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Self-Financed Campaigns

Paying to Play: Who Spent Their Own Bucks on a Campaign?

Now that Ralph Nader's renaissance has sprung the siren-call of a Bloomberg campaign to everyone's lips, it's worth a trip down memory lane — who raided their own piggy banks for a self-financed play for office?


Radar made a list and checked the bank statements twice. Who can forget the 1992 splurge of the granddaddy of self-financing, Ross Perot? But did you know he shelled out $71.2 million for a price of $2.56 per vote?

That's not the most expensive run though — that honor rests on Blair Hull, who ran for US Senate in Illinois in 2004 — against Barack Obama. Oh noes! Mr. Hull sank $28,658,890 million in at a cost of $213.15 per vote. Oh, for context, it wasn't necessarily Obama's brilliance that sunk his campaign. Most think Hull's ship sank after some nasty, terrible details of spousal abuse came out when his divorce papers were unsealed. Turns out you can't buy off public record. . .

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