Some readers of this newspaper question why we publish an analysis of county-level campaign finance reports. On the surface, they seem to be filled with minute details of no real interest.
But remember, those in elected offices are charged with representing the best interests of the citizens of our community and county. They make decisions about road and drainage projects, and operations of agencies that provide services to the public. They oversee the collection and spending of tax dollars.
Campaign spending reports explain how the candidates raised money to run for office, and how they spent it. Publishing the information provides insights into who supports the candidate– from within the community, and from the outside.
For example, if candidates receive large donations from outside the community, could they be indebted to special interest groups? Did people you know and respect donate to the campaigns?
How did the candidates choose to spend their money? Did they work with local firms for campaign materials, or go with an out-of-state, Internet-based supplier? Did they advertise in local media; and if so, how much did they spend and with whom?
There is a wealth of information available in campaign finance reports. It’s information that citizens, voters and taxpayers like you have a right to know.