• How Much Will They Spend to Win? Even More Importantly, Why?

    By Staff
    October 12, 2015
    17 Comments

    Do the robocalls, frequent mailers, yard signs & commercials make you an informed voter or name recognition voter? On the National front, Americans seem tired of career politicians. Are you?

    USA_elections$Donations from developers, and people who are not residents of the City, not even citizens, or even registered to vote?

    Do you feel the election and the future of the city is too important to be influenced in this manner?

    Here at the JCP, we think Johns Creek residents are some of the smartest and brightest in the country and deserve to know the positions of the candidates to make an educated vote.

    We are devoted to keeping the election on the issues and what's important to the voters. JCP promises fair campaign coverage and accurate reporting on the candidates and issues. Likewise, to ensure fairness, all candidates are welcome to advertise on the JCP, to include links to their webpage/FB, for readers to further their research and learn about events and the issues.

    Everyone claims to be a fiscal conservative. Is this really true when they are spending exorbitant amounts of money for a municipal seat?  Is this really money well spent?

    election_moneyDuring the last election in Johns Creek for the State Rep 50 seat, Brad Raffensperger spent $235k. Yes, that is correct, almost a 1/4 million dollars. Kelly Stewart spent $146k. The State Representative pay is $17k per year, 2-year term.

    In years past, an astounding amount of money was spent on our municipal elections, which is compensated at $15k per year.

    Below are some examples.

    2011 Steve Broadbent $76k  Brad Raffensperger (won) $70k
    2012 Karen Richardson $32k Cori Davenport(won)  $95k
    2014 Eric Fragoso $19k Bob Gray(won) $71k
    2014 Nancy Reinecke $9k Steve Broadbent (won) $61k

    JCP will follow ALL City Council Candidate donations & post them.

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    Wally

    Money changes everything
    I said money, money changes everything
    We think we know what we're doin'
    That don't mean a thing
    It's all in the past now
    Money changes everything

    -Cyndi Lauper

    JCVoter (@JCVoter)

    Is raising money to run for office illegal? I dont think so . The Supreme Court ruled on that one. Unless you know something we don't why is how much someone raises an issue?
    How are you suppose to run for office if you cant get anyone to believe in you enough to support you? How would anyone even know you are running? Does your name just appear on the ballot and people vote for you based on your name?
    How are the other people who don't read this wonderful blog going to become educated on the issues?
    If taking money is the problem why don't we ban all contributions?

    Common Sense

    I've learned a lot about the candidates by seeing all the money they are spending on signs.

    Like what colors they like.

    Can't say it has told me what they stand for.

    But if the number of signs are the key to winning, I guess I'll be voting for "Speed Limit" and "Bridge Ices Before Road".

    Nancy Reinecke

    No one said it was illegal, what it is is undesirable. It is up to the voters not to respond to this waste of money on fliers, robo calls, and other candidate propaganda.

    Editor

    Thank you for the comment in thinking our website is awesome!
    We appreciate your dialog.

    Citizen Voter

    You really have an awesome website, Editor. You are doing a great service for the residents of Johns Creek. No other site or publication tells the truth as it is.

    Would you be kind enough to respond to the following questions, please:

    Is there a way for you to publish all donations received (including the names of individual donors or businesses)so far by the candidates that you are aware of? Also, is there a way to tell if any of them do business with the city or the county? Can non-citizens donate cash or even do voluntary work for any political campaign? We even see door-knocking by non-citizens whom we have pictures of.

    Editor

    @CitizenVoter Thank you for the feedback. Yes we are preparing to publish the donations, hopefully it will answer some of your questions.

    Chris Coughlin

    Hello JCVoter,

    I'd echo Nancy and Wally's sentiments below. I'm not for banning contributions (as you point out, the SC has ruled recently in favor of looser standards in campaign financing in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission).

    I would like us to look at, in greater detail, why people accept these donations in the first place. As a public servant, I don't want to take donations/contributions because I don't want to follow the norm of reciprocity.

    Basically, I don't want to repay favors for my campaign contributions and I want to make it explicitly clear that the only reason I'm doing this is to honor the taxpayers of Johns Creek and ensure stewardship of their hard earned dollars.

