Most of the questions about money in politics stick to the contribution side: How much did a candidate raise? Who contributed and why?

But once in a while we see a campaign in which the expenditures are the story. Scott D’Amboise’s long-shot run for the U.S. Senate is one of those.

D’Amboise announced his decision to run before Sen. Olympia Snowe got out of the race and so he had a head start on his opponents in the Republican field who got involved after Snowe’s surprise retirement announcement in February.

So it is not shocking that D’Amboise led all comers in fundraising, gathering $609,830 as of the last report, with most coming from wealthy out-of-state donors. That is also not a surprise: As popular as Snowe has been in Maine, she is unpopular in some national conservative circles, where she is labeled a RINO — Republican in name only.

What is surprising, though, is how the money has been spent — and most of it has been spent. D’Amboise hasn’t used the resources he collected to communicate with Maine Republicans who will be voting on June 12. He hasn’t bought ads on TV or done the other things that connect a candidate with the electorate.

Mostly, he has been renting mailing lists that give him access to the wealthy out-of-state donors who don’t like moderate Republicans.

It’s hard to see how D’Amboise benefits from such a strategy. And it’s equally hard to see how the donors benefit when they are giving money that just results in them getting more mail asking for more money.

The direct mail company is a clear winner, but the same can’t be said for Maine voters, particularly Republicans. They are not learning more about D’Amboise or getting a better understanding of where his opponents stand, which is the kind of political speech that makes campaign finance such an important First Amendment issue.

The principal thing that Maine Republicans are learning is that there are people around the country who don’t like moderates. The real result of a campaign like this is a general ratcheting up of the cost of campaigning for everyone.

Campaigns should not spend most of the money they raise raising more money.

That is not the free speech the Constitution protects, but a make-work project for campaign professionals. It shouldn’t be legal, but as long as it is, candidates like D’Amboise should stop doing it.