A Democratic Congresswoman from Maine, Chellie Pingree, is reportedly considering a run for Senate after Senator Olympia Snowe's announcement that she will not seek re-election.
Ms. Pingree is married to S. Donald Sussman, the money manager who reportedly earlier this month reached a deal to give a loan of "$3 million to $4 million" to the company that owns the Portland Press-Herald, Maine's largest newspaper.
I don't know whether Sussman's newspaper deal, whose terms reportedly include a board seat, will close, or whether Ms. Pingree will run for Senate, or if she will win if she does decide to run. But a senator's spouse financing the state's largest newspaper would be a classic example of the political-press-financial-industrial complex, right up there with mayor-media magnate Bloomberg or Prime Minister Berlusconi. I'm sure the editors and reporters involved would do their best to be impartial. When the opposing candidates complain that pro-Pingree editorials or news articles in the Press-Herald should count as campaign contributions or expenditures, maybe Ms. Pingree can explain to them about the First Amendment. It would be quite an ironic turnaround from someone who came onto the political scene as an advocate of stricter campaign speech restrictions (that was before she married Mr. Sussman). Then again, it's awfully convenient to want to limit political spending or giving when your husband is an owner of the state's largest newspaper, which is exempt from the limits.
Anyway, it sure is an interesting situation.