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View Full Version : Disclosing list while campaign is still on builds trust



DebraW
03-10-2007, 05:39 PM
Candidate reveals financial backers early
Disclosing list while campaign is still on builds trust, says Lewis Cardinal

Gordon Kent , edmontonjournal.com
Published: October 03, 2007 5:14 pm

Ward 4 candidate Lewis Cardinal is giving out the names of all his financial backers before the end of the election in an attempt to reduce the public distrust of politicians.

"I'm trying to get some confidence back in the role that we play as public servants," Cardinal said today.

"I'm saying 'Look, I'm being honest, here's who's supporting me.' It wasn't a strategy of any sort releasing it now."

This is thought to be one of the few times a civic candidate has disclosed such information in mid-campaign.

The issue came up during the 2004 election when mayoral contender Robert Noce said he would disclose all donations of more than $300 if his opponents agreed to do the same.

Then-mayor Bill Smith and winner Stephen Mandel refused to go along, citing concerns the information could be used by fundraisers from other camps.

Cardinal, a 45-year-old educator and consultant, said that argument doesn't give supporters enough credit.

"(I) did it just to raise the awareness of my commitment towards transparency. I don't have anything to hide."

He has posted the names of 51 donors on his website (www.lewiscardinal.com), including three who have given more than $1,000 and 40 who have pitched in less than $300.

Cardinal estimates he has received about $20,000 out of the $25,000 to $30,000 he expects to spend trying to win a council seat.

A city bylaw requires candidates to publicly disclose by the end of January the names of everyone who contributed more than $300 to their campaign, but Cardinal would like to see his opponents following his example.

Ben Henderson, also seeking a seat in Ward 4, said he'll consider posting the details required under the bylaw on his website (www.benhenderson.net) during the campaign, although he's not sure it's possible at this point.

"I worry about the whole way we end up having to finance these campaigns," said Henderson, 49, who plans to spend about $25,000.

"I think we're naive if we don't think it has an effect, but changing (to immediate disclosure) is tough."

Incumbent Jane Batty, 61, said she won't release this information until it's legally necessary, explaining she doesn't have enough time.

"I know Mark Norris did it long before he started his campaign (for last year's provincial Tory leadership)," said Batty, who has an estimated budget of $35,000.

"I'm sure everybody who supported me wouldn't have any problem whatsoever ... but I would have to speak to them first."

[email protected]

Edmonton Journal 2007

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kcantor
03-10-2007, 06:04 PM
"Ward 4 candidate Lewis Cardinal is giving out the names of all his financial backers before the end of the election in an attempt to reduce the public distrust of politicians.

"I'm trying to get some confidence back in the role that we play as public servants," Cardinal said today.

"I'm saying 'Look, I'm being honest, here's who's supporting me.' It wasn't a strategy of any sort releasing it now."

i have absolutely no difficulty with the above EXCEPT the implication that any other candidate that does not do the same thing in the same time frame is not being honest, does not have the confidence of the public and/or is distrusted. this inference alone, intended or not, is certainly strategic even if it is not strategy despite the denial. if it was not campaigning, the information would have simply been released without any comment whatsoever.

JayBee
03-10-2007, 07:57 PM
Say for example all a candidate's backers live in Calgary or out of country. Yeah, you should be disclosing that pronto.

In a normal case, maybe the backers have requested privacy.

Do any of Mr. Cardinals' rivals happen to appear as if they represent something other than the best interests of the City?

Bryguy
05-10-2007, 01:43 PM
Would it matter to me - absolutely.
Is it the sole factor - of course not.

I think I can state it quite simply that if I had to chose between two equal candidates and only one of them disclosed the information I would go with them.
And I believe most people would behave the same way.

Obviously not every candidate has the same platform, experience, and such. To some people it may mean a great deal, others it would just be gravy.

For myself it would be worth a little more then gravy - I'd consider it as a contributing factor how the platform would be far more important to me.