Municipal Election 2006

Coulda Been the Whiskey

By Ryan McGreal
Published April 25, 2007

Citizens at City Hall found an interesting tidbit in their analysis of the 2006 municipal election donation records filed with the city clerk's office.

Apparently, Councillor Tom Jackson, who raised $43,955 in donations (more than Mayor Eisenberger raised), spent $13,334 on a "voting day party/appreciation notices". (He spent an additional $6,137 in exempted funds on throwing a $35-a-plate fundraiser.)

By a happy coincidence, this expense is exempted from spending limits under the Municipal Elections Act, which is good because otherwise it would have put Councillor Jackson afoul of the law.

CATCH notes that the Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods and a 2004 election finance review task force in Toronto recommend eliminating spending exemptions for throwing parties and holding fundraisers, since they allow candidates to exploit a loophole that in Jackson's case let him raise 1.8 times as much money as he would otherwise be allowed.

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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By councilwatch (anonymous) | Posted May 10, 2007 at 03:37:35

Keep an eye on this guy Jackson. The word graft is not extint in Hamilton.

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By pedant (anonymous) | Posted May 10, 2007 at 08:52:42

Maybe not, but I'm pretty sure the word "extint" is...

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