    I'm fighting for taxpayers to keep more of their money so why in God's good name would I take some of their money?

    I honestly believe fiscal conservatism begins on the campaign trail. If you're a profligate spender with your own money and supporters' donations, imagine how you'll be with our tax dollars?

    Honestly, I've spent less than $1,300 thus far on marketing for my campaign and would argue that I've successfully distributed my message and platform to a wide audience in Johns Creek.

    I just wish people would reevaluate their perspective on money influencing politics, do the research, and then keep their dollars or donate them to charity - http://freakonomics.com/2012/01/17/how-much-does-campaign-spending-influence-the-election-a-freakonomics-quorum/.

    Seriously, JCVoter, give me a ring and let's chat further about this issue.

    Editor

    @Chris Coughlin Does your $1300 include the qualifying fee?

    Also did you sign a waiver or affidavit limiting campaign spending?

    fyi: If you are requesting readers to call you, leave a #.

    Chris Coughlin

    Hello Editor,

    The $1,300 does not include the $450 qualifying fee. I did sign an affidavit that I would not spend more than $2,500 on my campaign as a demonstration to the people of Johns Creek that I'll use a substantive platform and hard work (hustling door to door, meeting with citizens, researching best practices for public budgeting, etc.) to achieve my goals. Basically, with smart allocation of money and efficient efforts, we can get more accomplished with less monetary investment. I'll bring that attitude to the dais to truly make us a fiscally sound city. Finally, you can reach me at 770-853-9409. Thanks again!

    Chris

    JC Homeowner

    You got my vote Chris! You sure are a true fiscal conservative and have demonstrated it. Our city needs more people like you representing the taxpayers!

    Zhuan Dong

    Great! I am disgusted with the infestation of politic machines into local elections. I nether thought some people could spend 100k for a city council post

    Wally

    Money is a responsibility which must be managed. And as you highlight so well, it tells you all you need to know about how a candidate will solve a problem. More money

    If you cannot get your ideas out there with $15k, then do you think you could with $30k? Can't do it with $30k? Let's try $60k.

    What you exhibit is the epitome of what most of us detest as the solution to problems.

    We just need more money to fix it. Problem still doesn't get fixed. Give us more money.

    If more money spent means that you are more likely to believe a candidate, you are part of the problem and not part of the solution.

    All problems are NOT money problems, and all problems cannot be solved with more money.

    With today's online access to websites, Faceook, and emails, the cost of an election should be going down, not up.

    There's no reason to ban contributions. They are a great litmus test for us to see what the candidate is about. It's up to the candidate to self regulate.

    And if they cannot self regulate during their own campaigns, they will not be self regulating on the City Council spending the public's hard earned dollars which have been collected through taxes.

    We are watching. Candidates should choose wisely as to what their spending communicates to us.

    Carlos Carbonell

    Wally I could not agree with you more, if the candidates cannot regulate themselves they will definitely not be careful when spending other people's money.
    So far there is only one candidate other than myself who has kept things under two grand. Unfortunately the problem doesn't entirely lie in spending, it is also on the side of the voters. JC has one of the lowest turnouts for elections, and in the end, the candidate who has had the most exposure is the one who usually takes the seat, not necessarily being the most qualified, but by having his/her name out there the most. We as candidates have a lot of work ahead of us, but the electorate too has homework to do, and that is to get educated on everyone's position in order to make an educated decision on the ballot.
    All of our problems as you say, are not money problems, most of them also have to do with simple community outreach and by just getting out there and getting the people involved. Making our citizens active participants in the process is key for what we want to do.
    Drop me a line and I will be more than happy to share more on this with you.

    Thank you.
    Carlos J Carbonell
    Candidate for Post 5

    Clara

    Great answer Mr Carbonell. We need more people like you and Mr Coughlin!

    Editor

    Yes, there will certainly be more donations since June 30th. Those disclosures are due Oct 19. We will post them all.

    Carlos Carbonell

    Thank you for your kind words Clara, I hope to see you at the Candidate Forum.
    Best regards,
    Carlos Carbonell

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