I'm hoping the new council, the local news media, business, labor, and community leaders will set aside their differences and make political reform a priority for next year. We may not agree on every issue, but let's agree on one thing: too much money was spent on the last election. The insanity needs to stop. Menlo Park needs campaign contribution limits.
We saw in this last election the gross influence of special interests at every level government, from Congress to city council. Candidates received monetary and in-kind contributions worth thousands of dollars from individuals, businesses, and groups that have matters pending before our elected bodies. The acceptance of these large donations undermines the public's confidence in our system of government. Political leaders are there to represent the entire community, not just one particular interest or agenda.
We may not be positioned to do much at the state or federal level, but we can do something about Menlo Park. San Jose limits contributions to city council candidates to $250 from individuals and $500 from political action committees. If San Jose can do it, why can't we?