Leopold goes native
John Leopold used his own money to buy his way into the House of Delegates, and to buy his way into being the County Executive. But apparently, he has had a change of heart:
Leopold, a longtime state delegate, lost the Republican nomination for county executive that year. He raised nearly $500,000 in 2006 to beat his Democratic opponent, George F. Johnson IV, who had a war chest of more than $1.3 million. About $260,000 of Leopold’s total was in the form of personal loans.
“I don’t think I should have to spend any more of my own money in future campaigns,” Leopold said. “I don’t think the system that requires such outlays is funds is unfortunate, but that is the system we work with.”
If you remember back to the campaign, in one of the money stories that noted Leopold lavishly spending his personal fortune to buy his way into office, Leopold noted that this meant that he wouldn’t be beholden to special interests. Apparently, Leopold’s newfound power as a County Executive has made him change his mind.
I don’t begrudge our elected officials who do have to raise enormous sums of money in order to be competitive, nor do I begrudge somebody who has the financial resources to invest in their own heavily in their own campaign. But I do begrudge somebody as arrogant as Leopold continuously changing his story on the financing issue. He can’t be a rich self-financer, an anti-special interest money populist, and be the guy raising all of his money from developers all at the same time and make it believable…