Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Politicians' money woes strike a chord with voters -

Politicians' money woes strike a chord with voters - "Foreclosure and real-estate troubles have trailed Christine O'Donnell and Marco Rubio, the Republican Senate nominees from Delaware and Florida; as well as U.S. Rep. Laura Richardson, a Democrat from Long Beach. In Illinois, the Democrat running to fill President Obama's U.S. Senate Seat, Alexi Giannoulias, saw his family bank fail in April.

Financial hardships have hit small-scale races as well: This summer, three of seven candidates vying for city council seats in Miami Gardens, Fla., were dealing with a foreclosure or bankruptcy.

'For the most part, the residents understood,' said Felicia Robinson, who won her seat despite having lost an investment property to foreclosure. 'Because a lot of them are in the same situation — or in worse situations.'

Angelo Fuster, a veteran political advisor in Atlanta, reiterated the point, saying it could be unwise to attack such candidates. 'Hundreds of thousands of voters are in the same situation, and you're sort of impugning their judgment and their smarts by doing that,' he said.

Criticizing an opponent's financial failings has long been fair game in politics. But the compassion of the electorate also has some historical precedent, particularly during hard times. During the fina"

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