Regarding “Newport Needs Political Reform”
Keith Curry’s opinion piece (NB Indy forum, Feb. 19) is full of good ideas that would make elected officials more accountable to the public. I hope the public and the Council listen.
I’d like to make one more suggestion. Newport voters should do what many cities do and vote by district. Currently candidates must live in the district they represent, but they collect votes from voters citywide.
A better set-up would have candidates solicit votes from just the voters in the district. A candidate could focus just on the people he or she will represent.
I ran a door-to-door campaign against Leslie Daigle during her last run for office in 2010. I didn’t work to raise money. I knocked on thousands of doors and talked to over 4,000 voters. It was a lot of people but only about 5 percent of the city. Had I stayed in district I would have made contact with about 35 percent of the district’s voters. I always felt that I won on the door steps but I only spent about 50 cents per vote received versus the other candidates who spent in the range of $10 per vote.
I was the top door knocker but did no mailings and only posted 200 signs which were given to me by a printer friend. It was meant to be a serious run but I was totally naive. The Register asked me on day one how I would compete against Leslie Daigle who had already amassed an $80,000 campaign war chest. It sounded crazy to me but some candidates spend well into the six figures. It is crazy and I never solicited funds.