Minnesota. So close and yet so far. Both Wisconsin and Minnesota have sitting governors who are not running for reelection. Amazingly few here are pondering a bid for the opening and even fewer have actually jumped in the race, while just across the border dozens in both parties as well as a couple of independents are jockeying for a shot at the state's top office, and nearly 20 candidates already have thrown their hats into the ring.
What's Minnesota got that we ain't got?
Well, for starters, Minnesota has enforceable spending limits that come along with a functioning system of publicly financed state elections. Candidates there who qualify for public financing have to limit their campaign spending to just over $2 million and get nearly half of that in public funds.
In Wisconsin, on the other hand, we endured a $32 million race the last time around. The winning candidate spent over $10 million. Because we do not have a working public financing system, all of that money had to be raised privately. Creating a field day for special interests. And a huge deterrent to any prospective candidates who are not independently wealthy or willing to take out a second mortgage on their soul.
Aside from Brett Favre, what's Minnesota got that we ain't got? A race for governor that does not have a multi-million dollar entry fee.