Politics isn’t just for the rich or retired

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on September 19, 2010

Former Democrat U.S. Senate candidate from California Mickey Kaus notes that federal law allows candidates to draw a salary from their political campaigns and use that salary to pay their bills.

But the regs explicitly allow candidates to pay themselves a salary (as long as it doesn't exceed what they made "as earned income in the previous year"). Trust me, that's a provision I was eyeing eagerly when I ran for Senate, though I never had enough surplus money to pay myself anything.

This is good news – and common sense. Without such a provision, the poor and even the middle class could not afford to run for political office – leaving public service to the retired and idle rich. While there are plenty of questions about Delaware Senate hopeful Christine O’Donnell’s candidacy – paying herself a salary from campaign funds shouldn’t be one of them.

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