Friday, March 05, 2004

$10 Contribution Doesn't Go Too Far Compared to Out of District Fat Cats
All Modesto and Beatrice Huriega live in Bexar County Texas. They wanted to get a "No Parking" sign put up on their street, but for years couldn't get anyone in government to pay attention. So, according to this story in the San Antonio Express News, they decide to give a $10 campaign contribution to a local politician.

Sounds like it didn't do much good, mostly because the politicians were raising most of their money from people who don't even live in Bexar County. According to the Express News:

"Their $10 is a pittance compared with the multithousand-dollar contributions being pumped into the race for Precinct 1 county commissioner, and the three Democratic hopefuls seeking to represent the Huriegas are raising more money outside the South Side precinct than in it. A lot more."

Turns out that ninety percent of the funds candidates had raised in this race had come from sources outside that precinct. Some money came from as far away as California and Georgia. What do donors their care about races in Bexar County Texas? Well, they do business with the county. Helping elect politicians who like them helps ensure that they'll keep getting county contracts.

"It's legal, but only because we haven't made it illegal," says University of Texas professor Heywood Sanders.

Wonder what they're waiting for.

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