To the Editor
September 18, 2012
Leftover campaign funds
Focus on the real issues
Considering the issues of extraordinary consequence facing our state in the upcoming elections, the use of leftover political campaign funds from previous elections is insignificant.
First, these are leftover political campaign funds, not public funds, and second, the use of these funds has been reported to the Public Disclosure Commission as required by law.
Legislators are provided a small allowance for legislative expenses in addition to their part-time annual wage of $43,000. This reimbursement covers cellphone bills, mileage, coffee, conference fees and other like legislative-related expenses. After serving more than a decade in the Legislature, I can assure you that reimbursement allowance doesn’t begin to cover the full expense of meeting the actual costs of delivering on constituent expectations of serving them.
The Office of the Chief Clerk is the administrative arm of the House that oversees these allowances. Consistently, over the past decade the Chief Clerk’s office has actively encouraged legislators to use surplus campaign funds to pay for any expenses that had not been specified or prohibited, not applied to the allowance previously or after the allowance had been fully expended.
Being a full-service legislator requires a lot of phone time, driving around and coffee listening to people. So, is it really the burning issue of legislative integrity if I stop by the store to pick up a carton of milk and box of cereal on the way home? Or have a major tuneup of my car after two years … really?
My public record on holding the Legislature accountable to higher standard of integrity and performance speaks for itself and I have the scars to prove it. It is small-minded issues such as this that organized special-interest groups depend on to distract the public while they drain the public treasury. Let’s focus on something that actually matters.
State representative, 5th Legislative District
No guns in residential neighborhoods
I would just like to add one more voice to those who protest the permit for the sale of firearms from a residential home.
Whether legal or not, common sense and a concern for our residential neighborhoods tell us it is a bad idea. For this kind of business, only a retail store is appropriate.
I ask the council to deny this permit for a home business and to require this business be conducted in a properly zoned retail setting.