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John Nephew

Maplewood City Council Policy & Politics


Who's Behind the Independent Expenditures?

Today Maplewood residents were treated to a second postcard in the mail from the front group called "Garbage Haulers for Citizen Choice."  While the previous card told people to vote against me, this one encourages them to vote for two candidates who are opposed to any changes: Bob Cardinal and Marv Koppen.

You might be wondering who put up all the money for these expensive city-wide mailers.  Unfortunately, the group hasn't filed a campaign finance report to disclose their contributors or the expenditures they've made to influence the election.  However, a reader wrote in to point out that the domain registration for www.haulersforchoice.com (the website on their cards) is registered to ACE Solid Waste -- a hauler up in Ramsey, MN, that isn't even licensed to work in Maplewood.

The waste industry has broken every effort by local governments to look at this issue over the last twenty years. Corporations that do no business in Maplewood are willing to spend a lot of money to affect our election, as a warning to other local officials in neighboring communities.  Any elected official thinking about challenging the haulers' cushy status quo, as I have, now knows how much these corporations can spend to punish them in their next election -- and how much cash they're willing to shower upon the candidates who publicly commit themselves to the haulers' corporate agenda.

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You should have added the following at the end of your blog post...

"...no matter how underhanded those candidates are."

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