Mission’s Citizens for Responsible Municipal Government (CRMG) slate will be releasing its financial sources for the 2014 municipal election campaign on Oct. 29 and is challenging other candidates to do the same.
“It’s fair that the public knows who is supporting (candidates) before they vote,” said Mayor Ted Adlem, who is seeking re-election under the CRMG banner. “Legally, they don’t have to do it, but we will be. We want to be open to the public.”
Similar to the last election in 2011, CRMG candidates will mostly be financing their own campaign, said Adlem.
“When a candidate is financed by unions, special interests of big business, their funding source often influences the way they govern,” states a CRMG press release. “It’s best for the voters of Mission to know who is funding each of their candidates before the election.”
According to financial statements from the 2011 election, CRMG’s campaign, which totalled $17,946m, was mostly financed by the individuals running for office. All current council members were elected under CRMG. Other individuals who contributed to the groups’s 2011 run were Ronald Noon ($1,000), Randy Hawes ($2,000), and Ron Taylor ($1,250). A business listed as Alphenhaus Restaurant Ltd located at 7160 Oliver St., also contributed $1,000.
Mayoral candidate Tony Luck called the CRMG challenge a “game.”
“We will play their game and we will declare (before the election),” said Luck. “We know there are legal requirements too.”
Retired MLA Randy Hawes, who is also in the running to become Mission’s next mayor, said he will follow rules set out by Elections B.C., not CRMG.
“When seven of them (CRMG candidates) pool all their money together, they can advertise together and out-finance any candidate running as an independent,” said Hawes. “The only way to fight a group like this is to get contributions from other people who feel the same way.”
As a former CRMG member who worked on the last election campaign, Hawes said there are many other individuals who contributed to CRMG’s run but are not listed on financial disclosure statement in 2011. Individuals and organizations contributing less $100 or less do not have to be disclosed.
“I will release my numbers, like any other candidate, when Elections B.C. requires them to do so,” said Hawes.