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.-- Taylor Batten
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."