Martin A. Lamb of Holliston, the GOP candidate for Congress promoting fiscal responsibility, filed for personal bankruptcy in 1999 and was cleared of more than $226,000 in credit card debt....Coincidentally, Lamb and the third candidate in the race, Patrick Barron (U-Worcester), each proposed measures Thursday to limit campaign spending. In a press release, Lamb challenged Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Worcester) to keep spending under $300,000:
An opponent of government bailouts for private institutions, he has called for major cuts in federal spending and says the country should be paying off the national debt.
In an interview, the 53-year-old said he amassed significant debt while trying to keep his fledgling law firm afloat. He said he started a law practice with a partner 15 years ago. The business struggled, so Mr. Lamb poured more money into it — more money than he had.
“Most people, when they start a business, it's a failure,” he said. “Sometimes it goes bust. I'm a business creator. I understand the hardships and the pitfalls, the good and bad — unlike Jim McGovern, who's never created jobs and doesn't understand.”
"If Congressman McGovern wants to pretend that he is not the incumbent in an attempt to hide from his record, then why not give up his war chest too," challenged Lamb. "Let's go message to message."The most recent campaign finance reports indicate that McGovern has nearly $1 million in cash on hand and holds roughly a 100-to-1 edge in that category over Lamb, who reported $9,500 to spend.
Lamb is proposing a $300,000 spending cap for the General Election. That figure will give candidates roughly $1 per voter to spend.
"Does he believe enough in his message to accept my challenge? As the incumbent, he has more name ID so this is more than a fair offer," said Lamb.
For his part, Barron called on both candidates to sign a pledge eschewing donations from "Special Interests" and asked them to return any unspent special interest money. It reads, in part:
I pledge to never take any special interest money from any corporation, union, any other political action group or representative thereof. I will not take any special interest money for any position I may seek, any candidacy I may have or any position I currently hold.Although Lamb has received support from Political Action Committees, the pledge is clearly aimed at McGovern, who has a 400-to-1 edge in available cash on the unenrolled Barron.
If I have previously received special interest money for a position I have sought or now hold, if this money is available and not clearly and verifiably committed it will be immediately returned from the largest donor first to the smallest.