Monday, October 20, 2008

Questions That Need Answers

Contributors to this blog questioned some news stories in a recent edition of the Raytown Post regarding the proposed 2008/2009 budget. Sorry it took so long to get back to this (I had originally promised to have it posted by last Wednesday), but it was difficult to get some definitive answers to some of my questions. Here is what I have found: FITNESS CLUB MEMBERSHIP FOR POLICE: The police department has pulled the request for $30,000 for fitness club memberships for police officers from the city’s budget. Whatever the reason, it will not happen this budget year. I also found out that police personnel have been paid overtime for approximately the past two years to train in certain police techniques. Officers were allowed up to three hours at time and one-half their regular pay per week for the compensation. The Chief of Police, Jim Lynch, tells me that he has discontinued the program for lack of participation and budgetary reasons. One writer asked my views on the program. I cannot speak for the rest of the Board, but I was not aware such a program existed. Indications are that none of the BOA was aware of the three hours of over-time policy per week for training/exercise either. The city funded the purchase of exercise equipment for use by city employees a number of years ago. The equipment is set up in the Raytown Police Department. Sources at City Hall tell me that is mainly used by police personnel, but that other employees use it as well. In my view, there is nothing wrong with providing this opportunity for employees. Many private sector businesses have done so as a means of increasing productivity and the over-all health of employees. However, I do not believe anyone should be paid to exercise. The reward for wise life-style choices is good health. EMS EXERCISE EQUIPMENT: Which brings up another request by the EMS (ambulance service) Department. They have requested $5,000 for exercise equipment at their headquarters located at 67th and Raytown Road. In my view, the purchase of such equipment would be an unnecessary expense and duplication of what is already available for ambulance crews at city hall. The mobile nature of their work is such that they can respond from any location as well as their headquarters. In fact, for a period of about two years, the ambulance service was housed in the police department – at which time they argued that response times were not hindered by the location. Or perhaps a cooperative agreement could be reached with the Raytown Fire District allowing ambulance personnel to exercise at their facility. Cooperative agreements between the Fire District and the City of Raytown are not new. They city dispatches emergency calls for the Fire District’s emergency calls. The firemen and EMS personnel are represented by the same union. It would be a good fit for the two emergency care providers who already have so much in common. $275,000 SET ASIDE FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Speaking of Cooperative Agreements . . . The City Administrator has asked that $275,000 be set aside to create an office of Economic Development. The Board of Aldermen have been told this would be part of a cooperative effort between the Chamber of Commerce, School District and the City of Raytown. I believe the request is ill-timed and of questionable value during a recession. At a recent meeting of the Board of Aldermen, one member opined that what Raytown needs is to hire a really sharp individual, well-versed in economic development, to get things going in Raytown. I am not sure that person exists. Let’s say you have a house to sell, you want the best you can get for your investment. So you hire the very best realtor in the business. He sells the house, but for far less than you expected. Why? Because no matter how good that realtor is, he or she cannot set the market. Retail America is currently in a non-growth period. Read your newspapers and news magazines. Corporate America is not expanding, it is constricting, and doing so at an alarming rate. The recent buyout of America’s investment/banking industry is not a boon to business, but a band aid to keep the economic engine running. The practices that created the sub prime mortgage crisis have yet to be addressed. It is unclear what repercussions of the recent bail-out of corporate America will have on the economy. What is known is that the Midwest, and Kansas City in particular, is caught up in a recession. Patience is what is needed. It will be some time before the economy can grow back to an era of unfettered development. A better plan would be for the city to use that money to repair and update the city’s infrastructure. There are people in our community begging for streetlights and repair of the streets in their neighborhoods. Use that money to jumpstart a program to address the maintenance of our city’s infrastructure. Shine this town up like a new penny and businessmen will take notice. Another question to be answered is how much will the Chamber of Commerce and School District chip in for this program? The Chamber has been divesting itself of community based activity as witnessed by the discontinuation of the Raytown Round-up Days Parade and Event. The Raytown School District, which has been the one local beneficiary of all the building activity at the 350 Highway Walmart, has yet to make a concrete decision whether or not to join in the effort. Those questions should be answered before the City throws over a quarter of million dollars of the taxpayers money into the mix.

