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Much attention is being paid to the relative fundraising prowess of candidates and their cash-on-hand advantages as the election approaches. But what does this really signify? Were there a direct correspondence between dollars raised and votes received, only millionaires would be holding office.

Where are the contributions coming from? From individuals who believe deeply in the candidate stance on issues? From businesses, unions, and PACs seeking something in return for assisting that candidate? From the party machine?

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With the size of "war chests" reaching ever more obscene levels, how will all that money be expended? Will Howard County Executive candidate Courtney Watson, for example, actually expend over $644,000 in the remaining weeks of the campaign on mailers, TV spots and poll workers? How many pounds of literature will end up in recycling bins? How many favorite TV shows will be dotted by repetitive 30-second ads? How many paid robo-calls will interrupt my dinner hour or clog my answering machine?

Personally concerned about governmental fiscal responsibility, the nothing-exceeds-like-excess approach to campaigning encourages me to devote more time to researching "underdog" citizen candidates. Their underfunded grassroots campaigns are a breath of fresh air compared to party machinations yielding all the negatives of being a single party state.

You can't actually buy an election. At least I hope not.

Susan Garber

Laurel

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