Campaign finances - does where you get your money from matter?

Where money comes from may matter if it says something about you.

There are questions being raised in the media and on Twitter about campaign donations/donors.

You will see in the news that it's become quite an issue in the Mayor's race. It may well be in the CBE Trustee elections too.  

Do my sources of financing tell you about me? If you think they will, please look at my blog post from earlier today to see my early disclosure.  

In addition to what I said earlier, I want to make sure we are considering all the right questions. I saw a tweet today in a thread about campaign donations/support from unions:

Daisy‏ @oxidaisy 

Replying to @BouchieTorres @ARTICSchair @students_count

Worth asking questions about that sort of thing for sure, and whether or not union donations should be allowed. Or caps even from private?

The thread had revealed union campaign donations to a number of candidates. It made me think about the broader questions of corporate and union money. It also made me wonder about political money and personal honesty and integrity. Hence, my immediate blog post about it.

I didn't just speak to union donations, as raised in the tweet. I spoke to union and corporate donations. Those are what I'd been asked about by a media reporter early on in this campaign (Metronews June 22, 2017).

As you can see in the post from earlier today, I'm not taking money from corporations or unions/associations.

I didn’t mention it earlier because it wasn’t the focus of my efforts at that time, but I’m also not taking donations from other politicians, PACS, parties or party donor networks. I tell you this, because it looks to me like the Mayor is suggesting that revealing donors will show party affiliation. And I've seen Facebook posts referencing party backed candidates.

The reason I said that I wouldn't take corporate money is due to the public perception that in politics, corporate donations can represent 'favours' done by corporations that might lead to reciprocal favours down the road, which would benefit the corporation.

In education, Trustees could, at some point, have to make decisions about advertising or naming rights. Those questions have been raised before and could come up again. So, just as well not to take corporate donations.

It was also easy for me to decide not to take union donations, for another simple reason. One of the jobs of CBE Trustees is to (see link for source):

Approve the bargaining mandate and ratify all collective agreements for unionized employees

So, if elected as a Trustee, my job would be to represent the public's interest in signing off on collective agreements. In finalizing negotiated settlements, it's best if there is no appearance that I might care as much about union/association positions as I do for the interests of the  general public. The Trustee's job is to put the broad public interest first. 

Finally, you'll also be able to see from my disclosures of earlier today that I'm not funded by any kind of political party, PAC, party politicians, or well-heeled political donors. I didn't ask my friends, but I'm pretty sure that you would not find a pattern of common political affiliations among them. 

If my fellow candidates in Wards 12 and 14 provide advance information about how their campaigns are being funded, voters will know a bit more about each of us. They'll be able to see something about our financial relations with unions, corporations or other political network. They can decide for themselves what those pieces of information tell them.

I’ll be happy to up-date my info, if asked, as the election proceeds. I’d hope others would too. 

If elected, I'll find it interesting to engage in conversation with fellow Trustees about the By-laws of the organization with respect to the election financing question. Will there be consensus about keeping big money out of politics? Will we ask how we might amend the By-laws so as to limit contributions to individuals only? I know where I stand. Time will tell if there is a real desire to do so among the entire new Board of Trustees. 

Where is the money coming from?

Where is the money coming from?

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