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, well. Chief Lynch suddenly withdrew the request. Very interesting. Good job bloggers here.

Andy Whiteman said...

$1/4 MILLION for a city, C of C, and School District Cooperative is ridiculous and STUPID. I agree with Greg that bussineses are in a state of recission which makes this money down the drain. The money should go to repair and enhance our infrastructure.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Thought there wasn't noting too good for your cops and EMS, Andy?

Andy Whiteman said...

Anon 6:55PM, Did I mention cops, EMS or Fire?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

The Kansas City Star is a having a field day with Sarah Palin. They have redefined the term character assassination in their coverage of her.

Talk about a negative press.

I used to think Andy was exagerating when he referred to them as the KC Red Star. Maybe they deserve the nickname.

Their editorial board should be ashamed for what they are doing.

Hasn't changed my plans to show my support for her candidacy.

As for her countepart, Joe Biden, his plan for divding Iraq into three countries sounds like some real deep thinking that belongs in a comic book.

I wonder how he would have handled our own Civil War? Divide the country between north and south?

Anonymous said...

The Star should be more aggressive towards this "airhead" Sarah Palin. What a disgrace to pick such an unqualified person to be on a national ticket. Doesn't say much for what McCain would do in a real crisis. Just listen to Colon Powell's comments. VOTE DEMOCRATIC from the top of the ticket to the bottom!!!!

Anonymous said...

I didn't have much respect for Colin Powell Now I hae NONE

Anonymous said...

I am not surprised the school district does not wanta part of the city's redevelopment plans. They have a reputation for being narrow minded with tunnel vision for only those project that benefit them.

Can't they see that economic development will actually increase the tax dollars they collect?

Andy Whiteman said...

I must admit that the term "KC Red Star" did not originate from me. I borrowed it from Chris Kobach who is a Constitutional Attorney.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

It's only a quarter of a million dollars c'mon! Give City hall a break. Need fitness center membership for Po Po, raise taxes, Need workout equipment for EMS, raise taxes. Need to send some higher up, better than you and me City official to Las Vegas, San Diego, Florida, etc., raise taxes.

Need to give the poor Po Po a big raise every year, so we don't lose a 60-70 thousand dollar a year seat warmer, you know it, RAISE TAXES!!!

Need street light, or a pot hole filled, sorry times are hard...

Anonymous said...

As I have said before, NEVER, NEVER give these IDIOTS any more tax dollars to waste!!! VOTE NO TO ALL FUTURE TAX INCREASES.

Anonymous said...

What is a PO PO?

doc summers said...

some MTV slang for the police officers and a poor attempt at humor...you should be pround of our police officers..we have a good group of guys/galls that work hard..and we are proud to work with them...as always the good doctor
doc summers

Andy Whiteman said...

Will ALL who voted for the school tax increase please step forward and state if they are happy with their tax bill?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I did not vote for the tax increase, I voted against it because of incompetence on the part of the school board and the upper administration officials in how the money has been used/spent in the past. Yes, my personal property taxes are at least $50 higher than last years. And I imagine that the real property taxes are higher as well.

Thanks to those who at least tried to put the district in check by voting against the tax increase.

Anonymous said...

Andy,

After watching last night's meeting it looks like things are hopeless. The majority on that city council believe they are doing a wonderful job.

They think that Walmart is going to save the community when it will actually be the final death blow to any small business they compete with.

A couple of meetings back the city finance director told the City Council that for the next three years the city will have to tap its reserve fund for $300,000 annually to pay for the Walmart development.

That's nearly a million dollars that will not be spent on fixing our neighborhood streets.

The economy is in the crapper and those damned fools are talkng about another sales tax increase.

I don't know who wrote it but they are right. I will not vote for one more penney of tax increases for those people to waste.

Anonymous said...

How about them Chiefs!

Can't win a football game but boy can they show those women who are in charge.

Maybe they should change their name to the Kansas City Thugs!

Pat Casady said...

