As a Catholic nun with a vow of poverty, I’m not supposed to concern myself about money. As it happens, though, I’ve been working in the nonprofit world for over 35 years. And in addition to working with social issues (in my case, child abuse and neglect), much of my time has been spent worrying about money — in particular, raising enough to keep the doors open.
So, when there’s talk about millions and billions being tossed around, I get a little disturbed. (Yes, I’ll confess, I get a little bit envious.)
The latest affront to my sensibilities about money comes with the “lifted ceiling” on the amount that philanthropists can contribute to political campaigns (as if there really ever was a ceiling). I would be OK with these large donations under two conditions:
1. Philanthropists would be required to spend equally among Democrats and Republicans.
2. Candidates would have to limit their statements to (a) their understanding of the issues that need to be addressed and problems to be solved in the jurisdiction for which they are running for office (country/district/city/etc.), (b) the concrete solutions they will bring to addressing those issues and solving those problems, and (c) they would be required to refrain from bad-mouthing the opponent.
How well the public would be served and how encouraged we would be to go to the polls. Oh, and perhaps the money that would be saved by those conditions could be directed to the nonprofit world.
Sister Claire LeBoeuf, CSC
New Life Village Inc., Tampa