Thursday, August 18, 2011

Buying Favors?

A short time back I was at a table listening to some friends talk about political contributions.  I had put the conversation in the back of my mind until yesterday when I read a letter to the editor saying we should all withhold our money from politicians running for office until they start doing what is in the best interests of everyone. 

I have, on many occasions in the past, withheld funds from the RNC and other Republican groups.  Frankly, on a state or national level neither party excites me.  If I do donate money, it is usually to individual candidates.  Lately, I have little interest in any announced candidates.  Some of those throwing their name into the race for the new Congressional district I live in are downright laughable.

So, back to the conversation I was listening to.  The friend was saying that her good friend was unhappy about the lack of influence her political contributions were buying.  Well, she didn't exactly say it in those words, but that was the overall effect.  I said that I objected to people who thought that their money could 'buy' them political influence and benefits.  Naive aren't I?

I came home and found this website where you can look to see who is contributing what, either by name or zip code.  It was fascinating.  I guess it takes a lot of money to buy your way to a place of influence.  Money I am not willing or able to spend.  And I think it says a lot about our government when so many think they can buy politicians. 

While in office, I always said that a campaign contribution to me was a contribution to fair and honest government.  I'll never forget having to impose a late tax payment penalty on a campaign contributor.  Those were the rules I played by.  When I had a resident yelling that another local Treasurer had waived her penalty, I called him and told him he was violating state law.  His excuse was that the woman owned a lot of properties in his community and he didn't want to upset her.  Sad.

I guess if you own enough property or donate enough money, you can do what ever you please.  The letter writer was right-on in his suggestion.

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