Eureka City Council candidate Mike Newman didn't respond to Journal freelancer John Osborn's questions regarding campaign finance in time for this week's story -- apparently there was some miscommunication about deadline -- but respond he did. His answers, along with Osborn's questions, are below.
1. How much money do you plan on raising in this election?
My support is organic. I'm not running around with my hand-out. I'm asking the community for support & the response comes in the forms of handshakes & nods and, sometimes, checks in the mail.
2. What is your reaction to amount of money your opponent has raised so far?
I haven't really looked at this process as adversarial. I'm running my own race. I'm just trying to offer the community an opportunity to try a fresh approach to these problems that are currently plaguing us and work to improve our situation, collectively, going forward.
3. In the context of the campaign finance ordinance approved by the city, what kind of indicator does this race show, money-wise, about what to expect when the new restrictions take hold in 2011.
I do not know that this campaign is an indicator of the future; I think it is more of a snapshot of the pressing needs of the community in these hard economic times. People want good paying jobs; they want to be safe in their community and want blighted land cleaned up and put to use. These issues have come to a head and there is strong support for myself who supports addressing those issues now. The next election cycle may not be as contested and may result in different funding levels.
True support should be reflected at the polls & it's my hope that money isn't the primary factor in the elections process. I've walked Eureka and spoken to Eureka Residents & business people about their hopes for this election. I like making the connection one-on-one & giving Eurekans a voice.
4. Even with a personal pledge to only accept donations of $500 max, you still managed to raise almost four-times the amount of money compared to Ron. If a self-imposed campaign contribution cap was meant to limit the money in the race, why is it that you accepted so much cash?
I think I'd have to begin my answer by questioning your premise AND wording; I'm a little confused by the question. I have kept my personal pledge to not accept donations over $500 but I do not believe I ever did pledge to accept $500 in total and then stop accepting donations as your question would imply, nor did I pledge to make my maximum donation to be capped at $500....look at the video interview with Charles Douglas. As far as I know, my opponents have not made any publicized pledge to only accept donations of $500 max or to limit their total donations.
I believe the ordinance was meant to keep one or two major donors from buying the election with major thousands of dollar donations as we have seen in the past.
Would you & I be having this exchange IF I had received the least amount of money? As I said before, I haven't set my sights on raising cash. I entered the race, I'm playing by the same rules as everyone else and I'm connecting with the citizens & business-persons of Eureka . When the polls open on Election Day & votes are cast, Should we question the motives & the voice of the electorate? Should the ultimate winner, whomever that might be, return the votes they've received because someone feels that they've received too many votes? Aren't community donations to candidates representative of THE COMMUNITY'S VOICE in this contest? How do you run for office, on the basis of improving the process, and accept support from some of the community, while denying others their voice? Some people have given $25 to my campaign, some $50 & some $500...which should I return & on what basis?