Politics

Support Joanna Chapman

By Ryan McGreal
Published April 18, 2005

Help support Joanna Chapman's legal struggle to ensure fair elections in Hamilton by attending the upcoming fundraiser.

After reviewing their campaign documents and finding donations in excess of the legal maximum, former Councillor Joanna Chapman, owner of Chapman Books in Dundas, asked City Council last year to appoint an auditor to review their campaign finances.

City Council closed ranks; all but Dave Braden voted to deny Chapman's request instead of holding themselves accountable to the law and the public.

In response, Chapman appealed the decision through the courts, under the Elections Act. Her case is being heard by Justice Timothy Culver.

Despite city claims that she was engaging in a "fishing expedition" and had a "vendetta" against Mayor DiIanni, the court case has already revealed that DiIanni accepted nearly $20,000 in violation of municipal campaign law.

As Chapman explains, "We're supposed to live in a democracy. And the only way a democracy can operate is if politicians are held accountable."

DiIanni has repaid the money out of his campaign finances, and city lawyers insist that while donors violated the law for giving too much money, DiIanni didn't violate the law by accepting too much money.

The court case continues, and Chapman has now spent $25,000 of her own money to pursue fairness at city hall. It's frankly pathetic that a citizen should have to expend this many resources in the first place to see justice done, and this fundraiser is a way to help support her struggle.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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