Letter: Money’s Effect on Campaign?

Letter: Money’s Effect on Campaign?

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

The Mayor and City Council campaign spending reports for the month of September that were released on Oct. 15 say much about where Alexandria campaigns are headed. If it is our future, it is not an encouraging one for our community.

First, the inflow of campaign money from those who do business with the city and have benefited directly from decisions of Mayor Euille has continued to escalate at an alarming rate. During the month of September alone, Euille received a staggering level of contributions — totaling over $127,000. His contributor list is dominated by those doing business with the city. To put this amount in perspective, the money given to Euille from his business and developer friends exceeded the total campaign contributions received during the same month by Vice Mayor Silberberg and all 11 candidates for the City Council combined.

Where is Euille spending his developer cash? Alexandria campaigns have long been known for candidates and their volunteers going door-to-door, neighbors hosting candidate “meet and greets” in their homes, yard signs and campaign mailers. Alexandria is not a large media market nor have its elections been prone to the divisiveness that professional campaign consultants have brought to our national politics. This is why it is most disturbing to see in Euille’s campaign report for September that his largest expenditure was to hire a Washington-based consultant, M Street Solutions, a firm that specializes in opposition research — the fuel that fires the negativity that has come to plague American politics.

If the Euille campaign, with its huge inflows of conflicted cash and use of outside hired guns to find ways to go negative, is a look at the future of Alexandria politics, we all need to be quite concerned. It is an ugly future and one entirely inconsistent with our community values.

Tom Parry