Thursday, October 10, 2013

Nenshi Budgets a Massive Increase in Campaign Spending

On Naheed Nenshi's campaign website he states he will:

  • limit campaign expenditures to $0.65 per resident;
When put that way it sounds like a low amount. I thought I would check how it compared to his 2010 election spending.

In 2010 his expenditures were $404,229. (pdf document) and the population then was 1,071,515. This equates to $ 0.37 per resident.

Our current population is 1,149,552. This means Nenshi's campaign has budgetted to spend up to $747,208 on his 2013 campaign.

That's an increase of $ 342,979 or nearly 85% !!  Let that sink in....85%

In 2010 he was in a huge battle and clearly considered an underdog. Now, in 2013, he doesn't even have any real competition yet is planning on such a massive jump.

Why spend so much more money when there is clearly no need to? Did they budget so high simply because they had the money and could? How much of this attitude and spending perspective will come into play when he is budgetting our (taxpayers) money?


Disclaimer:

Percentage was calculated using  this math; if that stresses you can use this online calculator. Numbers may vary when calculated in NenshiMath. Sadly I haven't been granted access to the magical purple calculator.




Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Candidates Vilified for Following the Law

Today I received an email from Calgary Ward 4, incumbent candidate, Gael MacLeod. This is how it starts:

  • Election Day is Only 12 Days Away - We Need Your Help Today‏
    Dear Jane,
    Election Day is only 12 days away and we still need your help! Gael MacLeod is facing a well-funded candidate who will not release his donor list or show up at Ward 4 forums. Gael has also been designated a target of the Manning Centre, who are putting alot of resources into unseating her. Don't let them get away with it - help us send Gael back to City Council. 

    Gael is clearly attacking Sean Chu, as he is her only real competition. Sean placed a very strong second last time. With fewer candidates this time (5 vs 11 in 2010) and Sean being the only one representing sound fiscal management, he stands a decent chance of unseating her.

    It 
    has been proven time and time again, well-funded campaigns are not a guarantee to winning elections. It's the candidate, their actions and their ability to connect and resonate with the electorate that will bring success. And if someone hasn't released their donors how can one make the claim they are "well-funded"?

    I for one, am getting tired of hearing this public shaming of candidates who are not releasing donor lists. There is no such requirement at this time. They are following the law. Period. 

    Laws I might add that were influenced and passed  by the current "elected" officials. If you don't like them, see to it that they are changed.  Civic politicians like Naheed Nenshi and Gael MacLeod, will say "We tried, but it's Provincial jurisdiction, we can't do anything about it".  Well then obviously your opinion and position on the matter wasn't strong enough or relevant to them - so why impose it on others? This constant badgering of the other candidate comes off sounding whiny and very petty. You want respect then raise above these childish temper tantrums.

    One of the problems with releasing donors early is that it puts individuals privacy at risk. I've seen cases where addresses have been inadvertently posted online.  We also have groups like Civic Camp under the guise of being "non-partisan" pressuring people to release donor information. On their affiliate website you can, in some cases, even seen the names of donors who gave under $100.00.  Under the law their information is protected and never publicized. They have a disclaimer that this is how the candidates are displaying them as well. I wonder do those people know their privacy has been breached? Did they sign something to agree to their name being made public?

    As for the Manning Centre I fail to see how Gael feels threatened by them. They are a think-tank. They conduct studies. They hold lectures and training sessions. And yes, they are very politically focused. Did Sean Chu attend any Manning functions or training? I don't know, I do know when I spoke to him about a month or so ago, he hadn't. Besides it's open to the public; anyone, including Gael can take advantage of their resources.

    In my mind it is continuing education. Something I support and I know Gael does too. As evidenced by her spending while in office.

    The recent disclosure shows three aldermen expensed more than $10,000 between Jan. 1 and June 30.  Ward 4 Ald. Gael MacLeod topped the list with $11,046 in expenses, $4,905 of which was spent on website and communications training sessions for her two ward assistants.

    To me it is very hypocritical for an elected official to on one hand support spending taxpayers money on education and then turn around and point a finger at someone who "might have" sought out further education on his own time, with his own money!!!


    How did I even get this email?

    We moved out of Ward 4 nearly six months ago. I didn't sign up or subscribe to any Calgary candidates email lists. I replied to the email from Gael asking how they got my address. I got a very prompt reply from Pam Krause, Campaign Manager.

    Pam wrote: I believe it was from when you were a candidate in the 2010 election. 

    I replied with: I didn't use this email during the last campaign. Please confirm for me how I got added to your distribution list.

    Pams response: I am sorry - I don't actually know that. I am a volunteer on Gael's campaign. 


    What kind of records are they keeping if they can't tell when or how I was added to the list?  Even a bare-bones campaign will use an Excel spreadsheet and retain such information. And really Pam, you may be volunteering, but you have the top level position - it's your business to know these things.

    Since Gael was elected I have corresponded with her using this email address (the address this email came to). There were a few emails on personal matters that I sent to her at the Aldermanic office and later there were group emails involving the Highland Park Community Association which I was a member of at the time.

    Gael knows I moved, she acknowledge that on Twitter just a few weeks ago and she knows I'm supporting Sean, so it is highly unlikely she would purposely add me to her campaign distribution list. This leads me to believe other lists were imported into her database. Either a list of people she has had contact with via her role as an Alderman or lists of active Community Association members.

    If it is the former, then she has abused information gathered as an Alderman; if it is the latter, then she has misused information that was to be strictly used for Aldermanic, non-political work with communities. If either of these are indeed what happened, they are very disappointing actions for an elected official.