Open Secrets: Self-funded candidates lose big (except when they don’t)


“His argument was that he couldn’t be bought,” said Brendan Fischer, associate counsel with the Campaign Legal Center and a native of Wisconsin, the state Kohl represented. “He was from a wealthy family, and he was self-funding his campaign; he was not subject to the same financial pressures or the same pressures from donors as other candidates might be..."

According to Fischer: “Generally speaking, when a candidate is running for office they need to build a base of support, and that includes fundraising from, ideally, a broad range of people. And if you’re self-funding you don’t necessarily have to go through the difficult work of building that base of both popular and financial support. You can plow straight ahead and hire staff, pay for ads and open campaign offices.”

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