Do most of our elected officials actually think they are doing a good job?
That proves it! They couldn't make it past the first question on "Are you smarter than
a fifth grader."
I guess they don't drive around town on our wonderful streets or see any of the
vacant buildings.
They don't understand some of their decisions have sent Raytown in a downward spiral.
Now you say they want to be rewarded by asking for more money in yet another tax increase? I wonder if they will need to spend a couple hundred thousand on
a survey to do that.

This bunch could save the taxpayers of Raytown millions if they would have just bought
one of those black balls you shake, ask a question and turn upside down for an
answer. Raytown would have been better off.
This is getting past the point of laughable, it's getting serious and the people of Raytown are going to be asked to bail out these bad decision making, money
wasting, need to be replaced elected officials.
They have had their chance and they still don't get it.
Folks, we are screwed!

Andy Whiteman said...

Anon 10/22, 2008 5:57 AM: No arguement from me. There were 2 Alderpeople who questioned budget items that had no plan. So there are at least 2 on the side of the people plus at least another one who voiced the same opinion but changed when the vote came up.

I don't believe in enableing so a NO vote is in order on any tax increase whether it be sales tax or school district. I guestion, if sales tax goes up, will it hurt raytown businesses? If sales taxes are too high, shopers may go elsewhere.

I wonder how people have received personal tax bills so early? Mine hasn't arrived. I (and many others) don't get real property tax bills because they like to keep it secret.

Anonymous said...

Got my personnel property tax bill. Over 400.00 went to the Disfunctional School District! Can't wait for the real estate taxes to come! It will be a "cold day in Hell" before I vote for ANY tax increase for anyone!

Does anyone notice that our main streets (Raytown Trafficway, 63rd st and others) could use a re stripping before winter comes? I was going home the other night in the rain and you can't tell what lane you are in, plus half the street lights on the Traffic way are out. I know the city is broke (poor money management), (I wonder does the city know what "management" is)? Maybe the city could use there Mastercard or Visa to get the streets striped or have they "maxed" them out too??????

Anonymous said...

Checked my real property tax bill, and it went up 150.00 more towards the C2 School district. Between that and personal property taxes I have about had it. The next time my kids are told that they do not have enough textbooks for everyone I will tell the district that they do not have a good excuse with all the money that they are milking off of us taxpayers. And as for fundraising efforts, dont even get me started. If the district knew how to budget and manage money maybe our kids wouldnt have to go around and beg for extra money for school activities. I know we sure don't have the extra right now, thanks to the Republicans!

Anonymous said...

dam neo-con war machine...as the minister farrahkan said praise to obama the messiah has arrived.....give me a break

Anonymous said...

Nice, intelligent comment there...idiot. Bless yo' heart. Git 'er dun.

Andy Whiteman said...

I finally received my personal property tax bill. The Disfunctional School District gets 72% as opposed to 67% last year. They keep the property tax bills secret and won't send them to those who have a mortgage. I assume it will also be an OUTRAGEOUS 72%! And people wonder why homes in Raytown don't sell. Could it have anythong to do with the taxes? Nobody can afford them!

8:33 PM, now that you mention it, I can't see the stripes on both 63rd and Raytown Rd. This is an accident waiting to happen. We have to remember that the City has no money for street repairs. If someone has an accident, I guess we sue the city for negligence and State Farm company will pay. I wonder if notifing State Farm would cause the underwriters to require action?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Obama wants to share the wealth of his campaign. If the Republicans had the bankroll he has put together for this election the press would be editorializing about how sad it was an election can be bought.

I see he is buying into video games as a way to spread his campaign message. At least he knows who his target audience is.

Anonymous said...

here we go with the name calling again.
I believe it is a intelligent commet.
If you have doubts here is the link.
You can hear it for yourself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ha5HEc-vOJs

Pat Casady said...

I have to tell you guys I can't wait until the elections are over.
Both candidates are spending millions to get the job. It's just
obscene to see spending like that along with the dirty tactics
being used in this economy. Wasting millions of dollars while
normal people are losing their jobs and just trying to keep their
heads above water.
I personally wish there was a box for none of the above.

Anyway, after this is all over in a couple of weeks maybe we can
get back to Raytowns problems. Maybe just maybe some of us
could concentrate on trying to get better qualified people to run for
City Council.
You guys can fight about the national election all you want but deep down you know nothing will change. It doesn't matter if a Republican or a Democrat wins.

