You can stop this, and Fate can help.
You're the game master, the final arbiter of all PC ambitions:
You also act as a final arbiter of the rules, determining the outcome of the PCs' decisions and how that impacts the story as it unfolds.
-- "Players and Gamemasters", from the SRD
but I don't think you asked the Internet about this because you weren't sure what a Fate GM could do. You asked because it feels a little cheap and arbitrary to just stop someone from doing what it seems like they've set themselves up to do, both in the story and in character creation. Putting Resources high up on your skill list means you want to use Resources to solve your problems, and participating in politics sure seems like it's going to present problems that Resources can solve, doesn't it? It doesn't feel right to say "no, because I said so".
Fortunately, Fate provides some tools to help you talk about this problem with your friend and make the game work for both of you. I don't know exactly what your game is about so I'm going to have to go a bit wide here, but let's start out with something applicable to any sort of game:
If you absolutely don't want something to happen, don't just put a high difficulty in the way.
The nature of the randomizer is such that all of its outcomes are possible. If you, as GM, put a high difficulty number something you don't want to happen, and think "oh, that'll happen so rarely it's basically the same as saying no", it's not the same as saying no. You are putting yourself on the hook to make it happen when the dice come up in your player's favor, and it doesn't matter how unlikely that is, it's possible.
What's worse, the act of hitting a high difficulty number in Fate usually involves either a great big pile of luck on dice rolls or spending lots of Fate Points on relevant Aspects to pump up the roll. Hitting a big number is a dramatic affair and your players will be even more excited than usual for you to narrate them doing the hard thing against all odds! The hard thing you don't want to happen!
This is ultimately a problem of game creation, but "game creation" is a constant process.
Ultimately, playing a game where politics feature is likely to hit several raw nerves, because politics is a part of life and impacts everyone. It's also likely you're not the only player to have some hangup related to the subject matter. When creating a game it's important to air these concerns, and modify the game in such a way that everybody's having a good time playing - but it's also important to take the group's temperature at the end of every session. Nobody can predict all the things they won't like in advance.
So how do you use Fate to create a game where money can't buy out politics? Here are three avenues to consider:
- You could just make it part of a common fictional premise that money can't buy out politics. This is the simplest way to do it, but it can feel kind of specific and grudgey, targeting a character who both has money and wants to do politics in a way other combinations of skills and ambitions are left alone.
- If your game is about politics, you can restrict direct participation in the political arena to only use a certain set of skills that don't include Resources, denying all outside influences equally - or perhaps putting all outside influences on an even scale, given Create An Advantage. This is a fairer playing field, but defining that playing field is too much work and focus for a game that isn't about politics.
- Given the game's time period, Resources may not actually make sense as a skill, in the sense of directly leveraging a fortune to solve your problems with your only contribution as knowing what price to pay. You can still narrate a rich and famous lifestyle, but your hopeful rich politico will have to adapt the skills that got them that fortune in the first place in order to succeed in the political arena, the same as anyone else. But even if this fits the period, it doesn't necessarily mesh well with people's expectations about stories featuring a group of protagonists, one of whom is distinguished by their wealth.
The Common Premise: "Because I Said So."
But the "game creation" version of "because I said so" - defining the scope and applicability of the game's standard skills. Bribes are right in the description of the Resources skill:
You can use Resources to get yourself out of or past any situation where throwing money at the problem will help, such as committing bribery or acquiring rare and expensive things.
-- "Resources", from the SRD
but there are two reasons bribes work, right?
It could be that the person being bribed is corrupt, preferring their own security and comfort to living up to their responsibilities: Don Gianpaolo knows that Chief Malone has a soft spot for rare wines, so a case of the good stuff is enough to get him to pull the force out of the warehouse district for the weekend.
Or it could be that the person being bribed is desperate, entrusted with a responsibility but not provided with the security and comfort to carry it out: Don Gianpaolo knows that Chief Malone's wife will die without a very expensive operation, so promising to fund it is enough to get him to pull the force out of the warehouse district for the weekend.
Fate Core has its roots in the genre of pulp action, set in a world with plenty of corrupt and/or desperate people, but it's not wrong to want to play in a world where the people in power aren't corrupt or desperate. And as the GM, you can just say that not enough people in the electoral process are corrupt or desperate enough for an election to just be a problem that you can throw money at.
