I am a political idealist. My belief is that government should be based on principles, not on the highest bidder.
Right now there are many broken aspects of our political system. Candidates must raise money in order to finance campaigns. My wife has been calling all of our friends, families and supporters and asking them to contribute. This is a difficult and thankless task. Therefore, when large contributions come in from political action committees, the temptation is to deposit the checks and make excuses. Instead, I’m sending the money back, with this letter:
“At the beginning of my campaign, I announced that I was limiting contributions to $100 per donor, and that I was not accepting any political action committee money. I made this decision because I want to demonstrate that my commitment is to my constituents and not to political money. Therefore, though I really appreciate your campaign contribution, I am returning it to you.
I am very serious about winning my race. I would welcome the support of any of your individual members. For those who cannot afford $100, I am suggesting a contribution of $20.12. If you have members in Manatee of Sarasota counties who might be willing to volunteer with my campaign, that would be terrific.”
My opponent, Jim Boyd, has raised more than $130,000 for his campaign. Tens of thousands of dollars have been contributed by insurance companies, insurance political action committees, and insurance agents. Representative Boyd has been a tireless and effective advocate for the insurance industry. This past legislative session, Boyd almost passed a bill that would have shifted thousands of Floridians from Citizens Property Insurance to “surplus line carriers.” Surplus lines carriers can raise their rates by any amount, and if they become insolvent, the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association will not offer homeowners a safety net for paying claims. Fortunately, this bill failed.
However, now Boyd is back at it again. In June he was one of 25 legislators who signed a letter to the president of Citizens endorsing a recommendation to increase property insurance rates for new Citizens customers. I think it is unwise and unfair to advocate for a massive rate increase on customers who are with Citizens only because they had nowhere else to turn.
We know who Jim Boyd works for. We know who is financing his campaign. My pledge is that I will only work for you. That is why I am sending the money back.
Adam Tebrugge is the Democratic candidate for the Florida House of Representatives, District 71. For further information, visit www.atfh71.info