Campaign finances squeeze out independents

| 13/05/2013

dr Frank.jpg(CNS): Genuine independent candidates are being squeezed out of the campaign as a result of the influence of big business, one George Town candidate has said. Dr Frank McField, who is running on his own platform in the capital, has warned that if Cayman wants to elect real independent candidates who are not influenced by, or in the pay of, big business or other self-interested groups, some other way of  funding campaigns will need to be created to ensure true independence. McField told CNS that without some kind of public fund for elections, candidates who represent the poor, the downtrodden, the marginalized and those genuinely in need will disappear from the political scene.

“People cannot mount a successful political campaign without group support, be it a team, a party, a group, whatever,” he said. “We have gone way beyond where, despite their best efforts, an individual can gain office on his or her own merit.”

McField said that while the Coalition for Cayman had made the concept of independent candidates a central theme of their campaign, most of the people running on that platform could not be considered independent. He said the financing had come directly from the business community and special interest groups who have in the past attempted to “buy government” and, as that has failed, they are now attempting to “be government”.

Despite the C4C’s claims, their candidates are not independent as they are beholden, as are the party’s candidates, to those who have financed them, McField said. Those candidates running on a genuine independent ticket who are depending on small donations from many different people or their own funds are being pushed out of the running in this campaign.

And as campaigning becomes increasingly expensive, McField warned, things will only get worse and the concept of genuine independence in politics, or candidates running on platforms wanting social change or on specific major policy issues, such as the environment, will soon disappear altogether from the political scene unless government comes up with a way of creating independent financing.

McField said he had very real concerns about the kind of influence the business community was trying to court with the donations it gives to the parties and in this electionto the C4C. The George Town candidate said the coalition had misled the voting public when they talked about "advocacy" and creating think-tanks because, in the end, it has simply been a case of the business community selecting among themselves the people they want in office and then funding their campaigns.

“They are an elite network with major financing behind it and a group of corporate loyalists. Whether they call themselves a party or not, they are a vanguard group not a grass roots team intent on addressing social ills,” he said. “Despite my efforts to speak to them about the many social ills we have in the country, they have refused to meet to discuss even broadly some of the very serious issues facing the people of George Town who are poor, marginalized and living in a social underclass.”

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Comments (36)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The only reason Dr Frank is upset and attaching C4C is because he applied to them for endorsement and they said no….that’s all.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Do NOT vote for him

    He WILL tax you to death !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    now that he has lost all his properties, property tax is not an issue for him it seems

    BUT trust me, it will be hard for all of us Caymanians once taxes are here !

  3. St Peter says:

    When making our voting decision please remember that we are in affect voting for the candidate to personally receive $8,000 – $15,000 per month in salary plus lots of other benefits – all from our tax dollars.

    We are only hoping that they might act sensibly and in our interests – but as we have experienced – this is not always the case…

    My conclusion therefore is that we should not give any of them additional funds to help them get elected…

     

    • ThIs WrItInG Is VeRy IrRiTaTiNg says:

      Does he need the money to fund his campaign or to pay hospital bills for unexplained gunshot wounds?  He may also still be paying the legal fees for defending him in the case for which he was convicted for assaulting police, threatening violence, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct in February of 2008.  Is this the kind of person that should be elected to represent the Cayman Islands?

  4. Anonymous says:

     

    individuals who donate to political candidates have their own agenda. 

    they come back to elected officials for favors.

    its a hand wash hand deal.

    a "fair" election campaign would be 

    "Fair- Without trying to achieve unjust advantage."

    which is not the case in cayman's elections.

     

    • Cayman GT says:

      What a load of BS
      I’m working for an Independent candidate (white collar businessman!) and Frank is WRONG a d a rumor monger!
      Do you want to SEE the cheques of the C4C? These successful business people are reaching into their own pockets.

      The parties have stolen our money and fueling fat-cat campaigns, Dr Frank is a whining petulant child. The $35k audited cap is being adhered to for every penny so don’t believe a word of his baseless slander.

      Dirty politricks like this reaffirm my desire for new honest blood.

      Thank you for playing the fool again Frank- you & Mac both need some reajustment therapy and an ego check.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I don't like the man, but here, he makes alot of sense!

  6. Anonymous says:

    LMAO – Poor Frank.  He didn't get thrown under the bus; he missed it all together! 

  7. Anonymous says:

    lmfao. Dr. Frank 'independant'  Really???  Wow, how stupid do you think we are?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Poor Dr. Frank….does he not realise that he cannot behave like a person of dubious character, get shot in the dark in an area of dubious reputaton, then speak in favor of decriminalising drugs……..and STILL expect to be supportted by the mainstream voter…?.

    Going to college does not a genius make.

    • Chris Johnson says:

      I rather like the shot in the dark bit as it reminds me of the Peter Sellers movie, Frank could fit in the script quite easily due to the parrot sketch, almost as good as Monty Python. Better still is Peter Sellers as the gardener in the movie ‘Being There’ as Chancy the Gardener’. MCKeeva Bush fills that part more than adequately. Folks in West Bay you just have to see that movie before you vote. It will bring tears to your eyes.

  9. Anonymous says:

    When you were a member of the L.A. and a member of cabinet you represented yourself and your special interest. Tell us about the low cost houses built by your ministry. Tell us about your fleet od dump trucks. A leopard does not change his spots nor an Ethopian his skin. (The Holy Bible)

    • Anonymous says:

      And to top it off do not forget instead of working to get Caymanians jobs he brought in Cubans to construct the low cost houses he built. The same houses have since rotted away in record time and had to be abandoned.

