Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Has your Candidate made this pledge?

The disillusioned, disenfranchised, dissuaded and the generally ‘dissed’ members of our electorate lament the manner in which election results are often purchased by special interest and corporate donors. Campaign finance reform efforts along with term limits and other remedial measures are meant to address the reality of pay-to-play political donations. I contend, however, that most of such measures to reduce contributions by special interest and corporate donors is misplaced. Rather, the onus should be placed upon the candidates.

Illustrative of this is the mayoral race in Lebanon, Indiana. There mayoral candidate Matt Gentry, who is a former legislative assistant at the Indiana General Assembly, has made this pledge:

“As mayor I will not accept campaign contributions from contractors, engineers, consultants or law firms that do business with the city.”

Incumbent mayor, Huck Lewis has readily and willingly accepted campaign contributions from the very players who Mayor Lewis will likely financially impact. Watchdog Indiana has provided the publicly available records detailing contributions to Lewis’ campaign. Reducing special interest and corporate influence is solely within the purview of the candidates; to refuse influential donations and expose those candidates who accept them.

If you oppose the influence that special interest and corporate donors have upon campaigns then ask yourself if your candidate has taken the pledge to refuse donations from those who he or she may directly financially impact. If the answer is no then ask yourself why am I supporting someone who opposes a position on which I stand.

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