I'm going start with a digression for a minute here to heap some lavish praise on Kenton Ngo of 750 Volts. Whenever I see he's got a new post through my Bloglines feeds, I want to read it immediately. His posts are funny, opinionated, and packed with great research and information, just what a good political blog should be. He's now a regular contributor over at Raising Kaine.
The thing is, Kenton's not even in high school yet. As a former public school English teacher (middle and high school), I feel wistful when I think of a classroom with just one or two Kenton-like kids in it. On top of his enthusiasm, intellectual curiosity, and interest in politics, he's just a genuinely decent young man who makes me feel hopeful about the future.
Today Kenton earns an A+ plus tons of extra credit (which I bet he doesn't need) for all the time he spent poking around VBE campaign finance returns today creating Follow the Money: Dave Albo’s Carpetbagging and Corporate Cash, a remarkable piece on money in the Albo-Werkheiser race.
Short story: Albo raised over $140,000 in a single quarter, a staggering sum of money for a delegate race. But according to Kenton's research, not a SINGLE contribution over $100 came from an individual in the 42nd district. The only significant money donated from in-district comes from beer wholesalers, a curious fact considering Albo is a defense attorney for people accused of drunk driving.
Is there anything wrong with raising money out of state or out of district? Of course not. Virginia law allows it and plenty of people are interested in investing in races outside of their own districts. But if a longtime incumbent isn't raising money from his own constituents - especially when we're talking about such a huge sum of money raised overall - that's gotta raise a red flag, doesn't it?
But read Kenton's whole piece. It's great.