Thursday, August 18, 2005

Baker's Dilemma

Today's Globe also has an article on the difficulties that Harvard Pilgrim CEO Charlie Baker faces should he decide he wants to run for governor.

[P]olitical strategists -- and some of Baker's supporters, speaking privately -- said the 48-year-old healthcare executive should not wait for Romney, who could put off his decision until late fall. Baker, they said, may have to move out of his job sooner and jump into the political arena if he wants to challenge Healey for the nomination.

The pressing issue for him is building a fund-raising operation and raising significant cash before the end of the year to compete with Healey's fund-raising and her personal wealth. Campaign finance laws limit donations from individuals to $500 each year.
That pretty much echoes the sentiments I noted earlier this week. Baker is in a bit of a bind. He can't raise money himself without quitting his job, and while people could, in theory, raise money for him, they'd be subject to the $500 contribution limit. I'm sure that someone could find a loophole in Massachusetts election law to help Baker if they had a team of lawyers, but they'd be out of luck if Baker decides not to run or refuses to accept the help.

In some way, though, Kerry Healey's vast wealth takes the pressure off of Baker to fund raise. There's no way that he could compete with her dollar for dollar, so no matter how much money is campaign is able to get, he'll still have to use it more efficiently.