In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Whitman Nears Record Spending In Run For CA-GOV


• Former Rep. Michael Huffington (R-CA) spent $30 million in 1994, in his unsuccessful Senate race against Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein. At the time, this was the most expensive Congressional race in history -- but self-financing was only getting started.

• New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg has also been a prolific self-financier, having spent ever-increasing amounts every four years. He spent $74 million in his first election in 2001, another $85 million in 2005, and then renewed his lease on Gracie Mansion for $102 million in 2009.

• Former Gov. Jon Corzine (D-NJ) spent big on this three statewide races. He spent $60 million on his successful Senate campaign in 2000, another $43 million on his successful gubernatorial race in 2005, and then $25.3 million for his failed re-election campaign in 2009.

• Businessman Steve Forbes spent big on his two unsuccessful runs for the Republican nomination for President: $37.9 million in the 1996 race, and $38.7 million for his 2000 campaign.

• Former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) spent over $35 million of his own money on his unsuccessful bid for the Republican presidential nomination in the 2008 cycle.

• In the 2004 Illinois Senate race, businessman Blair Hull spent $24 million of his own money in his unsuccessful campaign for the Democratic nomination. A side effect of this was that under the "millionaire's amendment" in McCain-Feingold -- a clause that was later declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court -- Hull's self-financing enabled Barack obama to raise a higher maximum donation amount form wealthy donors. Hull's campaign collapsed when damaging material from his divorce files became public, and Obama won the primary in a landslide. Whether Obama would have won anyway without the divorce controversies, or the millionaire's amendment, is something we will never truly know.