Wednesday, March 26, 2008

EDITORIAL: Lehman Contributions Demonstrate Power of Convention Center Supporters

As revealed by, almost half of the funding for Craig Lehman's county commissioner campaign came from special interest groups that clearly had no direct stake in the Lehman campaign. It is reasonable to assume that they sent their checks on behalf of Senator Gibson Armstrong who is a prime mover behind the project. Representative Mike Sturla may also have helped solicit funds for Lehman.

There is nothing necessarily illegal about raising money in this way. However, the public can justly ask itself: what was promised in exchange? What benefits that otherwise may have flowed to Lancaster were lost?

And doesn't this make Lehman beholding to the supporters of the Convention Center project and more likely to favor a County bail-out of the misbegotten project at a later date?

Furthermore, won't such heavy handed intrusion of statewide lobbyists and players in a local campaign intimidate other elected and appointed officials from bucking the Power Elite and discourage potential candidates for elected and appointed offices?