Monday, June 1, 2009

City Election Facts Versus Fiction

In the City of Tucson this year, elections will take place for the three Council office seats in Ward Three, Ward Five and Ward Six, various candidates are running to serve on the Tucson City Council.

For the Democrats, two incumbents, Ward 3 Councilmember Karin Uhlich and Ward 6 Councilmember Nina Trasoff are running for second terms.

In Ward 5, Richard Fimbres is running as the Democratic candidate for the open seat for Tucson’s Southside Council ward.

Republican’s are running for the three seats as well as a Green Party candidate in Ward 6 covering Tucson’s central portion.

All the candidates are running under the City of Tucson political campaign public matching funds program - which has been in existence for more than three decades.

Those are the facts, unfortunately some fiction has arisen regarding these elections, pertaining to the campaign public matching funds program.

Council candidates must get a minimum of 200 donations from all city residents, ranging from $10 - $410, to trigger the City’s matching public fund program for their effort.  (ESTABLISH ELIGIBILITY  Rules & Regs, Part 3, Sec. III, E.2.a.)

It doesn’t mean that they all have to come from a specific Ward and people can give to multiple efforts for their party’s team of candidate’s.

After the initial 200 donations and the candidate’s have been declared eligible after a thorough, City audit (taking 14 days), they then must raise a maximum $50,730.50 to receive the same amount.  It is a dollar for dollar matching fund.

Candidates have signed contracts with the City to spend a total of $101,461 for the whole campaign.  Nothing more since the City’s program has a spending limit.

Yes, the Democrat’s have three candidates running and all Democrat’s within the Tucson city limits should support their effort in this year’s contest.

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