Friday, November 20, 2009

Lists for sale

A student alerted me to the fact that among Gov. Ritter's campaign expenditures last quarter was $3,219.40 paid to the Hillary Clinton 2008 campaign for a list of Colorado Clinton supporters. The campaign finance report describes the expenditure as a "license fee."

Greg Koger, Hans Noel and I did a paper in BJPS recently in which we examined the exchange of mailing lists among political organizations and candidates in a party network. From this research, it is not surprising to find one Democratic campaign sharing its lists with another. That's part of what a party is -- one of the advantages of being part of a party is that you don't have to build up your whole organization and donor list from scratch. But I'm curious if it's customary for there to be such a fee attached. Is this how Clinton helps retire her campaign debt, or is it standard to charge another candidate a few thousand dollars for a mailing list?

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