In part seven of our 10 part series questioning the 31 candidates running for one of eight councillor positions in Kelowna, Castanet News asked each candidate:
Question #7 - Will you be accepting donations for your campaign? If not, why not? If so, will you draw the line as to who you will accept donations from?
--Note: Candidates who do not appear did not send in an answer in time for this feature.
Billie Aaltonen - I have accepted small donations.
Ken Chung - Yes i have accepted donations from friends and family via in-kind like signage, printing etc. i would draw the line at any specific industry or special interest groups!
Cal Condy - No I don't...I'm extremely thrifty and really don't want to owe anybody.
Maxine DeHart - Yes I will accept donations. I have been offered a donations from people from all walks of life who believe in me as a Councillor. I make it clear to anyone who donates to my campaign that I look at every issue based on its merits and the priorities for Kelowna.
Ryan Donn - Yes I launched a go fund me campaign that is now fully funded ($1500). That process was very open to anyone to donate but in the end it all came from supportive friends and family. I have accepted $250 from Melcor Developments Ltd. At this point my campaign will cost around $6000 with our family funding 80% of it. Folks need to realize that running is a commitment. For me it's part of my follow through to get involved with my community. I love my work at Parks Alive and Festivals Kelowna. I am running because I saw Colin leaving a space on council for a new voice that understands families, tech, and has fresh new ideas for our community.
Ken Finney - Sure, I would be open to accept donations only to a predetermined maximum amount and only from individuals whom I know personally.
Gail Given - Yes I will be accepting donations. I believe it would be difficult to accept contributions from employee groups of the City but will happily accept their support at the ballot box.
Carol Gran - All five TaxpayersFirst candidates put their own money up. We have received some small donations from individuals who believe what we’re doing is long overdue.
Tracy Gray - My campaign is accepting many donations from individual citizens, groups and businesses, though we will not accept an excessively large donation to my campaign.
Charlie Hodge - Yes, I will accept donations because I am not independently wealthy and to have any chance of being elected one must do some self-promotion and marketing. I am very selective who I take donations from and always have been.
Beryl Itani - I have not accepted any donations for my campaign and I am not putting out signs or posters or pamphlets.
Graeme James - All five TaxpayersFirst candidates put up their own money for this campaign. We have received some small donations from individuals who believe what we are doing is long overdue.
Leslie Kendall - I will not be accepting donations for my campaign. I feel that donations and third party campaigning have the ability to influence the way in which a vote is decided on issues before council.
Bobby Kennedy - I am not a huge seeker of donations. I have had family and friends donate to my campaign but I feel that it should not be money that dictates winners but the candidate themselves.
Mike McLoughlin - Yes, donations are welcome. Donors over $50 will be revealed on campaign financial disclosures. Donors can use the link http://www.gofundme.com/prosperkelowna
Gwen Miles - I will not be accepting donations for my campaign. I have kept my cost minimal, and personally feel when one pursues an endeavour, one must bear their own costs.
Alan Monk - I have stated in my platform (See votemonk.com) that I have entered politics because I want to be a part of a move to restore the electorate's faith in the political process. I will be accepting contributions to my campaign but I have not actively solicited such funds and they will all be disclosed to the public. I anticipate that 15% of my campaign will be financed by friends and associates who have come forward on their own and the remaining 85% will come from my own personal funds. No single donation to this point is over $500. I would never accept funds from any donor if there was any insinuation made that I should allow my council decisions to be biased towards their private interests. As Councillor, I would strongly support any initiative to advocate to BC Elections or through UBCM that campaign expenses be limited to about $6000 per candidate in a city the size of Kelowna. (This would include third party payments made on a candidate's behalf by organizations such as ForKelowna.) Since 2008, it has become increasingly clear to many Canadians that it is of paramount importance that we reduce the influence of private money on all levels of public governance.
David Mossman - I only accept donations from those with same Common Sense and values. I don’t need business dollars and you kind of wonder why people would spend $30-70,000 to get elected.
Dale Olson - The only donations I have received are from private individuals. My biggest single donation to date is $100.00. I will not accept donations from special interest groups.
Brad Sieben -Yes I will and have been. Running a campaign is an expensive proposition. I will most likely be personally contributing the greatest portion towards covering marketing expenses. The candidate has the discretion to determine whether to accept or not accept campaign contributions from anyone.
Mohini Singh - Yes I am accepting donations. I do not accept money from groups who work for the city and I do not know where the money is coming from. I leave the collection up to my campaign team.
Derek Somer - I will not ask for any money for politics when my mandate will be to provide well researched positions. I will not spend more than $300 of my own money.
Luke Stack - I do accept donations, but I also run a frugal campaign.
Laura Thurnheer - Yes, I am accepting donations for my campaign and if any one wishes to donate they can contact my Financial Agent, Dean Warner at 250 470-8599 or donate on-line at www.laurathurnheer.com. I am running a modest campaign on a limited budget as is demonstrated by my choice of my smaller green campaign signs. Even a modest campaign costs money however so any support is appreciated. Donations of $99.00 or less are reported to ElectionsBC as compiled so anyone not wanting to have their name on public record can keep their donation to this amount or less. In regards to ‘drawing the line’ as to who I accept funds from I have yet to face this problem and don’t believe I have to as I would be pleased to accept donations from both individuals and businesses. For the record, I don’t believe accepting a donation from an individual or business will impact the way I vote on City Council as it is my responsibility as an elected Councillor to make the best decision for the citizens of Kelowna at the time and my donors are well aware of my values and high personal ethical standards.
Sean Upshaw - I will be accepting donations and I have accepted donations and I encourage donations still. To stand out from the crowd and to get the message of what you are all about takes money. There need be no apology attached to that. When an individual or other interest donates money to my campaign, I make it very clear, “There are no strings attached to this donation.” It will not buy you favour, it cannot sway my decision to do what is right for any given circumstance. If you are donating to me because you see in me the ability to make sound judgments on behalf of all the citizens of Kelowna then great. If your contribution to my efforts is because you recognize the value I may bring to the table, great, but I cannot be bought. As far as whom, they are from or how much they are allowed to give I put no limits on that, because they will not be currying any favors. To the critics who say “Oh Ya Sure.” Elect me and you will see. I also am not naïve, I know that at some point in the future it may appear that I have broken this vow. Let me emphasize “may appear.” That is the risk any true leader will take knowing that, even when you do the right thing criticism will come. Let me play on the adage, “You can fool some of the people some of the time but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.” Change it to this, You can please some of the people some of the time but you cannot please all of the people all of the time. Such is politics. Such is life.
Dayleen Van Ryswyk - I do accept donations but only from individuals and not for an amount over $500. It’s the same stance I took when running as an independent candidate in the provincial election. I believe campaign donations from corporations, unions and third party financing can have the candidates integrity come into question.