Spending Spree

If you can’t beat ’em, buy ’em. At least that seems to be the strategy of one of the Republican candidates for Governor of Tennessee.

The Knox News Sentinel reports that Broadcast Bill Haslam has outspent his opponents by a 10 to 1 ratio.

Haslam spent more than $2 million during the period, more than half of that on TV and radio advertising, his report showed. Fellow Republicans Ron Ramsey and Zach Wamp, along with Democrat Mike McWherter, all spent less than $200,000 each.

But Haslam also netted roughly twice as much in donations as all of his opponents combined – which the Haslam campaign said demonstrates voter enthusiasm. Campaign officials said Haslam took in a “record of more than 9,000 contributions from all 95 counties in Tennessee.”

Haslam is the only major candidate who has not loaned his campaign money or given more than the individual limit, the campaign noted.

Haslam may have money to burn, but so far his ad buys have consisted of fluff. Sure, it’s important for any candidate to humanize themselves to the voters, but considering who his primary opponents are, humanizing himself shouldn’t really be an issue. Apparently, the Haslam campaign thinks it’s a big issue, which raises some questions. Just how worried about his Pilot Oil fortune are they?

At some point the voters are going to demand some substance from all the candidates, something the Democratic nominee, Mike McWherter has been providing since the filing deadline.

You can try all you want, but you can’t buy your way into the Executive Residence. For right now, that’s exactly what it looks like “Broadcast Bill” is trying to do.

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