We know who will be on our ballots in November. Congratulations to all of our citizens who have decided to run for office and try to serve our community in this very special way. One difference in the Chapel Hill elections is that we are engaged in a state experiment with voter owned elections whereby candidates receive tax dollars to finance most of their campaign costs. One argument for this plan is that removing the barrier of money, candidates who might not run for office would now do so.
We have one mayoral candidate of the four participating and one of the eight Council candidates participating. The mayoral candidate participating was a vigorous supported of the plan. One not participating is a Council member who was a vigorous opponent. Nothing surprising there. But on the Town Council ballot the only participant is a second time challenger who finished 6th in 2007. What is puzzling to some is that the three incumbents on the ballot who voted for taxpayer funded elections (let’s call it what it is!) are not participating. Why is that?
I still think we are trying to fix a problem that doesn’t really exist. Money to win a seat is not the problem; time to serve is the challenge. There is no evidence that campaign spending is corrupting our elections. And I do favor publically funding those judicial elections; they give me a choice on giving my money or not. Choices matter and that’s what elections are and should beall about.