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Then why is he running for U.S. Senate?

FILE - In this April 11, 2014, file photo, Iowa Senate candidate Mark Jacobs speaks during the Iowa Republican Party's annual Lincoln Day dinner in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  A GOP TV spot comparing castrating hogs to cutting spending, and Democrat Bruce Braley’s comment that lawyers like him are better suited to serve on the Senate Judiciary Committee than “an Iowa farmer” like U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, have raised the Iowa’s open Senate seat on the GOP’s list of winnable races in the 2014 elections. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
"I don't think U.S. senators make that much money, but again, you know, I'm willing to make significant investment of my time and energy here to help solve the problems we have in this country," Mark Jacobs, the candidate, said according to MSNBC. Jacobs (pictured) is the former president and CEO of Reliant Energy.

The Jacobs campaign later clarified to MSNBC that Jacobs hasn't "really looked into how much U.S. senators make. The point he was trying to make is that no matter what U.S. senators make, he's not doing it for the money."

United States senators make $174,000 a year according to a January Congressional Research Service report. - TPM, 4/28/14

Here's a little more info:

Jacobs, a former CEO of the Texas-based RRI Energy, is locked in a five-way GOP race for retiring Democratic U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin's Iowa seat. He has chipped in more of his own money to fuel his campaign than any other Iowan running for office in state history - $1.65 million so far, records show.

One of the "Morning Joe" commentators, Huffington Post political reporter Sam Stein, said this morning during the talk show's discussion about the Iowa U.S. Senate race: "Did Mark Jacobs really tell you 'I don't think U.S. senators make that much money' and is he a politician? Does he know you shouldn't say things like that? What is that about?"

Hunt answered: "You know, I think I was a little surprised to hear him say that. I will say his campaign was very quick is to issue a clarification to us."

The campaign for Jacobs' closest competitor in the GOP primary, state Sen. Joni Ernst, quickly sent out a news release this morning. "Mark Jacobs continued to show just how out touch he is with Iowans and why Democrats want him to be the nominee," Ernst's campaign spokesman Derek Flowers said in the statement. Flowers said the median household income in Iowa is $49,427, median family income is $62,821 and per capita income is $25,667.

MSNBC also interviewed Ernst, who has gotten national buzz for her debut campaign ad in which she says: "I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm." Asked what hog castration involves, Ernst answered: "A very delicate hand, let's put it like that." - The Des Moines Register, 4/28/14

Of course Jacobs campaign responded after his statement to try and clarify a few things:

"I misspoke in hearing the question for the first time and want to make clear I didn't enter into this Senate race because of the salary. I'm running for public office because I want to serve the families of Iowa and know that I have done something for them, our great state and our country. I've said that I've always believed someone should be paid for the work they do, so what troubles me the most is that Congress continues to receive their paychecks year in and year out even though they fail to pass a budget. This shouldn't happen and when I'm in the Senate I'd work to make sure no one receives a paycheck if they can't pass a yearly budget." - Huffington Post, 4/28/14
Jacobs timing couldn't be worse because he's neck and neck with Ernst in the primary:

State Sen. Joni Ernst and Mark Jacobs are in a virtual tie for the lead in the race for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate, but nearly half of GOP voters have yet to pick a candidate in the five-way race.

The inaugural Loras College Poll of 600 likely Iowa GOP primary voters found Jacobs on top with the support of 18.8 percent and Ernst with 18.1 percent. The other candidates were in single digits: Sam Clovis, 7.3 percent, Matt Whitaker, 4 percent and Scott Schaben, 3.5 percent.

The most important finding, said Christopher Budzisz, associate professor of politics and director of the Loras College Poll, is that almost half of voters remain undecided.

“So while it now looks an awful lot like a two-person race, the next seven weeks will likely be exciting for GOP primary voters and all the candidates,” he said. “With nearly half of the voters surveyed saying they were undecided, there is still a lot of work to be done by all the campaigns before the June 3 primary.” - Sioux City Journal, 4/14/14

And the only reason Jacobs has been able to make it this far in the primary is because he's been funding his own campaign:

Millionaire U.S. Senate candidate Mark Jacobs has secured a state record: He has chipped in more of his own money to fuel his campaign than any other Iowan running for office in state history.

Jacobs has spent more than $1.65 million from his own pocket, his campaign disclosure report to the Federal Election Commission shows. Longtime Democratic and GOP campaign operatives say they don't know of any other Iowa candidate who has topped that.

Self-funders are rare in Iowa. Each case is different, but they don't have a good record of election success, in Iowa history or recent election cycles nationally.

Democrat Roxanne Conlin of Des Moines poured $1.07 million of her personal wealth into her 2010 U.S. Senate race, only to lose to the popular GOP incumbent, Chuck Grassley. Republican Mike Whalen of Bettendorf used $624,000 of his own cash, pushing past his GOP competitors in a 2006 congressional race but getting pummeled in the general election by Democratic newcomer Bruce Braley.

Nationally, just 14 of the 69 candidates who spent at least $1 million of their own money in the last two election cycles in their House and Senate races claimed victory, a review by the Campaign Finance Institute found. - THe Des Moines Register, 4/24/14

While Jacobs and Ernst duke it out, lets make sure Rep. Bruce Braley's (D. IA) campaign is ready to win in November.  Click here to donate and get involved with BRaley's campaign:

Originally posted to pdc on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 09:27 AM PDT.

Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    millwood, AnnieR, Sylv, Piren, BMScott, RunawayRose

    Funny Stuff at

    by poopdogcomedy on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 09:27:26 AM PDT

  •  To be fair (0+ / 0-)

    For someone who's self-funding a senate race, a $174k annual salary probably isn't all that much money.

  •  In reality (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ramblin engineer

    For the level of responsibility, importance, control over people's lives et al, no, it is chump change. Add to that those elected are asked to give up their current professions, with no guarantee that they won't lose their jobs in six years. They need to maintain two homes.

    Now of course the benefits, including likely later side employment and other perks mitigates this.

    I'd be happy to raise the salaries if combined with strict controls of the rest of their potential employment gains, including lobbying, related industries, family-adjacent jobs. But that's never going to happen.

    •  You get what you pay for! (0+ / 0-)

      All of the major corporations, and especially the financial industry pays low level gophers more than Congress!  Why do we accept that corporations need to pay 7 figure salaries to get good talent, but we believe that our government representatives should serve "out of civic duty?"  By the way, the benefits by those mid-level corporate managers makes Congressional Benefits look pretty sad!

      “That which can be destroyed by the truth should be." ― P.C. Hodgell, Seeker's Mask

      by ramblin engineer on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 07:05:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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