Campaign Funding Reform in Boulder

October 24, 2009

It must be election season. The notion that candidates for Boulder’s City Council would sell their souls in $100 increments requires a willful suspension of disbelief. Where is the upside in a city council seat? It pays almost nothing. The hours of service required are taken directly from one’s family and friends. Personal aggrandizement is not an option.

No one runs for Council to make a quick buck. In fact, the more you spend on a City Council campaign, the more voters learn about your agenda. In living memory, I don’t think any city council candidate has “won” (I use the term advisedly) by spending more than one of the other candidates. Boulder voters are smart and they are willing to do some homework. Piffle doesn’t sell here. Substance does. People who think otherwise don’t give us enough credit.

Boulder’s Campaign Reform ordinance limits the expenditures by a candidate using matching funds to no more than $15,771. The personal/corporate donation limit is $100. Candidates may choose to self-fund, which eliminates the spending cap, but the $100 contribution limit applies to all. Anonymous contributions are prohibited. Many folks in our fair city scrutinize required campaign reports for nefarious activity. The truth will out.

Recently, some out-of-town visitors were watching TV, thinking reality shows were exceeding all reasonable expectations – who could make this stuff up? It turns out they were watching Channel 8, which was broadcasting a City Council session. We can do better. Please vote. It matters.

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