Our second-to-last campaign finance reports before election day are up. In the interest of transparency, I feel the need to share this with you all.
I am proudly supported by my friends, my family, and our neighbors, as well as labor unions, environmental organizations, and community advocacy groups with large bases in Ward 4 and Aurora as a whole. I am beholden to you, not out-of-state developers who see our city as their playground, not oil and gas companies intent on extracting our natural resources while poisoning us with the externalities they generate, and not front groups for property management companies that believe they’re entitled to increasingly out sized portions of our income for simply having a roof over our heads.
To borrow a phrase from a friend of mine, I believe that all money comes with strings, and that is why I am committed to passing comprehensive campaign finance, ethics, electoral, and lobbying reforms should I be elected. It appears that those special interests have gotten wind of that commitment and are not happy with being brought out into the daylight. Here’s a snapshot from our latest filings.
I am running to put an end to elections resembling auctions more and more each cycle in Aurora. We can tax dark money expenditures as a means to fund publicly financed elections, put limits on contributions from individuals using our state-level races as a starting point, ban corporate contributions entirely, and update our campaign finance system at the city so that it is searchable, filterable, and easy to use for our residents.
$312,564 is no small expenditure – it is nearly triple the dark money spent in Aurora’s 2017 elections. Letting dark money drive our elections is why Ward IV residents are dealing with heavy traffic brought on by unplanned speculative development to the east and south-east, wasting time and fuel at antiquated manually timed stoplights, and why our city is dealing with a $20 million per year deficit in road maintenance. It is why we don’t have enough fire stations to adequately cover our city as we continue to annex and sprawl so these special interests can get the return on investment they expect from their contributions. It is why we overuse tax increment financing and starve our city and our county of revenue needed to keep our infrastructure up to date and prepare for growth in a way that makes financial and environmental sense. It is why we are losing first responders to other jurisdictions that can afford to pay them more and provide them with better benefits and pensions.
I strongly encourage you to take a look at our current campaign finance portal and see where people being supported by dark money are raising the rest of their cash from and compare that to the others. You can find the city’s campaign finance portal here. You can also find the filings for this election cycle here.
Aurorans deserve the best city council they can elect, not the best city council money can buy.