Alright, this issue needs to be cleared up once and for all.
There are people in town trying to rewrite history about contributions to city council members – or just don’t know what they are talking about. Part of the reason we are in this whole mess with the Longmont Fair Campaign Practices Act (LFCPA) and the Election Committee (EC) all comes down to a $5,000 contribution to Gabe Santos from the Longmont Association of Realtors. But here’s what the people who keep mentioning this either have conveniently forgotten or don’t want you to know:
During the 2007 election cycle, Karen Benker, Sean McCoy, Brian Hansen, and Sarah Levison received a combined $4,800 from the Fraternal Order of Police and the Longmont Police Officers Association. As some people may remember, I supported the police/firefighters in their first attempt to collectively bargain, but it lost at the ballot and we had to live with the results. I gave each side of this issue a fair shake for the 2008 election, which the voters passed on the second attempt.
But here’s the rub: Gabe Santos never proposed or voted for anything that would favor the Longmont Association of Realtors. The same can not be said for the former “Bloc of 4″ when it came to the matter of placing the police/firefighter question on the ballot. Without council’s support and the votes of these 4 council members, they would have had to go through the petition process. People can argue whether this was ethical or not – but the same people who keep mentioning money buying politicians and how they vote, including recent comments by Brian Hansen, need to remember this situation. Using their logic, police/firefighter organization money bought the votes of Benker, Hansen, McCoy, and Levison. Can’t have it both ways.
I personally don’t have a big issue with individuals or organizations lobbying their elected representatives. But I do prefer those representatives to show a little independence, and they should at least make an attempt to not appear they were bought by certain contributors. Gabe Santos has passed that test, but by the very definition of the former Bloc’s supporters, they have not.
…or is this one of those double standards again?