Friday, August 28, 2015

Is He Running For Office? Yes! But No!

Campaign finance rules leave people avoiding obvious answers.

Robin Ficker is running for Congress in MD-6. Not Really. Maybe. Possibly. Yes. But not. Thinking about it.

Why is Ficker trolling the public about being an "Aspirant" or "Possibility" in running for MD-6?

Because the campaign is super-early and he's not willing to set up a campaign staff and bind himself to the rules of campaign finance yet.

Campaign Finance Reform is incumbent protection, plan and simple. And in order to keep people away from running for office, the campaign finance laws reach potential candidates even before they file. If a candidate is "thinking" about running for office, they can raise unlimited sums to send out questionnaires and material trying to gauge interest.

But once the candidate makes his intentions known for certain, the net comes down and all sorts of rules attach. From authority line requirements to record-keeping rules, all written to be as convoluted as possible to dissuade as many people from running as possible.

So Ficker does a strange dance, calling himself a "possibility" and posting weird, kinda-sorta-but-not-really campaign statements to the Facebook pages of local media figures in order to get his name out there and take shots at his (totally not) rivals.

But it's not really Ficker's fault - the election hasn't really started, and while other campaigns are launching and getting started, Ficker has not yet decided to pull the trigger. And that only matters because of the incumbency protection laws.

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