Sean Eldridge Rejects Spending Limits, Searches for New Comms Director

Facebook spouse Sean Eldridge holds an award (via Twitter)

Democrat Sean Eldridge, who has spent nearly a million dollars of his husband’s money in an effort to win a New York congressional seat while decrying money in politics, spurned a call from his opponent on Tuesday to limit campaign spending in the race.

Rep. Chris Gibson (R., N.Y.) proposed that both candidates limit their campaigns to $2 million in spending. Eldridge, the husband of New Republic editor and Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, rejected the offer.

Eldridge has self-financed his run to the tune of $960,000. His campaign currently has more than $1.5 million cash-on-hand.

Eldridge has called for campaign finance reform and decried the pernicious influence of money in politics despite spending large sums on his campaign.

In offering the $2 million pledge, Gibson called on Eldridge to put his money where his mouth is, the Hudson, N.Y., Register Star reported on Wednesday. The Eldridge campaign was having none of it.

Campaigns would have to report all money raised and spent. No outside money—spending on the campaign from groups outside the candidates’ organizations—would be allowed.

"Chris Gibson is desperate to talk about anything other than his record as a member of the least productive Congress in history," Eldridge spokesman Morgan Hook said in an email, "so he has cooked up a phony campaign spending cap—a cap he has violated in every race he's ever run." […]

"If Sean is serious about campaign finance reform, he wouldn't wait on the legislation, he’d cap his expenditures," Gibson said. "I'm challenging him—we could lead by example and make a difference."

The exchange came as the race is gaining national attention. A Politico story on the campaign published last week painted Eldridge as a wealthy carpetbagger eager to use his and Hughes’ fortune to essentially buy a congressional seat.

Since the Politico piece came out, the Eldridge campaign has begun searching for a new communications director.