Raytown needs elected officials that will watch out for the taxpayers.
People that will put Raytown first not big business.
We need people that will do what is right for all the people not just special friends and groups.
However if you are happy with the streets. Happy with all the vacant
business buildings and happy with the fact that there are more houses for sale in Raytown than most other towns, keep arguing about things you can't change.
It's time to put the gloves on. If we really want a change in
Raytown we all need to work hard to do it. Remember these people haven't won on merit. They win because of their friends and popularity. The general
population out numbers their friends. These are the people we need to work on. But first we need good candidates to run against them.

Andy Whiteman said...

What I heard is McCain and Obama agreed between themselves to accept public funding. McCain is using public funding. Obama lied and is taking donations.

I can't understand anyone who would spend millions to get a job that pays $400,000! My father explained to me that it is not the salary they are after, it is the graft! I don't think either is qualified to be President of this fine country.

If I was to run for city office, my expense would be only the filing fee. The positions pay so little, it would mean financial hardship.

Pat is correct, after the election, we need to focus on Raytown and find intelligent, conservative people who are willing to donate their time to servr the citizens.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Andy, step into the real world. Campaign contributions are, unfortunately, a reality of running for office. To set the record straight, there was no agreement between McCain and Obama about public funding vs. private donations. The only reason that McCain decided to go for public financing was he was so unsure of his ability to raise more than the 84 million that he was guaranteed under the public system. Obama was willing to take the risk to go private and it apparently paid off. You should be thanking Obama because by not taking public funding he has saved all of us taxpayers 84 million dollars that was his for the taking. Again, it was just another poor decision on McCain's part. So I cant' feel sorry for any candidate that makes a decision and then later wants to cry about it because his opponent just happens to be able to raise more money through the private sector.

Andy Whiteman said...

Anon 12:27PM, I hate to inform you that McCain got no public money from me. There is a place on your 1040 that you check YES or NO to donate to the campaign fund. I always check NO so this taxpayer didn't donate to anyone's campaign. Those that are foolish enough to check YES donated to McCain. If Greenspan, who knows how to handle the economy was to run, I might consider a donation.

Actually we need Greenspan to oversee Raytown's budget and economy.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

Anon 12:27PM, I hate to inform you that McCain got no public money from me. There is a place on your 1040 that you check YES or NO to donate to the campaign fund. I always check NO so this taxpayer didn't donate to anyone's campaign. Those that are foolish enough to check YES donated to McCain. If Greenspan, who knows how to handle the economy was to run, I might consider a donation.

Actually we need Greenspan to oversee Raytown's budget and economy.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Namecalling? Hardly. Obama has set records with his fund raising.

That is not name calling.

IF the reverse were true and McCain has raised that kind of money the liberal press would be screaming how unfair it is that someone an buy an election.

An opinion, true. But hardly name calling.

Pat, you are right on target about city hall. We will need a big broom to clean house next April.

Andy Whiteman said...

x

Andy Whiteman said...

What is wrong here? I am trying to delete a duplicate post and the DELETE option is not longer available.

George Scheil said...

Sometime last night thieves stole every Obama sign along 53rd ST. The McCain signs remain. Typical Republican thievery.
But then look at their role models - crap shooter McCain (can we really afford a President who will put the country's future on the throw of the dice), and Palin (Patriots don't pay taxes).

Anonymous said...

There were similar problems on the south side of Raytown last night. Looks like the Republicans are up to their dirty old tricks again. Can't win on their own, so go out and destroy your opponents signs.

Anonymous said...

WOW! Anyone else notice the nice new blue signs for public works, community development and elsewhere inside City Hall? Bet those cost a pretty penny. Hundred bucks or more. They really help negotiate the potholes in our streets. Money well spent! Thanks Snow White and the 10 Dwarfs!

Anonymous said...

Ah, poor Jim Aziere. No one wants to play with him. Can't get the BOA to let him mess with smokers. And complains about not being part of the power elite at City Hall. His reputation of trying to play all sides and project himself as something he's not has caught up with him. But his furry little head was in the Wal-Mart groundbreaking photo. Greg were you there too?

