What Did Your Congresswoman's Seat Cost?

Do you have a guess of how much Reps. Anna Eshoo and Jackie Speier had to raise to win her seat in the House of Representatives?

Reps. Anna Eshoo and Jackie Speier won reelection to the U.S. House of Representatives last fall, representing Redwood City and Woodside for their eleventh and third terms, respectively.

But how much did the House seat cost them?

When we put the question to our Facebook readers earlier this week, their answers were philosophical and sometimes cynical:

"My entire paycheck," said Victor on Redwood City-Woodside Patch Facebook.

"For this year's election, I'd expect the cost to be zero," said Bob on Menlo Park-Atherton Patch Facebook.

"No matter how much it cost, Jackie has given back to San Mateo," said Peter on San Carlos Patch Facebook. "Speier was shot at Jonestown on a fact-finding mission when she was a young aide. Jackie has worked tirelessly for our best interest and she is a great!"

In terms of dollars and cents, Eshoo raised $1,489,802 during the 2012 election cycle, according to MapLight, a non-profit that tracks money in politics. Speier raised $969,474.

This compares to the average House member, who raised $1,689,580, or $2,315 a day during the same election cycle, according to MapLight.

Are you surprised by the cost of a House seat? Tell us in the comments section below.

Sharon Levin March 15, 2013 at 02:56 PM
I find this headline and tone very inflammatory and irresponsible as far as journalism goes. They did not 'buy' their seats, they did not bribe anyone, 'take out' an opponent or do anything unethical. They bought advertising space in flyers, etc. Come on Patch, really? This is how you want to cover the 'news'?
Sharon Levin March 15, 2013 at 03:48 PM
p.s. If one could 'buy' an elected office, Meg Whitman would be Governor.
Dave Chapman March 15, 2013 at 06:03 PM
Well, most of that money went into restricted-purpose accounts. Anna Eshoo has a history of supporting Federal candidates in places like Illinois and Rhode Island, because she wants to ask them a favor later. I suspect that approximately half of the money raised in the last election cycle was actually spent on stuff like direct mail, robo-calls, and get-out-the-vote efforts. The rest went into other candidates, Democratic Party funds, PACs, etc. For the record, I spend approximately $2000 in the last election cycle. If you know where to shop, the Internet is very economical. Anna Eshoo spent over $5 for every vote she got. I spent less than 10 cents. If you think that a million dollars for a Congressional race is a lot, just wait until Eshoo retires. I expect at least 15 candidates to pull papers when that happens, and I expect that well over $10 million will be spent before it's over. -Dave Chapman Candidate for Congress 18th District of California (Silicon Valley North)
Jennifer van der Kleut (Editor) March 15, 2013 at 06:22 PM
Hi Sharon - I wasn't the author of the article, but I felt the need to comment. I do not believe what Drew meant to imply was that the candidates did anything unethical or were trying to buy their seat. We simply wanted to report on how much local candidates spent, and compare (such as between Eshoo and Speier).
Sharon Levin March 16, 2013 at 01:55 AM
Perhaps it's just the wording, but 'how much did the seat cost?' implies 'how much did you pay for that?' Perhaps one could say, 'how much did the campaign cost?' that is a different question.
Jennifer van der Kleut (Editor) March 16, 2013 at 03:38 AM
I see your point.
Buck Shaw March 16, 2013 at 04:54 PM
Sharon did you expect anything else from Huffington Post ?
Buck Shaw March 16, 2013 at 05:02 PM
Thanks Dave; We should ask Debbie how much she spent. Although going up againt someone who was shot as there only gualification makes it different. Jackie get the sympathy vote so we have to wait untill she retires. Doesn't matter if she does a lousey job or not..


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