If your friend is okay with that, then that's as far as you need to go. But maybe things aren't that simple. What if your game is about politics and your friend made a high-Resources character with the expectation they'd be able to use their Resources to affect politics the same way the other players are using their apex skills?
A Game About Politics: Character Skill Selection
It's well to keep in mind the prelude to Fate Core's Skills chapter:
Here is a basic list of example skills for you to use in your Fate games along with example stunts tied to each. They’re the ones being used for all the examples in this book, and should give you a good foundation from which to tweak your own lists, adding and subtracting skills as best fits your setting. For more on creating your own skills, see the Extras section.
-- Fate SRD, "Default Skill List"
You're not limited to using all of and/or only the skills Fate Core gives you, especially if your game is focusing on something that isn't the "default" of cinematic action. A game of cinematic action makes very different demands on its characters from a game about political intrigue, after all. And if your game is about political intrigue, it can be useful to restructure your skill tree or your skill selection to accommodate that.
There's a Fate supplement called Tachyon Squadron that focuses specifically on fighter pilots, and one of the ways they restructured their skill list is to give characters, instead of a standard skill 4-level pyramid, a 3-level pyramid for non-fighter pilot skills, and a 4-slant for the fighter pilot skills, such that everybody's got one piloting skill at each of +4/+3/+2/+1. Since everybody's a pilot, this prevents everybody from dedicating too much or too little of their skill selection to something that will be happening in the game all the time.
Even if you just keep the standard list, it might be useful to dedicate some skills to "doing politics" in this manner, and lock everything else into a non-political arena. Let's suppose that you create a "political slant" where the only skills you can use in the political arena are Deceive, Empathy, Rapport, and Provoke.
Your wealthy character can have Resources as their top non-political skill and use their Resources to Create an Advantage they can carry into a debate - say they commission a Statue in My Honor or get a crowd Extravagantly Feasted. But this isn't something only Resources can do - other characters can use their other skills to set up advantages for the debate as well, not necessarily on a greater or lesser level than the ones the wealthy character made with Resources. The wealthy character will be using the same political toolkit as everyone else, rather than just treating the election as another problem to throw Resources at.
In this way the election is something that doesn't particularly prioritize Resources, even though the wealthy character might well win the election after using their Resources to do significant things. But this is assuming that "try to win the election" is going to be a consistent enough game goal across all the players to be worth building a system for.
An Ancient Greek Game: Is Resources Still A Skill?
Depending on how classical you're going, it's possible that Resources doesn't really make sense as a skill, at least not in its original spirit.
Sure, in a pulp action universe, it makes sense to have a way to measure how well a character can solve problems with money, separate from any concerns on how they actually got that money. That's something fairly common in a pulp setting, a character who's inherited wealth but isn't necessarily generating it actively. It also makes sense for there to be the whole vast mass of humanity, not necessarily affiliated with the heroes or the villains, but all motivated by money. And, lastly, it makes sense for there to be many things available "on the common market", where money is the most significant obstacle to their acquisition.
But do all those assumptions hold true as you turn back the clock? You could argue that they don't, really - that there isn't a vast mass of strangers, that supply lines aren't as reliable, and so there aren't really problems independent of the other social skills that a Resources rating would solve. So you might just eliminate Resources entirely as an independent skill.
This doesn't mean that there's no such thing as "being rich" - character aspects are still true, and certainly somebody who's trying to use money to get power has at least one aspect about how they made and/or have that money. So your rich character could still commission a Statue in My Honor where other characters might not be able to - but the difficult part of that would be finding a someone or someones to make that statue in a timely fashion in the first place, not just having the big stack of cash.
Your rich character may also have some appropriate Stunts to improve the skills they might use in politics. That's kind of what Stunts are for, connecting character Aspects to the available Skills. But everybody works with the same Stunt budget; a character doesn't get more because their High Concept talks about being wealthy.
Admittedly this is kind of a hybrid solution - there's no longer anything that, in absolute terms, is easier or harder for any of your PCs to do depending on how rich they are. They're all competent people capable of taking proactive, dramatic action. But the table's still on the hook to decide when Aspects and Stunts do or don't apply, for everyone.