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  • Wednesday, February 08, 2006


    Metro VIEWS

    Shirley Grindle Responds to
    OC Blog TINCUP Post

    On February 2nd, the OC Blog posted “The Ironic Failure of TINCUP” which stated that the TINCUP Ordinance is responsible for helping keep incumbents in power.
    The posting stated TINCUP was:
    “Shirley Grindle's pride and joy, imposed by Orange County voters in the hopes that by limiting citizens' freedom to support the candidate of their choice, they could insulate elected officials from attempts to influence them.”

    The TINCUP Ordinance Response to the OC Blog
    Submitted by Shirley L. Grindle

    In response to OC Blog who decided to ridicule the TINCUP ordinance, they should check their facts before opening their mouths.
    TINCUP was put into effect by an 85% approval of the voters of Orange County – no other ballot measure has ever passed in Orange County with that high a Yes vote.

    The underlying purpose of the TINCUP ordinance was to take the arm off of the local businesses and those seeking contracts with the county and to do away with the unfair influence gained by lobbyists and others who made huge contributions to local officials. Without contribution limits, a blackmail game was taking place in which County Supervisors and their aides tapped developers and others seeking approval on projects/contracts, for unlimited campaign funds – under the subtle threat that their projects would be held up or not approved if they didn’t contribute. Just ask the developers and the business community in Orange County if they want to go back to the good old days when they were constantly being harassed for unlimited campaign contributions.

    The Real World
    But – let’s be honest. Most challengers raise only a handful of $1500 contributions. All you have to do is look at the challenger’s campaign statements to realize that very few of their contributors max out at the $1500 limit. On the other hand, most incumbents get nothing but $1500 contributions. If the contribution limit was done away with it would place the challengers at an even greater disadvantage because the incumbents would then be able to raise tons more money. As it is now, the limit keeps them in reign although TINCUP does not negate the inherent advantage incumbents always have by virtue of their name identification.

    The only viable argument for lifting the contribution limit is that it would allow a challenger to find a “sugar daddy” who would be willing to fund a campaign – but anyone who has that kind of money can under the current rules, make an “independent expenditure” of any amount to support the candidate. In the old pre-TINCUP days, the business community was forced to contribute to every supervisor when asked, and many companies complained they were being bled dry. In fact, it was at the request of developers and civil engineering firms, that TINCUP was born.

    The ultimate truth of the matter is that incumbents who want to do away with the contribution limit want to do so because as an incumbent it is very easy for them to get huge contributions. Even OC Blog admits that “Sheriff Carona, by virtue of his incumbency, is able to raise a huge war chest in $1,500 increments”. (Emphasis added.) Lifting the limit would result in incumbents raising even bigger war chests with which to overwhelm any challenger.

    So – for the time being, TINCUP is doing just what it was expected to do. It put the brakes on the amount of money being spent on county campaigns AND it took the arm off of the developers, architects, civil engineers, and others seeking contracts with the county.
    To view the OC Blog Post

    Community groups are welcome to submit editorial viewpoints
    on LOCAL issues for Metro Views

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