Friday, January 31, 2014

McCreath reviews her 2013 St John's Election Expenses

Bernard Davis, Ward 4 Councillor for St. John's, recently proposed to tighten the reporting rules around election candidate fund raising and expenditures.  While rules state all contributions above $250 must be named, and while there is a cap on spending, there is no limit on fundraising, and there is no requirement to report expenses.  Honestly, I must admit that I find it hard to believe that all candidates did not go over these spending limits. Having run a small campaign myself, I can attest that the bills add up easily and quickly.

Just to give an example, my campaign, as those of you may remember, was a rather small one. But here's an idea of the approximate money that went into mine:


Transportation - car rental + gas $1500
100 Black n White 2 by 2 Election Signs + Wooden stakes + Machine Screws $1200
Paper Literature $800
Additional Supplies $500
Total expenses: approx $4000


Total funds legally reportable $250
Total funds not legally reportable $0
Net balance to pay out of my own personal pocket  $3750

I was amazed that I was never asked to report these expenses, or provide any sort of receipts. No audit appears to be done on any of the Candidates finances! I find this quite controversial, as it could open the door for abuse or unfair advantages. At the very least, the issue of transparency and accountability must come into question. I'd love to see all other candidates do a break own of their spending.  I'd hazard a guess that many of the major candidates, spent upwards of $200000 on election signs alone, given how many of them I saw around the city during the campaign!

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