In the run-up to the Alhambra city council elections, questions have been raised about campaign contributions some candidates have received. The Alhambra Source presents three opinion pieces on this issue. This is third district candidate Jeff Maloney's response to Sean McMorris' op-ed. Read fourth district candidate David Mejia's response as well.
My motivation in running for Alhambra City Council is to make my community a better place to live. Period.
I have dedicated my professional and personal life to improving the lives of those around me. As the chief attorney for the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, working to preserve open space and build new parks, as a volunteer city commissioner, and as a board member for several nonprofit organizations, I believe my record speaks for itself.
For this reason, I take particular offense to the unsubstantiated accusations that I would turn my back on half a lifetime’s worth of work for the public good in exchange for a handful of campaign donations. It simply is not true, and I am disappointed that my opponent, Mark Nisall, and his surrogates have chosen to sink to these depths and attack my integrity in a last-ditch attempt to capture a few more votes. Comparisons of candidates on issues and experience are valid, but I have run a positive campaign and refrained from attacking my opponent’s motivation or character. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for my opponent’s campaign team.
When I decided to run, I made a commitment to myself and my supporters that I would organize an honorable, transparent, credible, and competent campaign. I believe I have done that. I studied the issues facing our city, I sought and received support from elected officials and community leaders, and I also began to raise the necessary funds to get my message to the voters.
Alhambra has approximately 39,000 registered voters. I believe that if a candidate is going to put his or her name on the ballot, they have a duty to run a responsible campaign and honestly communicate to the voters about their qualifications and their vision for the future. The reality is that to communicate effectively with tens of thousands of voters is costly.
From the beginning of this campaign, I have been overwhelmed by the financial support I received from the people that know me best: my family, friends, and colleagues that I have come to know as a lifelong resident of the San Gabriel Valley and community volunteer. Although my opponent and his advisors have decided to attack my personal integrity based on a handful of cherry-picked contributions, I’m proud to have earned the support of nearly 200 individual donors to my campaign. The great majority of the donors to my campaign are family and friends that I have known for years. I believe that the strength and depth of that support is the direct result of my character, my years of public service and my commitment to improving our community.
After the early support from friends and family, after I began to talk about my positive, hopeful vision for the future of Alhambra, and after I proved that I was running a serious, competent campaign, I began to receive support from small business owners and others interested in investing in our City. With no shred of evidence, my opponent and his surrogates claim that this support proves that I am nothing more than a puppet for “developers” and will work against the interests of the people of Alhambra. On the contrary, my supporters simply did their research. They listened to me and they listened to my opponent. They compared our records and they studied our social media profiles. They compared our temperaments and observed how we interacted with people – especially those who may disagree with us. They concluded that I was the better choice for the future of our city. In these last few days of the campaign, I urge Alhambra voters to conduct the same comparison.
As of Oct. 25, my opponent has raised approximately $12,000 for his campaign and has identified approximately 9 donors in his campaign filings. Having contributed roughly $8,200 of his personal wealth to his campaign, his campaign is primarily self-funded. Every candidate is free to spend personal funds on a political campaign, but I reject the underlying implication of my opponent’s spokesperson in his op-ed piece that only people who can afford to spend thousands of dollars on a campaign should run for office. Who among us could afford to spend over $8,000 of our own personal funds on a political campaign? I certainly could not.
The bottom line is this: if I am fortunate enough to be elected, I will answer only to the people of Alhambra. I appreciate the financial support that I have received, but if any donor ever asks me to do something that is not in the best interest of the people of Alhambra, I will refuse and I will immediately refund their donation.
People will inevitably disagree with some of the decisions I make. I accept that, but I will always listen to dissenting views and I will always treat each person with the respect they deserve. I pledge to every resident of this City that I will always continue to do what is in the best interest of Alhambra.
Jeff Maloney is a candidate for the Alhambra city council's third district.
Campaign finance records for Alhambra city council candidates, Jan. 1 – Oct. 10, 2016.