(This was published in today's Hamilton Spectator as a letter to the editor)
Re: Di Ianni opposes donation limits (Aug. 23)
With the campaign financing controversy that continues to swirl around this municipal election cycle, I'm very happy to see such excellent reporting in our city newspaper.
Reporter Nicole MacIntyre writes, "[Mayor Larry] Di Ianni said the idea of declaring a conflict is based on the concept politicians are swayed by donations and not by public policy, a premise he doesn't agree with."
Di Ianni is attacking a straw man here. The issue is not that donations will "sway" councillors but rather that candidates who already advocate for business interests receive more money, giving them an unfair advantage.
With the extra money, they can run slicker, more comprehensive campaigns with better media coverage, improving their electoral odds.
Until we remove corporate money from local politics, it will continue to trump public policy as the deciding factor in our municipal elections.
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