Being involved in community service quite naturally leads into political involvement as well.  As seen by Lance's letter to the editor below, you can seen that he takes civic responsibility and political involvement seriously, on top of his own busy schedule.

VanderKolk's vision
Letter to the Editor

Editor, Star-Free Press:

Re: your September 18 editorial, "When a promise isn't," regarding Supervisor Maria VanderKolk's decision to accept campaign contributions from developers:

Despite the newspaper's claim, I fell Supervisor VanderKolk's decision to accept limited campaign contributions from a wide range of citizens was neither hypocritical nor election year rhetoric.

When VanderKolk ran for county supervisor in 1990 it was clear that the development community in the Second District had unparalleled access to local government officials - especially former Supervisor Madge Schaefer.   Not only did Schaefer have hundreds of meetings and telephone conversations with developers, but she accepted personal gifts and invitations to their estates and resorts.   But, more importantly, Madge Schaefer accepted tens of thousands of dollars of developer money in her first term of office.  Madge Schaefer was even introduced to two American presidents by a developer.

VanderKolk's campaign pledge was to not accept contributions from developers because they used huge amounts of money to buy influence from willing politicians.  She rejected this tradition of influence buying" when she was elected and authored Ventura County's first contribution limit ordinance.   This law now limits all contributions - whether they come from firefighters, teachers or developers - to an average total of $250 a year.

Despite your assertion, VanderKolk did not reverse her position, and settle into "business-as-usual" politics.   Indeed, through her contribution limit ordinance Maria VanderKolk strengthened her position and reduced or eliminated, unfair development influence on the political process.

In your own editorial (June 9), in which you praised the VanderKolk proposal, the Star-Free Press stated: "But the biggest threat to good government in Ventura County is that one or more candidates will come along some day who will sell their political souls to out-of-county land development interests.   A contribution limit would be an insurance policy against that threat.

I feel Supervisor VanderKolk has turned a campaign promise into an effective countywide policy that will lead to better and more honest government.  Now that's what I call vision and independence.

Lance Winslow

Reprinted from Star-Free Press, September  1991.

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