[DISCLOSURE– I work for a major competitor to Chevron and I own Chevron stock. I do not stand to gain financially from either outcome of measure W and my statements do not represent the opinion of my employer and shall be considered wholly my own.]
Everyone has seen Chevron’s most recent ad kick right? Here’s their newest one I stole from someone’s drafting board.
Politicans’ political contributions shouldn’t have the appearance of impropriety.
<<STAMP>> — We don’t agree.
I guess they’re beginning a new campaign. I don’t think it’ll be as well received . . . maybe more so if they have cool blue shirts and free burgers. We’ll see.
So the first round of contribution disclosures came due last week, and guess what? Councilman Kiger took $100 from a Chevron land development project manager.
What was that vote on the questionably legal and unquestionably unethical ballot re-naming on West Coyote Hills again?
Oh, right– a vote to slant measure W in a very lopsided way towards Chevron.
You can view Mr. Kigers latest 460 form here. See page 5 for the donation in question.
Now, to be fair, this is really more of a “yellow” flag vs. a “red” one. The contribution is for a whopping $100 and the job title of the contributor is front and center– so it’s not like I had to do any real investigative reporting to post this to a blog. It doesn’t appear that anyone is attempting to hide anything, so we’ll call it a venial sin.
That said, the wholly ethical thing to do would have been to decline the contribution, particularly for this election cycle. The not so wholly ethical option would be to post it on traviskiger.com with a brief explanation for when the contribution came in (pre or post vote), how many conversations Mr. Kiger has had with Mr. Developer, what the conversation included– and why this isn’t a violation of any laws or practical ethical standards.
I’d say this is the bare minimum required to not get me all fired up in a . . . let’s call it “Diamondeque” fashion, but Fullerton voters have a right to know why Mr. Transparency himself took the cash. As many commenters over at FFFF would state, it’s not necessarily impropriety (or nepotism or whatever their beef of the day is) that’s of concern, it’s the appearance of impropriety that matters.
Well, let’s see if we get demands, a free pass, or just apathy. I’m betting apathy (due to the venial nature), but maybe I’m wrong and we’ll get some quality discussion on campaign fundraising ethics.
Speaking of– I sure do see plenty of corporate donations on the first round (all candidates, not necessarily Mr. Kiger.) Two notables so far– one from CARE ambulance and another from a local towing company. These actually require a bit of research, so maybe we’ll have a little more for you next week.