Friday, June 04, 2004

A Big Gift from the Big Guy

Also posted to Political State Report.

So far this year, Democratic Lieutenant Governor Mark Taylor has given $500,000 to the state Democratic Party. According to Democratic Party Chair Bobby Kahn, Taylor hopes to help elect a Democratic majority to the state Senate, where Republicans currently outnumber Democrats 30 to 26. But by endearing him to many elected Democrats, his contribution may also help him secure the next Democratic nomination for governor.

Taylor's contribution came from his re-election campaign. Under state law, a candidate may not use funds raised toward election to one office to run for election to another office, so the funds Taylor had raised toward re-election as lieutenant governor may not be used toward election as governor. Thus if he is to spend them, he must spend them toward other ends - in this case, the election of other Democrats.

Taylor's contribution is not unprecedented. Former Republican nominee for governor Guy Millner also gave a large donation to the state Republican Party before running - in his case, $400,000.