(Editor’s Note: The following is a Letter to the Editor. The Meigs Independent Press policy is to not endorse candidates or to accept political advertisement. The option for a Letter to the Editor or to the Voters is open to all candidates.)
When I was growing up, all my family knew was work. There was not much room for someone not carrying their weight when things were tight. What started as watching my brother and helping take care of the house turned into serving tables at sixteen years old and working multiple jobs ever since. We weren’t the only ones; this is pretty much the Appalachian way of life.
This year, I am running to be your State Representative, and I’m learning that the State House in Columbus does not operate quite the same way. Hard work is hard to find up there. In fact, our politicians were off work for almost 2 months in the spring during a bitter political fight between two egos in Columbus. But that didn’t stop them from heading out for summer break just last month. Yet somehow, their tax-payer paychecks and campaign dollars keep funneling to their bank accounts.
Ohio is among the worst ranked states for campaign finance limits. $12,707 is what someone can give a politician, which is not much of a limit at all. I have never met anyone who spends that kind of money and does not expect something in return. Major campaign donors expect favors that you or I could never afford to buy. Favors that oftentimes hurt working families.
Knowing all this, I refuse to accept any corporate PAC money into my campaign, and offering it would it be a big mistake on their part. Just ask my mother, there is no amount they could throw at me that would get me to stray from my firmly-held beliefs. In addition, it is unethical and is corrosive to our democracy to take corporate money and then turn around and tell the people that you actually stand for them. Folks down here can and should see right through that type of dishonesty.
In the State House, most people are fighting, it is just a matter of who they’re fighting for. You can have confidence that I will be working for regular people. I am fighting for new rules and limits on money in politics, which will boost your voice in Columbus and give our region a fighting chance. I will never accept a paycheck I have not worked for. I wish that our current representatives in Columbus could say the same.