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US election costs up despite economic woes

A public policy research centre says the upcoming mid-term elections will cost at least US$3.7 billion, which would make them the most expensive ever.

David Levinthal from the US Center for Responsive Politics says that despite the credit crunch, the government is pumping more money into the election.

“We are in the recession, but there is absolutely no recession in politics,” claimed Levinthal.

He said that despite the economy being in a bad condition and companies cutting back on jobs, the political system is being inflated with money more than ever before, either in the form of campaign contributions or direct lobbying efforts.

“Money’s coming to Washington to try to influence members of Congress, the White House, federal agencies and when you put that all together, it literally adds up to billions and billions of dollars every year,” Levinthal said.

He considered that incumbents benefit the most because they are able to raise the most money, and if they run an election, they win the election nine out of ten times.

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