    • Anonymous says:

      I so totally agree! Dr. Frank, if you would have done the right thing when you were elected, you would have been re-elected and you wouldn't need to worry about campaign funding because the good reputation you would have had would speak for itself.

      You made your choices and now you are suffering the consequences! Stop trying to make yourself out as the savior of the poor on Island cause you have proven to be one selfish human being.

      • Anonymous says:

        Dr Frank has a track record for being a Saviour to the poor. I bet you cant go into the little Diggings that Frank can go into. Maybe if we change his colour you will like him.

        • Anonymous says:

          As 99% of native Caymanians are of mixed race, the "race card" just doesn't work here, unfortunately for some. It's tried on occasion, but never works. I know that's tough, but it's just life, man. Sorry and all.

      • Anonymous says:

        Frank looked out for the poor more than any other.

  10. CayStudent says:

    I don't think the businesses are trying to control the government by using C4C candidates. I think its more like this: candidates running on the C4C platform are experienced individuals who happen to have worked in the the private sector and are, probably like the majority of Caymanians, fed up with how previous administrations have run our country. 

  11. Anonymous says:

    There is very little cash requirement to enter Cayman politics.  I don't think the public should have to pay extra for the special honour of having a broke independent candidate show up to the free Chamber of Commerce debates.  If you're so broke that you feel you cannot afford to debate for free, then perhaps your motivation can be called into question.

  12. Anonymous says:

    And who, pray tell, did the PPM, UDP and PNA raise their campaign donations from?  Dog City?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Stop being childesh, you cannot get funding because of you long time personal decisions to inflict harm on yourself. By your own choice and deeds you have destroyed your self, now you are looking for sympothy.

    If you choose to destroy your self over and over, you cannot do anything fe we.

    Enjoy your govt. pension.

    pay attention to yu busness, be there cause when the cat away the rats will play. yu get what yu wok fo.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Frank, no one gonna give you cash cos no-one wants you as an MLA…don't blame the lack of cash…you can get out on your bike and talk to people…and how much cash do you need to bike your area??? Sounds like you just want a hand out for nothing..

  15. Anonymous says:

    Stand firm Frank!!! Speak  up and hopefully they will hear and take heed. If you know  something teach it and for those who dont know its time to learn! Cayman has become a sewer of pollution with too much outside influence in our political landscape. Private sector which consists of mostly big business disguised as the chamber of commerce, churchs having too much influence in the policies of the state, paper caymanians voting an allegiance to those who support the continued rape and pillage of our countrys wealth; and limited resources has resulted in caymanians being left behind to ride bicycles and catch the bus with the imported blue collar workers while the affleunt and those with the network drive by in their expensive cars. We have created a social divide as our reality. Segregation along economic lines and the only ones paying the price of this progress are the Caymanians and their future generations. Education alone is no longer the answer as the problem has become a complex web of dysfucntion. We need more… we need opportunities and investment in the Caymanian people and we need it now. 

    • Hoping for better days says:

      Education has never been properly addressed in this country! Building expensive schools for our children to learn in does not make us qualified as having addressed education in this country. In fact one could easily argue that thanks to the PPM we have grandioso schools but the children are still seemingly incompetant…hmmm….places like Barbados who have alot less resources than we do have a very high literacy rate and we have??? nothing to show for all the money we spend! so don't sit there and tell me education is not all that matters. right now it should be number 1 because it has been neglected for FAR TOO LONG!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Some say "genuine independents", others say "crazies".

  17. Anonymous says:

    Well said Dr. Frank.  I do not always agree with you but in this case you are spot on!!

    • Anonymous says:

      15.02-spot on what? The backside of humanity?

    • Anonymous says:

      Just my personal polling. Dr Frank, Jonathan Rayal, Mike,Bo Bo Kurt Winston, Mose David, Ezzard, John, Mr Eden John John, The UDP guy from Bodden Town, Theresa, Mckeeva and his gang. Wait for the results. Can be a too up with Ms Sharon, she is good.

  18. Anonymous says:

    If C$C gave you support would you still be so bitter? If you can’t afford the costs of a campaign maybe that is a sign you probably should not run

    • Anonymous says:

      There are many running that cannot afford the campaign, but that dosent make them the worst contestants. In fact they are probally the most honest and sincere. Dr Frank has a very good track record, but when some people are jealous they will give you all kind of heavy loads to carry. When Dr Frank was in Government before he looked after his little people very well including the seamen. It is like Mckeeva, alot of Caymanians are very jealous of this man and they have decided to destroy him. One thing with Dr Frank he is very educated, just listen to him on the radio and he makes more sense than most of the others. An educated man like Dr Frank can leave Cayman and will easily survive in another mans Country because of his education. Most of us cant.If I was Dr Frank I wouldjust give up the idea of serving the people and look after himself and his family as most of us are ungrateful.

      • Anonymous says:

        Dr Frank is educated- so I wonder how he and McKeeva ended up in the same conversation.  Could it be the tie that bind!!

        • Anonymous says:

          With all the opposition they are still in the race though and very very strong. You are going to be surprised.

      • Anonymous says:

        Where is the eejit button?

      • Hoping for better days says:

        Well said! true words here.

      • Anonymous says:

        I'm glad you put Dr. Frank and McKeeva in the same category. That explained a lot for me. Thank you for encouraging him to give up.  

    • Anonymous says:

      What do you think everyone is running for? Not the love for us but that Almighty Dollar. Politicians have to survive from no less than $9,000 per month while the majority survives from $500 to $2,500 if you are lucky. No wander we have so much tiefing on the Island.