I am the treasurer for the cooperative campaign to elect Jaime Kinder, Gretchen Myers and Jack Harkless to Meadville City Council. A recent letter by Brian Custard insinuated that we’re funded by some “outside group” trying to “take control of local governments.” I want to set the record straight: we are not taking orders from an outside group and our campaign is overwhelmingly powered by local donors. So far, we have received 302 donations from 133 people. Our average donation is $27.22. In essence, we are funded by small donations from local donors who support Jaime, Jack and Gretchen and their message of change for Meadville city council.
Some people don’t like this message. They want to keep things the way they are, so they resort to scare tactics. Mr. Custard is one of them. He plays on people’s fears about “outside control.” He calls us a PAC. This is not true. Each of our candidates has a separate campaign committee to comply with campaign finance laws. Our finances are a matter of public record. You can read the reports yourself.
We also have volunteers who are members of a local grassroots organization called Crawford County United, which is a chapter of Pennsylvania United, an organization that helps working-class families in Western PA. CCU consists of people like me, people who live in Crawford County who are fighting for working-class people struggling to make ends meet. CCU has not contributed money to the campaign. PAU has made some donations and in-kind contributions — specifically, technological support and canvassing help. Mr. Custard makes this seem like some devious plot. In reality, it’s just people coming together to get better wages, better government, and build better cities.
Mr. Custard says voters should “research” candidates. I couldn’t agree more. You can find out more about Jaime, Jack and Gretchen at voteformeadville.com. You can also message them on Facebook. I’m sure they’d be happy to dispel the fearmongering of people like Mr. Custard who want to make this election about lies and negativity rather than a positive vision for Meadville’s future.
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