Greg Walters said...

I was invited but declined the invitation. Speaking of Walmart. I read the other day an announcement that they will not be building any new stores due to the state of the economy.

I don't think Raytown's deal is affected. They would be fools to pass up what they have been given.

Here is an interesting list of store closures. The source is the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor. It was published in September, before the current crisis came to a head.

Nationwide store closings:

Ann Taylor - Closing 117 stores.
Eddie Bauer - Closing 29 stores.
Foot Locker - Closing 140 stores.
Gap, Inc. - Closing 85 stores.
Talbots/J. Jill - Closing 100.
Levitz - Closing all 76 stores.
Zales Jewelery/Piercing Pagoda - Closing 105 Stores.
Disney Stores - Closing 98 stores.
Home Depot - Closing 15 stores.
Comp USA - Closing 103 stores.
Movie Gallery/Hollywood Video
Closing 400 stores.
Macy's - Closing 9 stores.
Pep Boys - Clsoig 125 locations.
Ethan Allen - Closing 12 stores.
Sprint Nextel - Closing 125 locations.
Wilson's Leather - Closing 125 stores.

I could go on -- the list is twice as long as what I have typed. But my fingers are getting tired.

Anyone that denies the recession this country is in has got his or her head stuck in the clouds!

Andy Whiteman said...

Very strange that someone would steal Obama signs. I heard on 980 Live with Darla Jaye that McCain signs were stolen but no complaunts of Obama signs stolen. Why don't you giv her her a call on Monday 7PM - 10PM at 576-7798?

I don't see the sense in stealing signs. I feel that a sign tells people that you support that canidate. Seeing the sign will not affect the way a person votes unless they really respect your opinion.

In view of the recession, I don't think many businesses will want new locations. I really feel that the redevelopement funding should be held onto until the economy turns around. It would be wastefull to spend this money now.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

There's wonderful irony in Aziere not getting heard at city hall. He's been blowing smoke up everyone's a-- forever and now wants others to quit smoking. He goes to Phillips at the Post to whine, and Phillips checks with City Hall to see which way to go, then dumps on Aziere. Title their movie DUMB And DUMBER. Lets remember the police chief at election time. Even tho' he dropped his $30K request for gym memberships, let's not forget that only happened because we call him down on it.

Andy Whiteman said...

I was told by an Alderman that the Police budget was cut.

When election time comes, please consider the overall performance of the person you vote for. I think Chief Lynch does an OUTSTANDING job. I have worked in law enforcement and also observed police performance as a citizen. Raytown has a Police Department 2nd to NONE. It is the best managed department I have seen. I was thinking of runing against him one year and couldn't think of one thing I would change except raising officer's pay and that is not controlled by the Chief. I felt it would be useless to run if there was nothing I would change.

Andy Whiteman

jeff said...

poor obama signs are gone,.
I bet if you call the local ACORN office they run you a new one out.
Heck maybe they will register your cat and cast the ballot for Obama.

Anonymous said...

at least the gigantic McCain Palin billboards are gone from 59th and Blue Ridge Blvd. talk about eyesores.

Anonymous said...

It is illegal to tamper with political signs, no matter what party, period!

Anonymous said...

The future success of the city of Raytown will depend on its ability to maintain and repair existing infrastructure. We have many problems that include our streets, bridges, and storm sewer system. The economics of Raytown do not provide us with resources to fix what we already have. Our limited resources greatly restrict our bonding capacity. Raytown needs a strict conservative budget or we could go bankrupt. It is not beyond the realm of possibility considering our expenses, our capital needs and our inability to provide services. There are answers to this but I don’t think any of our city leaders have them. It will be up to private citizens to figure this out. Our local government is weak.
Jim Barnes

Andy Whiteman said...

I totally agree with Jim Barnes. We need to focus on the basics. The city should be run as a business and we need professional city officials. But as I have said, the pay is so low that elected officials are really donating their time. I am glad that they have decided to serve, but some of them have made very poor decisions in running this city.

Yes it is illegal to remove or deface political signs, but if they are illegaly placed, Code Enforocement has the authority to order removal or to remove them. I haven't seen the signs discussed above but if they are over 5 square feet, they are against code. I have complained at the BOA numerous times not about particular signs but the fact that many are a code violation and the code should be enforced.

