Political Action Committee Supporting Candidates, Swaying Voters - KOAM TV 7

Political Action Committee Supporting Candidates, Swaying Voters?


  A political action committee is backing candidates in what it calls the most important election in Joplin.
     The "Joplin Progress Committee" has about 50 members. And so far it's collected 21-thousand dollars.
     14-thousand of which has been distributed to select candidates.
      Candidates that were invited to be interviewed to see if they align with the pac's goals and vision for the city.
 One of three directors for the committee Jane Cage says, "We believe  and hope they (voters) believe in candidates that are open minded progressive and optimistic."
That's who directors of the Joplin progress committee hope will be running city hall after elections. The committee includes a number of business operators like Cage who say they  have been approached for campaign donations in the past.
"Rather than a candidate go to 20 or 30 of those to ask for support we thought it might be more convenient and easier for them to come to one place," says Cage.

And money  can make a difference in campaigns. 

MSSU Assistant Professor of Political Science William Delehanty says, "If you have money to advertise as a candidate you are   able to get ideas out there for voters to recognize you."
Another PAC director Brad Beecher says, "We think   this is the most important  time in Joplin's history as we focus on recovery from the tornado and clearly we want to focus on job creation as we go forward and economic development of the region."

Professor Delehanty says  if voters agree with a pac's opinions it can create a shortcut to choosing candidates. 
 Voters on the MSSU  campus had varying opinions on wether an endorsement would sway their votes.
Tyler Overstreet says, "Personally, I don't take endorsement into account  when I vote for a candidate. I try to stay as informed as I can and  to be able to make  my own decision based on a candidates merits." 
Andrew Ward says he is torn, "I like people getting in the process but I don't like a group of people subverting  maybe the will of all the town for one interest."
 PAC directors say they won't be active after the election or that financial donations will give them better access.
Cage says, "If someone has this set of values and wants to run for city council to be able to run  sometimes  finances are an impediment to that so we didn't want the financial burden of running  to be  a reason that a good candidate might not run."
For a link to the progress committee's web site and to see its endorsements  click here.


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