The mayoral candidates who have responded to the CATCH campaign for Fair Election Financing Now, have agreed to disclose their campaign donations prior to the November 13 election. Several have also declared that they are not accepting corporate or union donations.
Keith Beck has agreed to disclose his donors, and says he “agrees in principle with council candidates only accepting contributions from individuals”. But Beck says he will take donations from corporations and unions because Mayor Di Ianni is doing so. If elected, Beck told CATCH, he “will not be abstaining from debates or votes regarding matters involving any of the contributors to my campaign”, but indicated he will make that fact known at the time of a vote or debate.
Dave Braden announced his position at his campaign launch on September 12. “We are not going to take donations from corporations – barring corporations that I own,” said Braden. “We are not going to accept donations from unions.” He also promised to disclose his donors before the election and stated that after the election,“ if we have a debate for which there has been a donation that might be seen to be relevant, I will mention that at the appropriate time.” He indicated he would make a decision at that time about whether the donation created a conflict of interest or “an interest that I want to share but it's not technically a conflict.”
In a September 12 media release, Fred Eisenberger said he will disclose his donors “well before the November 13 th vote” and won't accept corporate or union donations. “I don't believe it's too late to reform donation rules for this election,” said Eisenberger, “for candidates like myself, who truly believe improvements to election financing are needed, there is no time like the present - it's time to lead by example.” He noted that Quebec has prohibited union and corporate donations since 1977 and Manitoba has a similar law.
Diane Elms' position is posted on her website. She is refusing corporate and union donations and promises disclosure of donors before the election. She's also calling for the “amount of campaign contributions [to be] deducted from elected officials pay” and “a maximum deduction of $100 per household for equivalent contribution to any candidate from property taxes”.
Steve Leach, a recently nominated mayoralty candidate, has informed CATCH that “I am accepting no donations to my campaign, whatsoever.”
Mayor Di Ianni has not informed CATCH of his position, but media reports say he has promised to disclose his donors before the election. His website indicates he is still accepting corporate and union donations.
No information has been received from Mike Baldasaro or Marty Zuliniak who are also candidates for mayor. Zuliniak and Leach are recent nominees.
The Hamilton Community Action Network recently endorsed the CATCH campaign. "Honesty and integrity are cornerstones to good government," said CAN Chair Alice Smith. "If we are to move forward as a city, we need to bring about a new era of transparency in Hamilton." CAN's mission is to “promote informed voting that will help Hamilton realize its full potential.”