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Archive for Saturday, March 23, 2013

Letter: PAC influence

March 23, 2013

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To the editor:

Lawrence recently witnessed the birth of a new political action committee, funded largely by the construction and development industry. 

Major PAC donors include the million-dollar architect of Rock Chalk Park fame and the company that is digging a sand quarry near Eudora’s drinking water source. The emergence of this PAC begs a troubling question: Can seats on the City Commission be bought? Let’s hope not. 

I am afraid that this PAC doesn’t have the interests of taxpayers, working families or neighborhoods at heart. I think this PAC is more interested in pursuing taxpayer-incentivized sprawl, to make a profit. 

It’s very disheartening to see such undue influence arise in the last weeks of the campaign. Are Lawrence voters smart enough to follow the money, and recognize that the integrity of our election may be at stake? Will any of these candidates have the courage to publicly reject this PAC money and all it represents? Time will tell, I guess. 

If money alone rules on Election Day, regular folks may find it increasingly difficult to get their voices heard at City Hall. 

Please vote, and vote wisely, on April 2. 

Comments

jayhawklawrence 1 year ago

Personally, I always liked the idea of an accountant looking at our books and Chestnut is an accountant.

I like the idea of a person with Jeremy Farmer's background and his stated goals for transparency and communication as well as a demonstrated life in public service. So what is he in trouble for, being too transparent?

So these 3 guys are bad news because they united together and somebody with a concrete company donated $5,000?

Some of the comments on here are not helpful in evaluating the candidates. The anti-PAC crusade is a little over the top for me.

This kind of negative feedback may be good politics but it is turning me off. I want to hear more about the qualifications of the candidates and what they have done in their lives. I want to know if they have actual talent to make our city better or if their only talent is spending other people's money. There are a lot of very expensive projects looming in our horizon and I don't want amateur hour at city hall when big decisions have to be made.

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Jason Johnson 1 year ago

Next election cycle I am going to put myself on the ballot with the sole platform that I am going to vote "no" against anything that smells of profiting private companies that don't do anything for the greater good for the community.

For that matter, I'm going to go through existing code and try to get crap removed.

Fireworks will be allowed again (unless we're under a no-burn order due to drought) under my rule. :)

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toe 1 year ago

Money is good in any race. If a position can be bought, then the voters agreed to it. After all, money is not stuffed in the ballot box. If voters like to be informed by big money and want to be influenced by it, more power to them.

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ignati5 1 year, 1 month ago

No, it doesnt stand for "laissez faire" at all ; that would imply a level playing field. A better mot juste might be "fait accompli": you promote a majority of commissioners beholden to the Chamber, you get what you paid for. Tant pis aux citoyens!

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 1 month ago

More " laissez faire" is what I presume Lawrence United stands for....... no matter the rhetoric.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 1 month ago

Thanks to the concerned citizen for writing the letter....... damn good job!

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Phil Minkin 1 year, 1 month ago

For a great letter that had nothing to do with recycling, there are a lot of personal agendas being put forth.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 1 month ago

The construction industry is busy doing everything possible to circumvent the city growth guidelines known as Horizon 2020. Laissez faire attitudes in local government defy Horizon 2020 as only a guideline. As a result our city planning document should be an ordinance with teeth in it to protect the taxpayers.

March 25,2013 item TA-12-00206 will come before the planning commission: Consider Text Amendments to the City of Lawrence Land Development Code, Chapter 20, various articles, to change the requirement that development projects be required to comply with Horizon 2020. Initiated by City Commission

The construction industry prefers the laissez faire approach meaning zero guidelines. But there is one consequence that usually goes unmentioned - laissez faire attitudes at city hall/city commission and the construction industry is draining our pocketbooks and raising our taxes. Has anyone noticed?

The Laissez Faire growth approach is the result of over three decades of subsidies paid for by the local taxpayer. These range from the obvious such as a wide variety of tax abatements to the obscure such as the "secret sales tax" that which is scattered about this fine city.

Our city planning document should include a provision mandating the citizens right to vote on all new development and big spending projects. The cost of a vote would be millions upon millions of tax dollars saved vs. a few thousand dollars for the opportunity to help manage our tax dollar liabilities. Laissez Faire is too damn expensive.

Be Smart Don't Support the Corrupt Spending of this Lawrence United PAC.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 1 month ago

This PAC can spend as much as they like. And they will drown the city in lies and misinformation.

They do not contribute directly to a candidate nor do they necessarily consult a candidate. This PAC is a LOOPHOLE to bypass the regulations of the campaign finance laws.

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oneeye_wilbur 1 year, 1 month ago

Farmer, riordan, Amyx, chestnut, they are all the same and they too shall join the ranks of the has beens , with Erv hodges, Marty Kennedy, Jim Henry, nancy shots, arci fracisco, Boog , fred pence, jack rose, nalbandian and the others long forgotten.

It makes no difference in this election because thus far not one has come up with anything new or original.

Status quo continues .

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Bob Forer 1 year, 1 month ago

So Laura, based on your letter, I hope you have come to your senses and are withdrawing your endorsement of Jeremy Farmer.

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ThePilgrim 1 year, 1 month ago

I don't think that the current City Council has the interests of taxpayers, working families or neighborhoods "at heart" either. Certainly not taxpayers.

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Katara 1 year, 1 month ago

Ms. Routh, were you aware that Leslie Soden has accepted campaign contributions from folks that you believe don't have the best interests of Lawrence in their hearts?

Why aren't you taking her to task for doing so?

Aron Cromwell voted for Rock Chalk Park and he donated $100 to Ms. Soden according to her report. She also received money from Judy Paley who is married to downtown landlord, George Paley.

If you want us to follow the money, and I have no objection in doing so, perhaps you should pay attention to whose your contributions are being mixed in

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deltaman 1 year, 1 month ago

Yes all three are essential services, but there are private firms that offer trash collection services, and does it more efficiently than the City.

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oneeye_wilbur 1 year, 1 month ago

And to Ms Routh, the seats have always been bought. Where have you been? You advocated for recycling, well guess what the commissioners played you for a pawn and you think you were responsible for recycling.....think again.

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oneeye_wilbur 1 year, 1 month ago

We have no choice for water, sewer, trash, but we do have a choice for recycling. I don't give a diddly darn if anyone agrees with me, I really don't but one day many will wake up and realize Lawrence is not utopia. I saw a trash service along with recycling choices in another go ta tas up with the choices Lawrence is now doing.

The tipping fee will continue to rise even with recycling. You think different? Get Corliss to put it in writing.

Recycling is not an essential business and this new fee and "service" won't generate that much revenue for the city except for the fees, even Chad, who does not live in Lawrence has not provided the exact dollar amount the city will get in fee revenue!

Denning vs City of Elkhart

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deltaman 1 year, 1 month ago

PAC's cannot contribute any more to a candidate than anyone else, so to say they have been bought is disingenuous. And Oneeye, I doubt we agree on much, but I certainly agree with you on the recycling debate. The City shouldn't be in the trash business.

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oneeye_wilbur 1 year, 1 month ago

Ms Routh, thanks to you and yours we are stuck with another fee...yes for recycling....

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