Wag takes on campaign costs


    Malibu political reform and the upcoming April 2002 City Council elections seem to be the topic of the week at Lily’s Caf, now that the November 6th election is over. “Only in the world of politics,” states CSUN Finance Professor Joe Buchwald, “could we, through our government, develop a new meaning for money.” Now, I personally used to think money was money until Joe educated me to the fact in politics there is hard money and soft money. Why? Because it is the nature of Malibu politics to take something simple, such as money and turn it into something more complicated and complex such as hard money and soft money. They do this with everything. This is what politicians are good at doing along with lawyers, accountants, bamboozlers and charlatans. Take something simple and turn it into something so mangled that no one besides Arnold York, you and the Lily’s Caf Steering Committee will understand it.

    I must admit that I have never “run” for any political office. I do not have first-hand experience with campaigning. However, back in high school, I knew a girl who had a friend who dated a guy that ran for class president. He ran and won and spent less than $14 (on posters and magic markers, etc.)

    Therefore, I believe this qualifies me to express my own campaign finance reform ideas for Malibu. First of all, no hard money or soft money–money is money. In the past elections it has taken around $45,000 in a campaign war chest of hard and soft money to win a council seat in Malibu. While in neighboring Agoura, Councilperson Jeff “the Rhino” Reinhardt gored his opponents for only $4,299.34 and help from his wife, kids, posters and magic markers. I would thus impose a $14,400 limit on all money. (More than enough for posters and magic markers for a job that only pays $300 per month). If someone can spend less than $14 and become class president then one should be able to capture a Malibu council seat on $14,400 or all four years of their council salary. Just think of how much potential a councilperson would have if he or she snared a seat by spending only $14,400. This councilperson would be a “go-getter” and quite thrifty.

    Some people might think that it is not feasible to run a campaign on a $14,400 cap. Well, Malibuites, some people may look at something and ask why? I like to look at things and ask why not? So a $14,400 limit.

    And that is all I have to say (sure).

    Tom Fakehany