I wonder if Acorn are registering the dead and those mentally unable to vote? At one time in in Rio Arriba County, NM they had more registered voters than citizens in the census. It turned out that many voters resided in the local cemetary and were never purged when they died. Strangely all of these people were voting or someone was voting their names.

I wonder if Acorn will provide the voters? I have no complaint how a person votes, but my complaint is if every voter not a legal voter. It will be a mell of a hess to validate each voter the way registerations have been taken with the same person registering 40 times with different addresses!

Andy Whiteman

Christian Wilmes said...

Hey anonymous 10/23/08 12:27PM - here are the FACTS about an agreement between McCain and Obama about public funding vs. private donations :
"ARLINGTON, VA — Throughout this campaign, Barack Obama has campaigned on his pledge to take public financing in the general election. However, today, Barack Obama has shown himself to be a typical politician. Please find below a timeline of Barack Obama’s support for public financing and subsequent reversal:

JUNE 2006: Barack Obama Says “I Strongly Support Public Financing.” OBAMA: “Well, I strongly support public financing. And I know [Senator] Dick [Durbin] does too. He’s going to have some things to say about it because when we were having - as you’ll recall - the major debates around lobbying reform, one of the things that Dick, I think, properly pointed out was that you can change the rules on lobbying here in Washington, but if we’re still getting financed primarily from individual contributions, that those with the most money are still going to have the most influence.” (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At Constituents Breakfast, 6/29/06)

Please Watch Barack Obama Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IU5V3fO7B1U
JANUARY 2007: Barack Obama Says “I’m A Big Believer In Public Financing” And “The Presidential Public Financing System Works.” KING: “Senator Clinton, by the way, has decided to reject public financing for her campaign. Are you going to do the same?” OBAMA: “Well, you know, this is something that, obviously, we are going to have to take a careful look at. I’m a big believer in public financing of campaigns. And I think that for a time, the presidential public financing system works.” (CNN’s “Larry King Live,” 1/24/07)

FEBRUARY 2007: Barack Obama Petitions The FEC To Clear Way For Deal To Preserve Public Financing For the General Election, Pledging To Do So If He Is The Nominee. “Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, a contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, issued an unusual challenge to his rivals on Wednesday. He proposed a voluntary agreement between the two major party nominees that would limit their fund-raising and spending for the general election. … In a Feb. 1 filing with the Federal Election Commission that was made public on Wednesday, Mr. Obama said that he, too, would seek enough private donations to remain competitive, but with a twist. He asked the commission if he could begin soliciting private donations with the understanding that he might later return the money to his contributors. If he won the Democratic nomination, he could then strike a deal with the Republican nominee to return their private donat ions and use only public money for the general election. For 2008, that would limit each general election campaign to about $85 million. ‘Should both major party nominees elect to receive public funding, this would preserve the public financing system, now in danger of collapse, and facilitate the conduct of campaigns freed from any dependence on private fund-raising,’ Mr. Obama’s filing said.” (David K. Kirkpatrick, “Obama Proposes Candidates Limit General Election Spending,” The New York Times, 2/8/07)

McCain And Obama Agree To Preserve The Public Financing System. “Senator John McCain joined Senator Barack Obama on Thursday in promising to accept a novel fund-raising truce if each man wins his party’s presidential nomination. The promises by Mr. McCain, Republican of Arizona, and Mr. Obama, Democrat of Illinois, are an effort to resuscitate part of the ailing public financing system for presidential campaigns. … On Thursday, a spokesman for Mr. McCain said that he would take up Mr. Obama on a proposal for an accord between the two major party nominees to rely just on public financing for the general election. … The manager of Mr. McCain’s campaign, Terry Nelson, said he welcomed the decision. ‘Should John McCain win the Republican nomination, we will agree to accept public financing in the general election, if the Democratic nominee agrees to do the same,’ Mr. Nelson said.” (David D. Kirkpatrick, “McCain A nd Obama In Deal On Public Financing,” The New York Times, 3/2/07)
The New York Times: “McCain And Obama In Deal On Public Financing.” (David D. Kirkpatrick, “McCain And Obama In Deal On Public Financing,” The New York Times, 3/2/07)
FEBRUARY 2007: Barack Obama Co-Sponsors Legislation To Keep Current Public Funding System Relevant. “Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) added his name to legislation overhauling the public financing of presidential elections this week, earning him plaudits from watchdog groups. … Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer yesterday urged Obama’s presidential rivals to follow his lead and cosponsor this session’s bill from Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.). It would raise significantly the spending cap for candidates accepting public funds during their White House campaigns in an effort to keep the system relevant.” (Elana Schor, “Obama Co-Signs Bill To Publicly Fund Campaigns,” The Hill, 2/16/07)

