Archive - Jun 3, 2012
One of the most memorable lines from Watergate was "Follow the Money", and I've been looking a lot at various donations recently. As a newly minted State Representative candidate, I need to raise $5,000 in donations between $5 and $100, with at least 150 of the donations coming from people living in Woodbridge, Orange, and Derby, the towns that my district includes parts of.
This is part of Connecticuts Citizen's Election Program. If I raise money from these sources, I will receive a grant from the state to finance much of my campaign. The program is designed to limit the influence of money in politics and make it easier for more people to run for political office. I'm a big supporter of this program.
One of the biggest supporters of this program is Chris Donovan, who is running for Congress in the Fifth Congressional District. Unfortunately, he hired a finance director who didn't seem to share those values and who has now been arrested by the FBI for trying to hide donations.
Governor Malloy has spoken out about how despicable this was, and I hope that the Governor will back up his words with actions by signing the "Act Concerning Changes to Campaign Finance and Other Election Laws" which would make it illegal for organizations to hide independent campaign expenditures in Connecticut elections. This bill was introduced by Chris Donovan.
I've encouraged people to contribute to Chris Donovan's campaign, and I continue to do so. One of the old lines about free speech is that the antidote to "bad" free speech, isn't limiting free speech, instead it is counterbalancing it with more "good" free speech. Something similar applies in campaigns. An important antidote to people illegally trying to buy influence in politics if for individuals to become more involved in campaigns, giving of their time and money.
There are other parts of our lives where small donations can have an important effect. As an example, one of the doctors where I work will be running in the New York City Triathlon next month. He is doing it to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
When I visited his fundraising page, I glanced at the list of donors in the right hand column. I was glad to see the names of several of my coworkers on this list, as well as some of my social media friends.
Money can be a corrosive influence in politics, but it can also be a tool for good, and I'm glad to see my coworkers and social media friends working together for good.
Please, think about how you can use your money for good.