Contribution v. Endorsement

To the Editor:

I read the first sentence of the article entitled “Campaign contributions flow in for 4th Ward candidates” (January 25, 2017) with dismay:

“Endorsement are being made for the 4th Ward special election in the form of campaign contributions.” 

I believe it is very important to keep monetary contributions well separated from the idea of “endorsements” and, similarly, “speech.” An endorsement can be given by anyone and is a recommendation from that person, whether the person has money or not. Speech is also available to all, but money is not available to all. 

The only role of money is to fund a campaign. It is not an endorsement or a form of speech. Otherwise we are giving higher weight and priority to the people with money, which reduces the voice of poorer and more vulnerable citizens. “We the people” must mean all of the people, not just “we the people with cash to give away.”

Thank you,
Therese Nelson

Editor’s note: The definition of endorsement is an act of giving one’s public approval or support to someone or something. The act of contributing money to a candidate running for public office is an act of public approval or support of that candidate, therefore it can be considered an endorsement.