Tuesday, September 3, 2013

St. Pete Politics Outside Money - How can You Dilute It?

Outside campaign support is becoming a big issue in the St. Pete Mayors Race. With a lot of out of town donors and the State Democratic Party pouring money and support into Rick Kriseman's primary campaign, Bill Foster has cried foul in a major e-mail blast.
Over the Labor Day weekend, State Senator Jack Latvala, growing concerned about the possibility of  that all of the I-4 major Cities have Democratic Mayors and a growing number of the larger Florida Cities being lead by Democrats, called for the Republican State Party to jump into the St. Pete Mayor's race and support Bill Foster.
Major issue is the upcoming Governors race where the Democrats would like to have a firm state wide political foundation to move their candidate, likely Charlie Crist, in to the Governor's Mansion, and make some serious gains in the Legislature.
Will the State or Pinellas County Republican hierarchy come in and support Fosters' campaign to any significant degree? Hard to tell. Foster is doing very well in the fund raising arena without their help so they could just set this one out. But politically they may be forced to step in.
As the St. Petersburg mayoral election, conceived by the Charter as non partisan office, becomes ever more partisan what can you as a citizen do to offset the influence of all of this outside money?
The answer is really pretty simple - just donate to the candidate of your choice. It does not need to be a lot, $1, $5, $10 or more, no matter the amount your name goes on the candidates' donors list.
If only the big players play, then those are the only names the candidates see, but if a lot of us donate, the candidates see a lot of names that support them.
Now I am not naive enough to think that the guys who write the big checks may not get a little more attention, but I will tell you that I have had more than one candidate tell me that when things are going really good or really bad, they often go off into a private place pull up the donors list, usually without the amounts, and just read it.
Almost all say it gives them the strength and the courage to keep going. Dollars rarely inspire those who truly desire public service, but people do. So your contribution, no matter the amount,  is more than just yard signs or mailers; it counts with the candidate.
In the St. Petersburg Mayoral race and all of the District Council Races the candidates have a web site with a donate button. It uses your credit card and  is quick, simple and safe.
Sometime in the next  six weeks or so your candidate will be looking through his/her donors list and see your name. It could be just what they need to keep them going, because even local politics is tough game.
e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.

Campaign Disclosures: Contributor to Kathleen Ford Campaign, Darden Rice Campaign, Concern Citizens of St. Petersburg, Rick Kriseman for Mayor

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