Thursday, June 5, 2014

Claire Fallon on corruption

Charlotte City Council member Claire Fallon doesn't like being associated in any way with former Mayor Patrick Cannon's corruption case, and she's speaking out.

WBT radio host Keith Larson mentioned Fallon in a column he wrote for Wednesday's Observer. Larson referred to Fallon's earlier quote that the Cannon case "made everybody think we're all a bunch of crooks."

"No, not all a bunch of crooks, Ms. Fallon, but perhaps some," Larson wrote.

Fallon didn't appreciate any kind of mention, even if Larson was not suggesting she had done anything wrong. So she responded to Larson with her thoughts. She said she doesn't let anyone buy her even a cup of coffee. She argues there's far too much money in politics, and that as long as that's the case, and as long as there is "that thin line between money for influence and money to help someone you believe should be in office, we will have corruption."

Here's Fallon's full response (unedited) to Larson, which she also shared with the Observer editorial board:

"Good morning Keith, since you choose to quote me in your Observer article today, I would like to share with you some thoughts. I never ask anyone for campaign contributions, I do not make calls or send letters. I believe that its my job to respond as best I can to the public. If someone wishes to give me money fine but I am not obligated in any way to them. Consequently I have thru 2 election cycles raised the least amount of money, using much of my own. I won on 9000 the first time and 36,000 the second. I also do not let anyone pay for even a cup of coffee for me, If a council person cant afford to pay for themselves, we have the city offices and conference rooms where we can meet. This may seem like a small thing but sends a message that I got elected to serve not to benefit at the publics expense. I think that ethically we should be above reproach.
People will be people, but I remember the Commissioner in New York who had all the uniforms of the people who worked for him pockets sewn closed. It was a start and as long as people feel you have to raise a lot of money to run for office and that thin line between money for influence and money to help someone you believe should be in office, we will have corruption."
-- Taylor Batten


Garth Vader said...

If Fallon didn't want to be quoted she should have kept her yap shut.

But since she's a public official, being paid by the public and making decisions that affect the public, she needs to keep her yap open, AND expect to be quoted.

Had this kind of snippy reply come from Pat McCrory, ol' Taylor "million dollar gated-community house and 14mpg SUV" Batten would have again been screaming about how "thin skinned" he is.

Todd said...

Ms. Fallon has it wrong. The problem is not too much money in politics. The problem is too much government in our lives. When government assumes so much power and control, the money will find its way to the politicians, who happen to be flawed humans, just like the rest of us. Mayor Cannon is a prime example.

Keith Larson said...

This is pretty humorous. I'll address tomorrow morning on WBT between 9 and Noon.

EuroCat said...

Please, Councilwoman Fallon...let's drop the drama with the silly "not even a cup of coffee" comment and look at the FACTS: the donors on your campaign finance reports. Developers, to the tune of THOUSANDS of dollars! You "never ask anyone for campaign contributions", but you sure do accept that developer money and deposit those checks!

Sure, what you do is probably legal - neither Mr. Larson nor anybody else has necessarily accused you of breaking the law like Mr. Cannon did - but please stop it with the "innocent" act, OK? You pocket THOUSANDS of dollars from major developers and their cronies, and you are known to have a very developer-friendly voting record.

That's just a coincidence, right?

Anonymous said...

Developers create product and value. The NAACP creates headlines.

Tandemfusion said...

There is one and only one way to remove the influence of money from politics: stop political influence from economically benefitting people.

As long as people contend for advantage granted by politicians, the granting of advantage will be rewarded. There certainly are people who seek political office for personal gain, but even those who don't will inevitably find themselves at the center of the competition for their favor.

Perhaps Ms. Fallon believes that the attention she receives from developers and others whose far is in the hands of local government is because she is simply so compelling and insightful, but the odds are against it. People who did know you were alive yesterday, who today give you money and attention have not revised their opinion of your personality. They want something.

You want the money out of politics? Get the politics out of making money.

James Edgar said...

The only thing more ridiculous than the huge amount of government that invades every aspect of human life is the bloviating of politicians who love to holler, "Every other politician - especially from the other party - may be corrupt, but I am as pure as the driven snow."

I always say, if you have to go out of your way to tell me something is true, it usually isn't. No one accused Fallon of anything, or even implied anything. Yet she felt compelled to defend herself against accusations that weren't made.

Just makes me more leery of her.