Simkins PAC money

Guarino reports on what gives and who gets after looking over the Simpkins PAC’s finances.

“…The apparent value delivered by the PAC to many of its donors was the strength of its endorsement.”

For what it’s worth… When I ran for City Council in ’03, I was interviewed by the Simkins PAC membership (it was Michael King’s last meeting with them, BTW).  Pointed questions were asked regarding my views on various issues of concern to the black community in particualar and Greensboro in general.

After their endorsements were announced, I wrote that I was “…deeply offended by their exclusion” and questioned their thinking, but I never even considered that their non-endorsement was about how much money I could or could not provide to their coffers.  It was more about how my views aligned with theirs.

My understanding of the process is the same as what Sandy Carmany describes in the comments to Joe’s post.  The endorsement comes first; only then does the PAC ask the candidate (or cause) for money to help get the word out about their selections.

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  1. Ann Stringfield
    Posted May 17, 2006 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    As an asside, David, you may recall that Donna Newton of the Greensboro Neighborhood Congress mentioned that when you were asked during one public forum what you thought about “institutional racism”, some in the audience thought you responded “I support it”, when you actually said “I abhore it”. We’re gonna’ have to keep those toothpicks outta’ our mouths. :o )

  2. Posted May 17, 2006 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    David, do you know what would have happened if the candidate did not come forward with the requested contribution?

  3. Posted May 17, 2006 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Joe –

    Once the endorsements are decided, the PAC requests the funds to offset the costs of printing and mailing the letter. The difference in the costs are because of factors such as district v. at-large, etc. Contributing to the cost does not invalidate the endorsement. Often campaigns give what they can.

  4. Posted May 17, 2006 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    This is still an unusual arrangement. Usually PAC’s give to campaigns. In this case, it is the other way around;and a consideration is received as part of the exchange.

  5. The Chairman
    Posted May 17, 2006 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    I can’t believe that the Simpkins PAC antics suprise anyone. In the RepublicanParty is has been a known fact for years.
    I guess somone should have asked. For reference look at I believe 2004 when John Blust gave them 1500 dollars.
    He had no opponent, Whala.. they endoresed him.
    I do appreciate that someone has written about this thought. Most of the media is to afraid to mention it.

  6. dhoggard
    Posted May 17, 2006 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Ann – That, I will NEVER forget. I’ve never used the word “abhor” since.

    Joe – I don’t know what would happen if there was no donation after the endorsement. My understanding is that the expectation is “from each according to their means”. In my case, if I had received their endorsement, I would have had about $200 or so to help spread the word knowing what my campaign finances were at the time. I would have gladly paid it and thought little about it.

    You are missing the point in my opinion. It is not about the money with the PAC, it is about how ideas and focus mesh. I am an East Greensboro guy, and my stances on issues effecting where I live, and what is important to me are very much in line with those of the PAC. That’s why they pissed me off when I was passed over. I would have welcomed their endorsement.

    But that is a far cry from saying that I would have turned a blind eye to the abuses of Project Homestead if they had thought I smelled good enough to endorse that year. There is only so much you can extract from me for $200.00 – and turning a blind eye to Homestead doesn’t even register. I wouldn’t even wink at that crap.

    One quote from that interview sticks with me: It was during “baseball” and I had been engaged in many conversations with County Commissioners… Skip Altson among them.

    Although Skip and I disagreed on most everything during that period, he made a point of telling the committee while I was sitting there, “Hoggard has always been straight with me – I trust him.” Claudette BW and some others chimed in with similar comments, so I was baffled to hear that the vote went against me.

    In hindsight, I think their spurning of me was because I was still an unknown quantity and dripping wet behind the ears. Next time might be different. But I’l be damned if anyone will dictate to me… getting elected just ain’t that important.

    Is it an “unusual arrangement”? Probably. But Greensboro is an unusual town.

  7. Posted May 17, 2006 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    David, I appreciate your honesty and integrity and independence. I do not remember who your opposition was. But do you think, perhaps, that you were not endorsed because you were perceived to be too independent, and that you would not countenance this stuff? Presumably they would want those that do not stray too far. That is, after all, the way political machines work.

  8. dhoggard
    Posted May 17, 2006 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    My opposition was Johnson, Vaughan and Phillips – all incumbents. They endorsed only the first two.

    Your presumption is probably correct because, as you say, that is how things work.

    But that machine is not inherently bad.