Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Is it ethical for an unopposed candidate to hold a fundraiser?

As many of you know, we held a moderated 4-way democratic debate for 1st District City Council last April, where Democratic candidate Mark Squilla faced off with his competitors to become the unopposed candidate for City Council in the First District.  Since then, I have seen Mr. Squilla at multiple events and functions in Port Richmond, to include our clean-up of Stokely Playground last weekend,  However, today I received the below email from the Squilla campaign promoting a fundraiser for the "upcoming election". 

 "Dear Friends,

Please join me for a fundraiser in support of my campaign.   The details are
listed below.   With only four weeks until the general election, every day
becomes more exciting as I prepare to take office in January.  I recently won
the endorsements of the Liberty City LGBT Democratic Club and  AFSCME District
Council 47.    I continue to campaign hard, meet as many people as possible and
spread my positive message throughout the district.  I hope you can stop by on 
October 30th.   The Eagles play at 8pm that night so the event will be a good
warmup to the game.   I hope to see everybody then.

Sunday, October 30, 2011
2:00-6:00 PM

Shooting Stars Club
1931 S. 3rd Street
Philadelphia, PA

Platinum Host- $1000
Sponsor- $100
Friend- $35

Personal checks payable to
“Squilla for Council”
P.O. Box 37332 Philadelphia, PA 19148

No corporate checks. Contributions are not tax deductable according to
Pennsylvania Law.

RSVP to or 267-290-8836"

This raises an interesting couple of ethics questions. 
  1. As there is no Republican or Independent candidates running in the 1st District, Mr. Squilla is running unopposed.  Why would he need a fundraiser then?
  2. How would the donations gleaned from this fundraiser be spent, since there is no need for continued campaigning?
As a resident of the first district, this event's timing has raised my curiosity. 

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