From: Dereck Davis
Date: Mar 5, 2006 2:06 PM
Subject: Campaign finance: Reform or soak the taxpayers?
Good afternoon, how are you doing? Why is it you always seem to be on the offensive when it comes to "Democratic leaders in Annapolis" and on the defensive when it comes to "the governor"? In all the commentary I've read from you, I cannot recall one instant where you have really taken the governor or the Republican Party to task. Oh, you've given some "soft-shoe" criticism but never the double-barrel approach you use on Democrats. Why is that?
Regarding the campaign finance issue, I'm not a fan of it either. I, too, believe that public money would be better serve on community issues. Quite frankly, it is to an incumbent's advantage to not have this sort of system in place. More often than not, we can outraise challengers. As to your idea that somehow limiting contributions to those who are constituents, what makes you think contributors could not find someone(s) in a given legislative district to funnel their contributions to desired candidates? In your "all politicians are crooks" insinuation, this would be called laundering. Also, what if I decide to run county or state-wide? Does that mean I cannot begin raising the necessary resources until I announce? What if I am a former county executive candidate and then decide to run for state senate? What do I do with any leftover campaign money from former constituents (county wide) who are now not in my senate district?
Finally, let's take your suggestion one step further. Why not ban everyone, including constituents, from making contributions? Anyone who wants to run would be required to do so from their personal resources. Afterall, constituents ask things of politicians as well. All that pork you have complained about (in Annapolis parlance its called bond bills), we do not just dream that up; constituents come to us asking for financial assistance with projects in our districts. Feel free to talk to some of my constituents in Lake Arbor, Kettering, District Heights, and Capitol Heights-to name a few-about how they feel about "pork".
What I am trying to say, Diane, is that elected officials are by no means perfect nor should they be. None of us are. We all make mistakes, errors in judgment, and exhibit personal shortcomings. That does not mean we are inherently incorrigible. Nor does the fact that when we do not agree with you on an issue makes us on the take. Its alright to criticize us for decision we make or actions we take but character asassinations are out of bounds. Do you EVER give us the benefit of the doubt or are we ALWAYS cast in the worst possible light?
As always, I appreciate the opportunity to respond.
Dereck E. Davis