Jason Tetlak, a candidate for the City Council, posted a message and video on Facebook this afternoon announcing that he is no longer accepting campaign donations.
Today I am announcing that my campaign will no longer take donations. To me it is wasteful to raise huge amounts of money to buy things that will end up in our landfill in a couple of months. I'd be more than happy to have you volunteer your time to help me win this election, but I just think your money could be better spent elsewhere.
He points out that, even in the early stages, City Council candidates have raised in excess of $1 million, which he thinks is wasteful. “That money would be better spent donating it to our schools or cleaning up our river,” he says on the video. “ … I don’t want your money, and I won’t accept it even if you offer it to me.”
And, he says, he never enjoyed asking for money in the first place — which, to be fair, is the same thing a whole lot of politicians will tell you, right before they ask you for a check.
“Will doing things differently cost me the election,” Tetlak asks. “Maybe.” But “winning doesn’t necessarily mean getting elected.”
It’s worth pointing out that Tetlak, a former elementary schoolteacher, wasn’t quite winning the money game anyway. To date he’s raised a little over $2,300, and has about $500 on hand. His opponent, Jim Love, has raised more than $32,000, and has about $27,000 left.