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The current and ex-council members who want Pat silenced have accepted money from special interests and do not want to hear publicly that there could be a CONFLICT OF INTEREST for them to vote on certain issues that come before the council. For example, when a developer proposes to build an apartment complex that squeezes too many units into a small space, he naturally hopes to find friends on the council that will vote to accept his plans.

When situations like this come up, Pat asks those council members who accepted money from the developer to abstain from the vote. A council member who has accepted money from the developer is probably uncomfortable voting, but usually does so anyway.

The constant reminders to do what is right from Pat seem to be more than some of the council members can bear. Hence, they censure and now attempt to recall Pat. They claim that he is disruptive and cannot be tolerated.

Council members are not being accused of any crimes here because it is possible to cast an unbiased vote in these cases. But concerned citizens observing the process have every right to be suspicious of council members who will not admit to the appearance of conflict of interest. Many citizens have disdain for these obvious potentials for conflict of interest. Council members could remove the suspicion by simply abstaining from the vote. And better yet, they should refuse to accept special interest money in the first place.

Honorable council members with no wrong-doing on their consciences would allow Patís comments to be heard publicly without complaining.

Since Pat is almost alone in his effort, it is easy for other council members to gang up on him.

 

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Some impacts of special interest $$ are presented by Steve Hoffman

click here

Special interest $$ is the same as a personal gift since it allows the candidate to put fewer personal funds into the race. As a result, candidates who do not accept special interest $$ become poorer than ones who do.

 

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The table below shows the extent that special interests have permeated our city council. Special interests include developers and contractors that do business with the city, six city employee unions, and political action committees (PAC), among others.

The figures in the table below are AT LEAST, meaning that the numbers may be larger since these data are incomplete. Hopefully the data will be updated here in the future.The source of the data is specialinterestwatch.org

Furthermore, these figures do not even include non-monetary contributions such as: salaries and supplies for volunteers, mailers, phone banks, etc.

If you don't think that special interest money helps members win their seats, then think again. Advertisers achieve brand name recognition by repeating ads often. It is very effective in generating sales. In the same way, a candidate who can afford to bombard our mailboxes with ads will generate more votes than their opponents who cannot afford it.

It probably costs about $3,500 for a candidate to send 10,000 postage-paid mailers. And multiple waves of mailers can quickly drain the personal checkbook. This is only one of the ways that motivated special interests can help a candidate win.

 

 

Special Interest Money


 

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This is how a sick government works:

 

 

Diagram 1

 

 

Diagram 2