Have you ever heard the phrase "the devil is in the details?" That also applies at election season.
As the March Republican and Democratic primaries are quickly approaching, many residents will soon begin researching the backgrounds of the candidates and the platforms that each candidate is hoping to bring to the table. One major thing that many people should look at, but may miss, is researching the candidate's campaign finance reports.
Nearly every candidate who runs for office, whether a candidate is running for President or county clerk, will likely ask supporters to donate to their campaign. There are some notable exceptions, as certain candidates look to self-fund or take out a bank loan to fund a campaign. However, the vast majority of candidates will ask supporters to donate.
Voters should be careful about looking at the financial support that each candidate is receiving. For example, if a candidate receives a $5,000 donation from the owner of a company that is regulated by the body for which the candidate is running, voters should consider why that person gave that donation to the candidate.
Another important thing to look at is whether the candidate is being supported by any political action committees. For example, if a PAC is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to help a candidate get elected, some questions should be asked about why that PAC is assisting the candidate. Voters should also look at who is funding the PAC to get a better idea of who is behind the money.
Candidates are required to file their first finance report by January 16th. We will publish the findings of those reports and we encourage voters to carefully consider the information contained within those documents. The candidate's financial backers often times are just as important, if not more important, than the candidate's platform itself.
-Thomas Warren III, Editor-In-Chief