When a candidate uses their election budget to throw a “fundraising” party, the money raised should be accounted for, but Janet Davis wasn’t shy about forgetting where $6,250 of hers went. According to the financial records, she spent $1,000 dollars of the NDP “supporters” money to arrange a party for to do some fundraising, which was a resounding success. 90 tickets were sold at $125 per ticket, but for some reason only 19 of the 90 people who bought tickets were listed in her financials. The tickets included dinner, but according to the bar bill, only 19 dinners were actually sold. The remaining $6,250, and the absentee partygoers seem to have vanished into thin air…
It doesn’t seem fair that people can use financial power to win an election and lie about it. Shouldn’t there be some law against that sort of thing? There actually is, and taxpayers can hire a criminal lawyer to question what a candidate does… as long as they do so within 30 days of the financials being filed in the first place. But, what’s the point? The jury of a bunch of appointed POLITICIANS will most probably throw out the case.
The NDP “supporters” can only spend $26,599.90 to get a candidate elected, but Janet Davis has reported spending $44,915.95 for her campaign. The extra money was more than likely use to paid for her provincial / federal NDP re-election staff. The $26,599.90 is the set limit by the city of toronto to keep the playing field fair. Is she buying the election, or are people buying it for her??
The Municipal Elections Act does limit what NDP “supporters” can spend, but there is no limit on “Fund-Raising”, which isn’t actually defined. Basically, if something puts a candidate over his or her budget, the cost simply has to be under the heading of “Fund-Raising” to be exempt from any scrutiny. Since Janet’s proceeds from her “fundraising” party all but disappeared, maybe what she took from her budget wasn’t for fundraising after all. Maybe she got a few extra signs nailed up to boost the illusion of her growing popularity.
Candidates are required to ACCURATELY REPORT all financial records, including any of these fundraising activities. The “supporters” can PAY for fundraising, and then the candidate can sell tickets for people to eat some food and wash it down with an impressive amount of alcohol at restaurants outside the ward. These tickets are exempt from the maximum amount of money allowed to elect a candidate, because he or she is “fundraising”, but each one must be reported BY NAME when they are sold at $125 each. There isn’t any record 79 of the people who were kind enough to fork over cash for her fundraising, nor is there any record of where the money went.
Whenever there is a municipal election, a particular name or colour seems to dominate the signs in each ward. Is it reasonable to question whether the monopoly is an accurate reflection of what represents the best interests of the community? Is it reasonable to assume that every candidate has the same resources at their disposal; for printing, posting signs, canvassing? One might think so, but they are probably wrong. And besides, what’s the point in voting when the winner already APPEARS inevitable? No one should be able to manipulate the system or buy popularity- everyone should have an equal platform. Legally, in some way, everyone sort of does, but there are loopholes. Even when a candidate steps out of line, chances are they will get away with it and the taxpayers will be stuck with legal costs.
In one attempt to ensure a LEVEL playing field, candidates are prohibited from accepting donations of more than $750.00 from one source. Janet Davis got $7,650.00 from, not an individual, but from a GROUP of trade unions. Is Davis using Ward 31 to promote The NDP’s issues instead of addressing the empty stores, drugs and prostitution that contribute to the highest crime rate in the area. If she wants to get that money again for the next election, she has to humour the unions, not the people she’s actually been chosen to represent.
Editor’s Note: All the info came from filed copies of their financial statements with the City of Toronto. You can not give a councillor over $100.00 without Identify yourself.