Mr Levy, I agree with you about donation transparency, and my husband has been questioned about this on another blog. So, if Jeff will kindly indulge a lengthy explanation I would like to offer my reason for donating to Heidi Hall’s campaign.
Aside from her superior administrative experience on two important Nevada County issues which I consider top tier, water and Indian tribes, she has a fine education and provides a much needed breath of fresh air to this campaign season. The political stagnation in Nevada County needs a fresh face and new ideas to help retool for the next century. The transparency and honesty of Heidi’s campaign exhibits more independent thinking than her deeply inculcated GOB opponent.
The regional and global problems we are seeing now will be exponentially worse for our children and their children. Sadly, not many people wish to talk about this, but Heidi will not shrink from opening this conversation wider than ever before, and getting traction on the problems we are facing. For what we are about to confront in the future we need an experienced, practical, informed leader and most importantly, a candidate who is not tethered to special interests. In all of this Heidi Hall outshines her very popular but unseasoned opponent.
Strawser’s campaign literature cites his experience as a business man, fair enough, he has a bike shop and runs an annual event in Nevada City. Attendance in recent years has dropped off some, but a few thousand of us do remember how thrilling it was the year Lance and Levi and other top cyclers came to race here. So, I was not surprised one morning when my husband told me over coffee that he had donated $1,000.00 to the funds being gathered to rescue Duane from his sponsorship shortfall of $15,000.00 from the bike race he organized. My husband walks downtown to see the race every year but had never sponsored it. So, he explained he decided on a sponsor donation level of the race, multiplied it by the number of years he enjoyed the event for free and came up with the amount of one thousand dollars to help replenish Strawser’s personal bank account. I applauded his generosity and compassion toward Strawser’s predicament. However, while I appreciate what the Councilman has done for the bicycling enthusiasts of our community, I had a somewhat different take on the situation as an ordinary citizen.
If I plan an event and there is a shortfall of funds, that failure falls upon me. If my husband loses money in a business deal, that’s on him. We have no expectation that this community would rally to lift us up and make us whole again. Aside from lacking the kind of long standing relationships that folks who grew up here enjoy, we simply would not ask anyone else to pay for our mistakes. It’s about personal responsibility.
I am not a legal scholar and this is really more about principles, but my question was this, was it proper or ethical for a sitting public official to have accepted the replacement money from the public while in office? Should he have owned his mistake, learned from it and moved on? Should Councilman Strawser have allowed others to petition the community for those funds or should he have put a stop to that public plea for his rescue? This is the question I yet ponder. Why accept such special treatment when it might compromise one’s governmental ethics?
I understand that small towns sometimes make up their own rules and favoritism is part of the mix. However, I still struggle with the answer and having also noted some handsome donations to Duane’s political campaign, I decided to level the playing field a bit by supporting Heidi Hall’s campaign with a like donation of my own. It just seemed more fair. And more sporting.