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Council's empty campaign finance reform ordinance
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How to explain the utter emptiness of the Turlock government’s recent campaign reform gesture? Consider the backdrop. The recent farmer’s market flap disrupted the mayor’s scheme to ram a wealthy political donor’s for-profit operation into the downtown site so successfully cultivated by the Turlock Certified Farmer’s Market, and gave a black eye to the image he needs for personal political advancement. The episode in turn invigorated a TIN CUP campaign that likewise stands to complicate his good ol’ boy approach to running the city and thus his career plans.

So what did the mayor do? Apparently, he scrambled to control the damage and pretty up his tarnished reputation by creating the appearance of enacting TIN CUP reform while practically preserving the corruption and cronyism that serve him so well. Thus his proposal – barely passed by the city council – that relies on voluntary compliance and includes no mechanism for enforcement. This may serve the mayor’s purposes, but once again – here as in the matter of the farmer’s market – he has forsaken our city’s integrity for himself and his political pals. Council member Nascimento is correct: this empty TIN CUP measure is worse than nothing.

— Bret Carroll