To the incumbents go the spoils Taxpayer-funded agency advertising and ‘electioneering’ can help officeholder during election time

An incumbent can also use “earned media” to his or her advantage, calling news conferences or staging media events. Often, as election time nears, there’s a very noticeable uptick in these events. Already during this election-year legislative session, incumbent lawmakers — some running for higher offices — have held slews of news conferences. During the first week of the 2011 session, there were at times multiple news conferences simultaneously in and around the Capitol.

“I’ve heard folks grumble for many years about the auditor’s office,” Wiseman said. “Whoever’s auditor (many have later sought higher office) can always seem to come up with a little corruption in a county where they need some exposure, announce a press conference on the steps of the courthouse and have all the media there covering it. An incumbent has ways to get exposure that a challenger simply doesn’t have.”

Read more:

Geoff Pender
Sun Herald