Business Journal PoliticalWireLet's Not Underestimate The Voters
August 09, 2013 – According to three incumbent councilmembers who are running for mayor and want to establish a Campaign Ethics Guide, “size does matter.”
The three – Robert Garcia, Suja Lowenthal and Gerrie Schipske – agendized the item for the August 13 city council meeting, and attached a sample guide from the City of Sunnyvale.
Under “Things to Watch Out For” is a candidate’s “behavior.” According to the “guide,” if a small business owner claims to be a “business executive,” that’s a red flag and bad behavior. I’m a small business owner with the title of President/CEO. I consider myself a business executive. The size of my business or how many people I employ has no bearing on my title. Some of the country’s top business executives have small staffs.
It’s also a red flag if a candidate “refuses to debate,” or, get this, “exhibits different conduct in private versus public life.” I don’t want government peeking into my bedroom.
How about this one: “changes viewpoints to please different audiences.” Don’t all candidates do that? Isn’t that what political theater is about?
These councilmembers even want to get rid of “rumors and innuendo,” calling them unfair. Wow, do they have something to hide?
All kidding aside, the three councilmembers are good people who have contributed to the city’s progress, and I, personally, am glad they are each running for the city’s highest office to give voters a choice. But, please, don’t underestimate voters. They are smart enough to spot “red flags,” or figure out what’s “fair” or “unfair.” Give us some credit. Anyway, part of the fun of a campaign is calling candidates out for being full of it.
I encourage the city council to bury this attempt at controlling a candidate and his or her campaign. Let the politicking begin!