Monday, December 13, 2004

Got ink in today's newspaper. When it rains, it washes out the poor.

See the article on this weeks public campaign reform hearing in

Mark Rauterkus, of the South Side, who initiated the petition drive, said Peduto's bill favors the wealthy because it places no restrictions on the amount of money candidates may spend on their own campaigns.

Rauterkus said he is considering a run for the state Senate seat vacated by Jack Wagner, who was elected state auditor general in November. Rauterkus also is considering another run for Pittsburgh mayor. He lost a bid to James Carmine to be the Republican nominee in the 2001 spring primary.

'If this is approved, we'll have a situation in which a rich person can spend all they want, but somebody who might make a great leader and doesn't have a lot of money won't be able to accept the large contributions they need from the people who back them,' Rauterkus said.

Peduto said the U.S. Supreme Court already has ruled that there is no limit on how much individuals can spend on their own campaigns. Peduto believes his measure would ensure that so-called front-runners won't have a significant edge because they are able to attract large contributions.

I have no problem with the rich being able to self-finance campaigns for public office. However, I do have a problem when they begin to exclude the poor from the process.

Your comments are welcomed.

To speak at the hearing, either for or against, or to just appear on the record for, against or undecided, call the city clerk's office: 412-255-2138.

More to come.

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