If The Rhinoceros Times received $26,030 in political advertising in 2007, how much could Hammer not make if Pay to Play Ethics Rules are passed?

"Municipal elections are a nearly half-million-dollar industry
every odd year in Greensboro.

In 2007, more than $450,000 washed through the election system,
raised from homebuilders, lawyers and other citizens
with a stake in city politics, funneled into the coffers of candidates’ campaign
and then drained back out in expenditures for yard signs, newspaper ads,
billboard displays, payments to poll workers and rental fees for banquet halls.

...One newspaper, the conservative-leaning Rhinoceros Times,
[pulled] in $26,030 in 2007...

…The cost of Greensboro municipal elections has more than tripled since 2001...

“It’s much more efficient to raise your cash from the big donors,”...

“That means courting interests that often come before the city council
and ask for favorable regulations and favorable rules.

If you survey the sitting Greensboro City Council,
every single member would have to admit
that their largest or second largest donation
came from someone connected to the real-estate industry
or the developers industry.”

“You have these people who are wanting to do business with the government,
and they’re paying for their election.

And then they get elected
and they put a proposal in front of the people
that they paid to get elected.

And then the people who got elected
vote for the thing that the person wants to have passed.

It’s a conflict of interest….

Why aren’t we looking at not letting the people
who are contributing to elections
not being able to do business with the city for X amount of time
before and after they give the money?

Doesn’t that seem simple?

It’s basic ethics.”

George Hartzman

Candidate spending, 2007

1. Mayor Yvonne Johnson — $97,201

3. District 3 Councilman Zack Matheny — $45,868

4. At-large Councilman Robbie Perkins — $38,968

Jordan Green
Yes Weekly, September 16, 2009