Money for Nothing

In a report released yesterday, the Commonwealth's Office of Campaign and Political Finance has conveniently tallied up the candidates' spending on the recent state-wide elections, which reaced a state-record $51.3 million despite the almost total lack of competition for four of the six offices. Candidates for governor spent a combined $42.3m, and LG candidates spent another $6.7m, while the races for attorney general, treasurer, secretary, and auditor accounted for $2.3m.

Half of the total came from candidates' own pockets -- more specifically, the losing candidates' pockets.

Chris Gabrieli spent $9,475,000 of his own funds, Kerry Healey $9,400,000, Christy Mihos $3,694,007, Deborah Goldberg $2,185,005, and Larry Frisoli $150,000. None are currently preparing inauguration parties.

Deval Patrick is credited as spending $348,173, although it appears that he has repayed himself $200,000 of that since the OCPF tally.

Healey spent a total of $13.1 million, more than half of it during the primary (in which she was unopposed). Patrick spent $5.7m in the primary -- going back to January 2005 -- and just $3.1m in the general election. That does not count the independent expenditures, mostly by unions, on his behalf, which were not insignificant. More on that later.

[by David S. Bernstein]

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