Money Matters…Or Does It? The Potential Backfire of Big Bucks


A couple of weeks ago a girlFriend forwarded an e-mail she received from County Clerk candidate Chris Norby – who also happens to be our termed-out 4th District County Supervisor. The e-mail and the website to which it directed us, made a big deal about all the money Norby had accumulated in his quest to “preserve our vital records.” We wrote about it here and here and here .

Although we understand the importance of the moolah, we have to say that we were struck by the unseemliness of this pitch. Could it really backfire?

The only reason Norby can command a fundraising advantage over his competitors is because he is a sitting county supervisor, a job that permits him to exert more than a little fundraising leverage on the squadron of lobbyists and interests that normally pour money into County political campaigns. The idea that Norby would get support from lobbyists for any other purpose is ridiculous. No lobbyists care who the County Clerk is and have no incentive to invest in one. And in any case nobody believes that Norby is better qualified to be a County Clerk than some guy picked at random walking down Main Street.

If I did it you could do it. What about that guy over there?
If I did it you could do it. What about that guy over there?

Seen in this light, suddenly the money advantage starts to look a lot like a political fire sale, a sale in which the proceeds will continually diminish as Norby’s second term winds down and lobbyists perceive that their “investments” in him have passed the point of diminishing returns.

Government shouldn’t be for sale – at least not seen to be for sale. At the very least the appearances of probity should be observed.

4 Replies to “Money Matters…Or Does It? The Potential Backfire of Big Bucks”

  1. It will be interesting to see if the fundraising peters out next spring – with 7 or 8 months still left to go in Norby’s term.

    If Norby were to get stuck in a runoff – I agree. The money would dry up like a dew in the summer and Norby could very well be toast – especially if some big labor union IEs pile on.

  2. So should we be watching for some questionable supervisorial payouts in the next year or so? Or is Norby pretty good at taking money but doing the right thing?

  3. I think Matt Cunningham is such an idiot. He is alway defending Norby.

    The truth is that Norby is not qualified. The email he did last week to County Employees was so unethical.

    If a County Employee would have done that they would have been suspended or fired. Just because he is a Supervisor he gets away with it.

    Shame on the other Supervisors for not addressing the issue!

  4. I ask only this of Norby, Tell us in all sincerity this run for Clerk is not merely just for a paycheck (ie you have other opportunities available to make a living and to serve would be at your sacrafice) and those of us in FFFF land will support you. If you can not do that, please do the honorable thing a go find a job like the rest of us have and you used to have.

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