Carpenter listens to the public, changes position
March 24, 2016
OPINION by DAN CARPENTER
On Tuesday March 15, the majority of the San Luis Obispo City Council including myself, gave direction to staff to return with a discussion of policy, legal and operational issues on the idea to create a “democracy voucher” system giving public funds to candidates who agree only to receive contributions through the program.
My goal for supporting this direction that evening was to level the playing field so more candidates would be encouraged to participate in our elected representative process.
I was wrong to think this was the answer to achieving that goal and I will oppose this proposed ordinance when it returns for further council consideration. In the hours and days following the decision, I heard from many citizens throughout the community with a primary concern about the inappropriate use of taxpayer resources for candidates.
Our city staff and a local representative from Citizens Congress have been informed of this change in position.
I genuinely thank the scores of residents in our community for taking the time and energy to contact me with your respectful concerns regarding this decision. My commitment to listen to the people is unwavering and I remain grateful for your confidence in my ability to do so.