Donations by special groups to officials should be fully disclosed

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Well, the truth is out. We have a town councilman, Russ Kelley, and a planning commissioner, Greg Obranovich, who are heavily supported by the North State Building Industry Association, a development-oriented industry group that serves building contractors and architectural firms. While it's not illegal for a candidate to be backed by a special interest group, it should have been fully disclosed during the 2006 election campaign. How disappointing that our small town election process had to be a victim of the sleazy tactics of special interest groups. Knowing what we now know, the big questions that remain are: Why was the group responsible for the sleazy hit mailers “ led by Jim Williams of Williams & Paddon Architects “ not penalized by the Fair Political Practices Commission for their secretive, underhanded efforts to influence our local election? To what degree did the two candidates know they were being supported by the building association and concur with their tactics? (Perhaps they did not choose their backers.) And most importantly, to what extent is their voting on town policies (e.g. open space preservation, tree ordinance, wall/fence ordinance) and proposed development projects influenced by their backing by the building association? The public deserves some honest answers. Unfortunately, their voting decisions on issues vital to retaining the small town character of Loomis will always be subject to a cloud of doubt as to whether they're voting for what's best for our town, or what's best for the building industry. It means Loomis residents will have to be extra vigilant in monitoring and questioning the votes cast by Mr. Kelly and Mr. Obranovich. Roger and Irene Smith Loomis