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Do we need campaign finance reform?

Those of you with a long view will remember that until about 2005, it was unusual for a candidate to spend more than a few thousand dollars, typically for yard signs and a mailer. However, a new group of candidates emerged to regularly run campaigns costing tens of thousands. Much of the new funding came from Mercer Crossing landowners. We've pulled together statistics on these contributions.

There are problems with this. The most obvious is the appearance, without other evidence, of impropriety. Also, the sheer magnitude of spending makes it impossible for an ordinary "joe" or "jane" to run unless they find their own deep pocket financial sponsor(s). We much prefer a shoe leather campaign rather than the one typified by multiple, slick mailers produced by professionals.

Farmers Branch has city wide voter turnout of only 3,500 or less. We've never see more than 1,000 votes cast in a single district. Why should one spend $20,000 to get a fraction of 1,000 votes? And we're disenfranchising those candidates who have no chance to raise large amounts of money.

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