Will Mayor Davis, Council Members Respond to Citizen Request on Campaign Finance Reform?

May 29, 2013 | Since taking the reigns as Elk Grove's first directly elected Mayor last December, Gary Davis has uniformly opened...

May 29, 2013 |

Since taking the reigns as Elk Grove's first directly elected Mayor last December, Gary Davis has uniformly opened city council meetings encouraging public participation and saying something to the effect that the city hall belongs to the people of Elk Grove.

At last Wednesday's city council meeting Elk Grove resident Lynn Wheat seemingly called Davis' bluff and asked the city council to consider a local ordinance that would place limits on campaign contributions. Since Elk Grove's incorporation 13 years ago, hundreds of thousands (perhaps even millions) of dollars have been poured into the coffers of the various people who currently or previously occupied seats on the city council with most of the money coming from real estate developers and other big-money interests such as labor unions.

Will Mayor Davis have the courage as Elk Grove's first directly elected mayor to act on a reasonable request from a taxpayer or is he so tied to the money that fuels political ambition that he will simply ignore the request and hope it goes away?

So who really owns city hall - developers and big labor or the people?

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Jill said...

Unfortunate, but true what David said. Having no spending limits limits access to otherwise well qualified candidates. As long as a mediocre council member (do we have any other type?) can financially overwhelm an opponent and they toe the line for their benefactors, they are almost guaranteed their seat for as long as they wish.

Dave (re-submit) said...

My earlier comment was removed for a typo.

I'll try this again.

The answer to the question of whether the Council, and Davis as their leader, will bring forward an ordinance concerning campaign finance reform is; ABSOLUTELY NOT!

All but one of our sitting council members have raised tens of thousands of dollars for their campaigns. Money from unions, developers, and other entities with a short-term stake in Elk Grove have all lined the council's pockets. In exchange for all this money are potential (wink, wink) promises and back room deals to benefit these parties (i.e. sign ordinances, builder incentives, re-zones, etc).

There were at least five outstanding candidates to fill the vacanct district seat on the council that Davis gave up when elected mayor.

Outstanding citizens with smart, innovative ideas came forward. Most any of these persons would have been a great asset to our city. Even the council said so. None were selected.

...and these great citizens cannot run a future camapaign and win due to the amount of $$ necessary to run a winning campaign and get their name out amongst the apathetic voters.

If the council and Davis had any INTEGRITY, they would each insist on campaign finace reform, because this is the only way well qualified and dedicated citizens would have a chance without selling their souls. Only if the council had our city's best interests above their own egos would this be possible.

Steve L said...

We do need campaign finance reform here. Those who applied for the position left open when Davis was elected were outstanding candidates. Truly outstanding.

They won't have a chance of ever making our city better without reform, as they are just citizens without ties to political parties, unions and developers. They can't compete with well-funded incumbents.

I hope the council is reading this. It is in our city's best interest to adopt reform.

Eastside Betty said...

I agree with all the above posts. Our council will never allow this to happen. They can't bite the hand that feeds them.

However, campaign finance reform would be a welcome sight to our local elections. It would bring out wonderful new candidates.

Silent Dogood said...

If you are this passionate about this issue why don't you place the question to the voters. Find out what it would take to put the question on the next ballot and take the issue out of the hands of the politicians and directly to the voters.

Elk Grove News said...

Here is the "how to" guide to placing an initiative on the ballot.

Elk Grove News said...

This site actually offers more exacting specifics of the process.

Eastside Betty said...

Oh my! Who has the time and the energy to collect all those signatures? That would be an enormous endeavor.

I'm afraid we would have to leave it to the council to step forward on this topic and promote reform from the dais. But, I'm afraid they just don't have the best intersts of the city and the integrity as someone else stated to do that.

Perhaps councilman Detrick who I recall ran on a campaign of integrity can make a motion. Let's hope so, and let's hope the others follow.

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