Election Opinion South Orange

Sheena Collum Statement on PAC Money and Campaign Financing

From South Orange Village President Sheena Collum, who is running for re-election (election day is May 14, 2019):

Neighbors – the campaign is getting some inquiries about donations and paid positions so I thought it might be helpful if I clarify a couple things.

1) This campaign is not accepting money or donations from developers or their agents doing business in our town (i.e. attorneys who represent them or their hired consultants assisting them in trying to advance multi-million dollar projects, etc.). For my first VP race, we returned many checks because I was uncomfortable. There was nothing illegal with accepting that generosity, it just didn’t pass my personal “sniff test”. While support is always appreciated, I’m not naive in the fact that strings are always attached. A $1,000 check helps a local campaign a lot but it’s not worth it, it really isn’t.

2) This campaign is not accepting money from Political Action Committees as I believe there needs to be transparency in where money comes from. For us, that information will be available through ELEC filings from my campaign. PACs are used to hide money – where it comes from and where it’s being expended. If a special interest group wants to expend money – share what that objective is with the public. There’s nothing wrong with coalescing with others who share your objective and working towards creating a governing body that may support whatever that objective is – just be open about it – don’t operate in the shadows.

3) This campaign is not accepting money from those seeking professional service contracts from the Village. This is consistent with our very aggressive Pay to Play ordinance. This also means you can’t ask someone else to donate on your behalf with a “wink”. If you do this, you will banned for one year from submitting any responses to RFPs and RFQs for professional services in town. Not worth it for me or you.

4) This campaign is 100% volunteer. We’re not paying people to come in and knock on doors or make phone calls, etc. We’re also not hiring paid consultants. If we can’t galvanize enough support from the community itself for my candidacy – that’s probably the bigger issue.

General rule of thumb – are you a family member, friend, community member, colleague? Your support, in any form, is welcome!

Hope this post helps. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out.

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