MARCH 2007: Obama Spokesman Bill Burton Said Barack Obama “Will Aggressively Pursue An Agreement” On Public Financing. BURTON: “If Senator Obama is the nominee, he will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election.” (Jim Kuhnhenn, “Federal Regulators Rule Candidates Can Return Donations For General Election,” The Associated Press, 3/1/07)

NOVEMBER 2007: In Response To A Midwest Democracy Network Questionnaire, Barack Obama Said He Would Accept Public Funding In The General Election. Question: “If you are nominated for President in 2008 and your major opponents agree to forgo private funding in the general election campaign, will you participate in the presidential public financing system?” Obama: “Yes. I have been a long-time advocate for public financing of campaigns combined with free television and radio time as a way to reduce the influence of moneyed special interests.” (Sen. Barack Obama, “Presidential Candidate Questionnaire,” Midwest Democracy Network, www.commoncause.org, 11/27/07)

Barack Obama Even Referred To His Plan As A “Fundraising Pledge” For His Opponents To Accept. Obama: “In February 2007, I proposed a novel way to preserve the strength of the public financing system in the 2008 election. My proposal followed announcements by some presidential candidates that they would forgo public financing so they could raise unlimited funds in the general election. The Federal Election Commission ruled the proposal legal, and Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has already pledged to accept this fundraising pledge.” (Sen. Barack Obama, “Presidential Candidate Questionnaire,” Midwest Democracy Network, www.commoncause.org, 11/27/07)
FEBRUARY 2008: Barack Obama Writes An Op-Ed In USA Today Stating That He Would “Aggressively Pursue” An Agreement With The Republican Nominee Guaranteeing “A Publicly Funded General Election In 2008 With Real Spending Limits.” “In 2007, shortly after I became a candidate for president, I asked the Federal Election Commission to clear any regulatory obstacles to a publicly funded general election in 2008 with real spending limits. The commission did that. But this cannot happen without the agreement of the parties’ eventual nominees. As I have said, I will aggressively pursue such an agreement if I am my party’s nominee. I do not expect that a workable, effective agreement will be reached overnight. The campaign-finance laws are complex, and filled with loopholes that can render meaningless any agreement that is not solidly constructed. … I propose a meaningful agreement in good faith that results in real spen ding limits. The candidates will have to commit to discouraging cheating by their supporters; to refusing fundraising help to outside groups; and to limiting their own parties to legal forms of involvement. And the agreement may have to address the amounts that Senator McCain, the presumptive nominee of his party, will spend for the general election while the Democratic primary contest continues. In l996, an agreement on spending limits was reached by Sen. John Kerry and Gov. William Weld in their Massachusetts Senate contest. They agreed to limits on overall and personal spending and on a mechanism to account for outside spending. The agreement did not accomplish all these candidates hoped, but they believe that it made a substantial difference in controlling outside groups as well as their own spending. We can have such an agreement this year, and it could hold up. I am committed to seeking such an agreement if that commitment is matched by Senator McCain. When the time co mes, we will talk and our commitment will be tested. I will pass that test, and I hope that the Republican nominee passes his.” (Barack Obama, Op-Ed, “Opposing View: Both Sides Must Agree,” USA Today, 2/20/08)

FEBRUARY 2008: Barack Obama Says “I Will Sit Down With John McCain” To Address Public Financing. NBC’S TIM RUSSERT: “So you may opt out of public financing. You may break your word.” BARACK OBAMA: “What I — what I have said is, at the point where I’m the nominee, at the point where it’s appropriate, I will sit down with John McCain and make sure that we have a system that works for everybody.” (Democratic Presidential Debate, Cleveland, OH, 2/26/08)

