Friday, October 08, 2004

Small Town, Big Bucks

From a story by Scott Mobley of the (Redding) Record Searchlight (free registration required):

"Four candidates vying for two seats on the Shasta County Board of Supervisors have raised $275,807 in cash donations, in-kind contributions and loans through Sept. 30, campaign disclosure statements show.

And four candidates for two open Redding City Council seats have fetched a record $95,950.

All told, the combined $371,757 in contributions to these eight candidates would treat every man, woman and child in Shasta County to a $10 meal every day for seven months. "

Campaigns in Shasta County are subject to $1,000 limits, a sum which allows wealthy interests to dominate the process even at the national level, much less the city and county level.

Developers, lawyers, and bankers have accounted for the majority of the contributions. Redding looks like a classic example of a tiny group of people with an economic stake in the decisions of government using their wealth to dominate the process by which a community's decision-makers get chosen.

Not democracy.

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