In this interview (highlighted by Squall Lines), the retiring senator makes this astonishing statement:

Soles said he probably spent about $10,000 in one of his early senate campaigns. In his 2008 re-election effort, Soles spent $839,500.

?I hate to say it, but I spent about $600,000 of my own money,? Soles said. ?It?s hard to justify that for a $13,000 a year job. I?ve put a lot of miles on cars, and spent a lot of money on hotels while the legislature has been in session.?

He spent $600,000 of his own money to hold onto a job that paid $13,000. Imagine the power and perks attached to a seat in the General Assembly justifying that level of “investment.”

Reminds me of something I heard longtime Beltway insider Elizabeth Drew say on PBS’s Washington Week in Review more than a decade ago, when the term limits movement was first gaining traction.

Drew said she didn’t support term limits, but when it came to some low-level offices, its backers had a point. She said, basically, anyone who wanted to make a career sitting in a state legislature probably did not have the public interest foremost in their thoughts.