The Independent Expenditure Era: ‘That’s politics now’

There was a scene on Election Day 2013 that spoke to the new dimensions of political campaigns in this Huxleyan world of independent expenditures.

It was ground zero of a battleground district and as PolitickerNJ entered the bunker the only sound rattling down the hallway might have been the indifferent nasal snoring of one of the prime combatants in that much-watched contest.

It wasn’t quite that bad.

The candidate actually was awake, but with his legs kicked up on a table in front of him.

An attitude of sublime complacency governed his every gesture.

As the candidate chewed a sandwich and began a philosophical dissection of its contents, PolitickerNJ finally asked him what the hell was going on, he was in a race, wasn’t he? Why was he acting like he didn’t care?

“To prove a point,” was the answer, delivered without missing a beat.

“This is an independent expenditure game now,” he added. “You don’t have to even shake a hand anymore. The million dollar ads come in from IEs and that’s the campaign. That’s politics now.”

He threw the crumpled sandwich wrapper into the empty room.

“That’s politics.”

As they fight block by block in the May 13th election, the Shavar Jeffries people would probably object strongly to that characterization.

Nonetheless, the observable features of classic New Jersey/Newark contests showed Ras Baraka with a conventional campaign edge prior to a massive, multi-million dollar network television ad and mail onslaught on behalf of Jeffries in the two-week lead-up to this coming Tuesday’s election.

See the details here. The Independent Expenditure Era: ‘That’s politics now’