Please Watch Barack Obama Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELoKGvOwSI4
APRIL 2008: ABC News’ Jake Tapper Reports That Barack Obama Is Previewing Arguments To Opt Out Of The Public Financing System. “Despite his previous pledge to enter into the public financing system should he be the Democratic presidential nominee, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., has recently been reluctant to re-commit to entering the system. This reluctance has coincided with his primary, caucus, and fundraising successes. For that reluctance, Obama has been hammered as hypocritical by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., not to mention impartial observers. Tonight at a fundraiser in Washington, D.C., at the National Museum of Women in the Arts — at a $2,300-per-person event for 200 people held before a $1,000-per-person reception for 350 people — Obama previewed his argument to justify this possible future discarding of a principle.” (Jake Tapper, “Obama Prepares Argument To Discard Public-Financing Principle,” ABC News, 4/8/08)

The Washington Post Highlights The Test Confronting Barack Obama: “When it was in Mr. Obama’s interest to present himself as the ethical savior of an imperiled campaign finance system, he was happy to do so, especially since it didn’t seem especially likely at the time that he’d be the nominee. But the real test of a candidate is whether he will stick by an announced principle even when that’s against his own interest. Now Mr. Obama could become the first nominee since Watergate to run a campaign fueled entirely by private money.” (Editorial, “A Lapsed Principle,” The Washington Post, 4/14/08)
APRIL 2008: Barack Obama Says “I Have Promised That I Will Sit Down With John McCain And Talk About Can We Preserve A Public System.” FOX NEWS’ CHRIS WALLACE:” Wall Street Journal says that you are prepared to run the first privately financed campaign, presidential campaign, since Watergate. True?” OBAMA: Well, look. We’ve done a wonderful job raising money from the grassroots. I’m very proud of the fact that in March — in February, for example, 90 percent of our donations came over the Internet. Our average donation is $96, and we’ve done an amazing job, I think, mobilizing people to finance our campaigns in small increments. I have promised that I will sit down with John McCain and talk about can we preserve a public system, as long as we are taking into account third party independent expenditures. Because what I don’t intend to do –” (Fox News’ “Fox News Sunday,” 4/27/08)

Barack Obama: “I Would Be Very Interested In Pursuing Public Financing…” “MR. WALLACE: “If you can get that agreement, you would go for a publicly financed campaign?” OBAMA: “What I don’t intend to do is to allow huge amounts of money to be spent by the RNC, the Republican National Committee, or by organizations like the Swift Boat organization, and just stand there without — (cross talk).” WALLACE: “But if you get that agreement?” OBAMA: “I would be very interested in pursuing public financing, because I think not every candidate is going to be able to do what I’ve done in this campaign, and I think it’s important to think about future campaigns.” (Fox News’ “Fox News Sunday,” 4/27/08)
Please Watch Barack Obama Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsOnmKK5j6Y
JUNE 2008: Barack Obama Tells The USA Today That He Would Pursue A Public Financing Agreement With John McCain. “On campaign finance. Obama said he’ll accept public financing for his campaign — which would limit the amount of spending — only if McCain agrees to curb spending by the Republican National Committee. ‘I won’t disarm unilaterally,’ he said.” (Kathy Kiely, “Obama Reaching Out To The White Working Class,” USA Today, 6/6/08)

JUNE 2008: Barack Obama Has Declined Public Financing In The General Election, Calling It A “Broken System.” “In a web video emailed to supporters, Obama asks his supporters to help him ‘declare our independence from a broken system.’ Of course, it’s not so much a broken system that explains why he’s passing on the FEC’s $80+million. He will easily raise more than he could ever get in public funding.” (Jonathan Martin, “Obama Opts Out Of Public Financing,” The Politico’s “Jonathan Martin” Blog, www.politico.com, 6/19/08)"

Jeff Wilson said...

Hey Andy - You were told by an Aldermen that the Police Budget was cut??? Did you read the post??? The Police budget went UP!!!

What Aldermen told you the budget was cut...did they even read the budget before they voted on it????