OUR VIEW: Campaign funding ought to be publicMitchell voters soon will decide this city’s next mayor, and many may wonder exactly how much money is being pumped into each candidate’s campaign this spring.
By: Editorial board, The Daily Republic
Mitchell voters soon will decide this city’s next mayor, and many may wonder exactly how much money is being pumped into each candidate’s campaign this spring.
Why does it matter? Because when daily decisions are made, programs are initiated and campaign promises are fulfilled, the residents of this city deserve to know what, if anything, is behind it all. At present, Mitchell does not require campaign-finance reporting for candidates for mayor and City Council. We have opined before that it’s high time to change the process, but to no avail. Do we claim that inappropriate behavior has been happening at the top level of city government? Absolutely not.
Yet the truth is that we do not know, either.
Opponents of campaign-finance reporting say it’s a non-issue. There have been no claims of inappropriateness, so why make the change?
Also, opponents claim campaign-finance reporting only creates more paperwork for candidates.
Neither is a very good argument. Even though nobody has claimed inappropriate behavior, it doesn’t mean it can’t happen in the future. And as far as paperwork is concerned, we don’t see it as a process that would take more than a few minutes of time — certainly less than an hour overall. That’s hardly exhausting.
When decisions are made on our behalf, Mitchell residents deserve to know that outside influences haven’t played a part. Campaign-finance reporting ensures that the people know everything. That’s the way it should be. We aren’t the only ones who feel this way. The planning group Focus 2020 made the same suggestion a couple of years ago, but to no avail. Why discuss it now? Because the best time to institute change — or at least discuss it — is between administrations. That time is now. Let’s at least consider it.