Communicate to your lawmakers that Virginia necessitates limits on campaign financing.
Nancy Morgan, coordinator of BigMoneyOutVA.