Money Matters: EGCC Candidates Respond to Voluntary Campaign Finance Challenge

Only one candidate non-responsive As reported earlier on EGN , Elk Grove City Council District 4 candidate Jimmie Johnson issued a c...

Only one candidate non-responsive

As reported earlier on EGN, Elk Grove City Council District 4 candidate Jimmie Johnson issued a campaign finance challenge at the Wednesday, August 25 City Council meeting.

Making his announcement during the public comment portion, Johnson said he had e-mailed his opponents and all city council candidates a challenge to sign a voluntary pledge on campaign spending limits.

The pledge reads as follows:

As of August 25, 2010, I pledge that I will not accept any political contributions of any kind unless the contribution is $500 or less from a resident of the City of Elk Grove who has not already contributed $500 or more to my campaign.

In addition, as of August 25, 2010, I pledge that I will not make any further loans to my campaign of any kind unless the loan is $25,000 or less and I have not already loaned my campaign $25,000 or more.

Finally, as of August 25, 2010, I pledge not to accept any campaign loans from any union, corporation, or person of any kind."

In response to Johnson’s move, EGN has contacted the five other people running for city council this year. Below are their responses in alphabetical order.

Johnson’s main opponent in the race for District 4, incumbent Gary Davis said of the pledge:

"I will always follow the letter and the spirit of our campaign finance laws. But, I am proud of the hard working Elk Grove citizens who are supporting my campaign and the diversity of business, labor, and grassroots organizations who make up our coalition of support.

Elk Grove residents aren't interested in political tricks. I am laser focused on creating good jobs, saving local businesses, and ensuring that every resident has a voice at city hall. It is the broad and diverse coalition we have built that will ensure we make meaningful progress on these important issues."

James White, the third candidate for District 4 said:

“I will sign the pledge that the other candidate is circulating. I believe any candidate that is truly for the people should not take funds from special interest groups or businesses. My thoughts on the matter are clear regardless of my signing or not, I said in the beginning I would not take funds.”

In the race for the Elk Grove City Council District 2 seat, there are two challengers to incumbent Pat Hume. The challengers are George Murphey and Davies Ononiwu.

Of the voluntary finance pledge, Murphey said:

“In light of the ambiguous language in Mr. Johnson's pledge, I don't plan to sign the pledge.

Why not? There are loopholes: can a single person give $500.00 or less more than once? Can a single out of town person(s) give more than the $500.00? The personal loan limit is unclear. A contribution limit at this juncture does not create a level playing field. Contributors are disclosed to the FPPC. The public has access to those filings, can determine the contributors and decide whether a candidate will have the best interests of the city at heart. If an individual or group believes in a candidate, why should he or she be limited? I also don't see any mention of PAC's.

I believe Mr. Johnson's ideas have merit and are deserving of discussion. There are many issues to discuss relating to campaign contributions, spending and the city's election process in general. The fact of the matter is, candidates have to campaign city-wide. Setting contributions limits restricts a candidate's ability to get his name or message out on a citywide basis. Contribution limits do not necessarily reduce the cost of running a campaign. The unintended consequence might force candidates to spend an excessive amount of time seeking contributions.”

District 2 candidate Davies Ononiwu also rejected Johnson’s idea.

“I believe the citizens of every city should be the source from which we derive our guidance on spending limits. A vote by the people should be given the highest degree of consideration and approval or denial, on how they wish for the incumbents or candidates to run their campaign financially—whether with private or public funds; or how much they can raise and from which sources the funding should be derived, because they are the ones that will vote during an election. Too often when we see or receive information on one candidate and not another we take that as the litmus on who is the better candidate, when indeed that may or may not be the case.

Although I will drive my campaign with the people at the wheel, I believe this discussion should have been handled long before anyone was able to collect the first penny. I will not be signing the form that was derived from a candidate seeking public office because although I believe in spending limits, I do not believe that the constructs from which any document is derived (and simply after any individual, in any race, be the one to decide the parameters of such an important issue).

No matter how this shakes out, this issue should have been a ballot issue in June and, frankly it should have been a ballot issue in 2000, then we would have had the standards already in place and the people would have been the ones who would have decided what those standards should have been. I have for many years been preparing for this leadership role and not taking any of the responsibilities lightly. The reason I am getting into public office is to serve people honestly and it will be up to the voter to judge my character and honesty, when they vote in November.”

Pat Hume did not respond to our request to comment on the pledge.

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Elk Grove Politics said...

Pat Hume did not respond. SHOCKER!!

Let's see, the only fundraiser or contributions he received in four years since being elected were derived from his affiliation with Connie Conley and the spending of her own money. Maybe Elk Grove News should have asked Connie for her opinion.

Oh that's right. Connie is now in the way because Hume got his "affairs" in order, friendships and his Rotarian values, "Service above Self" now meaningless, or did he?

Seems Hume has no ambition without Connie doing everything for him. Hume can't admit that Connie was the real woman behind the man, and shame on for her for it!!

Josie said...

This Pledge is so funny. Who is going to enforce it, what's the penalty for a violation, is it in force now and forever, mommie loans don't did say "I" and person of any kind...assume that means aliens too, and yea, what about Pac's? You had your day of fame in front of the city council, now let it go and get back to that Pat Hume "To Do" list he gave you or you'll find yourself listed on the Leary/Hume court calendar.

Capt. Benjamin L. Willard said...

A few things stand out in Johnson's campaign pledge.

First, he proposes a limit of self-funding to $25,000. This is the amount he loaned his campaign.


Second, for better or worse, Davis has lots of money from unions and various business interests. Johnson's natural source of contributions would most likely be developers and we all know what has happened to that well.

It looks to be nothing more than a trick as Davis claims. Johnson probably realized after entering the race he couldn't raise enough cash (other than his own 25k)to run a viable campaign so why not try tricking others into the same situation. When other candidates don't, in this case Davis, Johnson can try to make it a campaign issue.

If that's his strategy, good luck with that!

Malleus Codex said...

Hume won't respond. I have emailed him severral timeas as my cpincil person for help and her NERVER EVER even replied, much less helped. Useless as teats on bull. VOTE HUME OUT !!! This whole pledge trick just shows Jimmy Johnson is a grandstander and another tricky politician. I'M NOT VOTING FOR TRICKY JIMMY!!!

Elk Grove Politics said...

Johnson stands at the podium like a campaign finance crusader! Who is he kidding? Certainly not the voters. I am so glad that Johnson has hitched his caboose to the Hume campaign. Both can get on a train to nowhere right out of Elk Grove.

Elk Grove Politics said...

Hey Connie, those other sites are blaming you for these postings. Small minds. They give you far too much power. I know because you have been silent. But not the rest of us!!

Pat Hume is no longer the golden boy and they just can't face it. Many staunch supporters now know they made a mistake, are denouncing Hume and are coming out en masse to make sure he does not get reelected.

Ex-Humers all now know the little emperor is wearing no clothes, and all the theatrics, campaign promises and the constant clichés Hume spews means nothing. But his supporters on the other sites just can't go back because their blind faith won't allow them to see the light and they certainly can’t handle the truth.

Wilton got it right. . . NO HUMEVILLE IN ELK GROVE EITHER!!

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