Political Corruption in Orange County
In May 2003, the Orange County Board of Supervisors took full advantage of a clause in the county's campaign contribution limit ordinance by voting to increase the individual contribution limit from $1000 to $1400. This amounts to a 40% increase, and is a slap in the face to the voters who enacted this ordinance by an almost 6 to 1 majority in 1992.
But worse yet, it's the most blatant example of a conflict-of-interest, when a group of elected officials can decide to put special interest money in their own pockets and then use that same money to further their own political careers. Meanwhile, the public gets shortchanged, because these same elected officials are now even more indebted to their special interest benefactors.
Clearly, when someone gives you big bucks for your political campaign, it's not because they like your looks---IT'S BECAUSE THEY WANT SOMETHING IN RETURN. Major campaign contributions typically come from big businesses or corporations (and/or their political action committees or PACs) who either presently have or are about to bid on a contract with the governmental body run by these same elected officials.
In turn, campaign contributions pay for fancy, expensive, and largely untruthful political mailers which, unfortunately in many cases, is what the voter relies upon when he or she goes to the polls. Thus, a relatively small number of powerful, moneyed special interests can exert a disproportionate influence on elections, to the detriment of the public interest.
Orange County is by no means the only corrupt governmental entity, however. Both state and national politics are awash with special interest money. Dirty money, laundered money, you name it. With few notable exceptions, elected officials at all levels of government are more concerned with fundraising than they are with representing the people.
Isn't it time we get special interest money out of politics? Isn't it time we elect honest and competent individuals to represent us? Isn't it time we have someone on the Orange County Board of Supervisors we can trust?
Former Laguna Niguel City Councilman
Candidate for Orange County Board of Supervisors (5th District)
"A Voice --- Not an Echo"