The Truth About My Campaign Finances

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Regarding the letter from Rich Breyer (Noblesville voter wants Corbett to tell the truth) in yesterday’s Reporter. Mr. Breyer says I “disguised” contributions but that’s absolutely untrue. I reported these contributions from individual citizens of Noblesville (plus one from Indianapolis and my Mom who lives in Colorado) exactly as the law demands. Had these been businesses seeking influence and donating from their corporate accounts, the business names would have been clearly recorded. You don’t find those records in my financial reports because, as I’ve always said, I don’t take money from special interests or people that do business with the city. That was as true before the election as it is today.

Here’s the truth:

Money I’ve received from: Unions: $0, PAC’s: $0, Law firms: $0, Corporate lobbies: $0, Politicians: $0, City contractors: $0, Out of state: $500 (from my Mom)

My family and my business donated (directly or in-kind) $8,500 to my campaign.

This is wildly inaccurate; the number is $3,500, $5,000 less than the reader claims. Here’s the breakdown:

My Mom has supported me not only with her love and wisdom but with a generous gift of $500. As a young man I learned that if your Mother doesn’t support what you’re doing you should take a long hard look at the path you’re on.

I donated $3,000 (in kind) from my business. If I won’t contribute to my own campaign how can I ask others to do so? The record is clear on this and so is my conscience.

Here are details on the other three contributors Mr. Breyer cites:

Richard Vonnegut

I got to know Richard while working with Save The Nickel Plate. He runs an Indianapolis-based non-profit, which advocates for converting abandoned railroads to trails and was a huge force in the development of the Monon trail. Ironically, he opposes the city’s plans to convert the Nickel Plate Railroad to a trail, recognizing the value of an intact track from Noblesville to Indianapolis. He and I both recommend a rail WITH trail. We are both cyclists that support trail development. He is concerned about a “breach of ethics” in the handling of the Nickel Plate Railroad. Richard does no business with the city and donated as an individual because it was a personal endorsement of our shared interests and beliefs, not an attempt by a non-profit organization to influence a candidate.

Jae Ebert

Jae is fourth generation Noblesville and has been a personal friend of mine for over 10 years. We first met through the Noblesville Preservation Alliance and bonded over a shared love of Noblesville’s history.  Jae does own an engineering company but he’s no developer. He does construction administration and design consulting for hospitals, schools, libraries and so forth.

Drawing any comparison between Jae and the kind of outside developers and civil engineering firms that voters are taking issue with is dishonest and misleading. Jae’s only “special interest” is in seeing this city, which he and his family have called home for generations, return to the people and start down a path of openness and transparency.

Jason Spartz

Jason is another Noblesville resident and personal friend of mine. He invests in real estate, not unlike thousands of other citizens, but that hardly qualifies him as a “developer” in the context that term has been used during the campaign. He has had contracts with the city but, as opposed to collecting from the city, he pays the city. He buys the rights to farm open land the city owns, which allows the city to collect some revenue from land that would otherwise earn nothing. I’m not going to drag his spouse or anyone else’s family into this debate. Who Jason is married to has absolutely nothing to do with this campaign. Jason supports me because he believes in my campaign. That’s why his name is on the report and not someone else’s.

Setting the record straight:

When I talk about corporate or special interests, I’ve been clear that I mean money that comes from businesses based elsewhere, run by people who don’t live here and don’t pay local taxes, but who seek lucrative contracts with the city by funding the campaigns of people they expect to treat them well if elected. That system works to the advantage of those businesses but not necessarily to that of the taxpayer. My campaign does not seek those kinds of donations and would reject them if offered. None of these campaign contributions fit that profile.

Some people say that is just the way politics works and big money from out of town always rules the day, but my campaign is asking people to envision a better way. I believe that if we elect candidates who aren’t encumbered by those relationships, who are free to make decisions beholden only to the citizens, we’ll get better governance in city hall.

I am confident that Noblesville residents see how those relationships are holding us back and will vote for a fresh start in the new year.

If you’d like to view a copy of my most current campaign finance report you can download it here.

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