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Public Funding Epilogue

I meant to write about this earlier in the week, but it got lost in the election hoopla. There was a little article in the Albuquerque Tribune, which makes the perfect case against public funding:

Garduño is advocating an earlier reporting period, because any extra money distributed to a publicly financed candidate after the last reporting period would be given too late to make a difference.

That happened in one case this year, when incumbent City Councilor Debbie O’Malley – who was victorious in her District 2 re-election bid – received about $1,600 on Election Day.

“You can’t do anything with it. You can’t, like, put a piece of mail out,” O’Malley said. “We ran out of food (on Election Day), and we got some more for our celebration party. I ended up giving some of my people some extra money for helping out.”

Gee whiz, Councilor O’Malley, did you ever think about maybe just returning the taxpayer’s money since it couldn’t be used for campaign purposes? No, I guess not. Why should you, right? Instead, you spent it on food and handed it out as party favors. Yup, I’m sure that was in the public’s best interest.