Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, responding to campaign finance reports that show she spent nearly three times as much as her nearest challenger in this spring’s election, says ideas are more important than spending in Evanston elections.

The mayor says “Evanston voters are very smart” and “that staying positive works.”

Tisdahl, who was the only incumbent alderman in the four-way race, and thus the only one with a record in office to defend, said staying positive “does cost more money, because going negative gets a lot of press.”

She said she sees three options for future candidates:

  • Be a full-time candidate and get your message out with coffees, forums and going door-to-door.
  • Keep working and fund the campaign with your own money and donations.
  • Dial for dollars and hold lots of fundraisers. People will donate, she says, if they believe in the candidate and the candidate’s message.

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Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. Call me skeptical
    I’m skeptical of the Mayor’s claim that ideas made the difference in the mayoral election.

    If you have lots of money to spend, you will get your picture and slogans in front of a lot of people. If you have been generous with your money, people will take the time to listen to your ideas. It doesn’t mean they are good ideas.

    The mayor won the election. But to discount how much money she spent — I don’t buy it.

    And two pieces of her advice for candidates will be helpful to others who have wealth but it doesn’t bode well for those of us who are not uber-wealthy:

    1. “Be a full-time candidate.” Us mere mortals with jobs certainly can’t do that.

    2. “Fund the campaign with your own money and donations.” Sorry, Mayor, but my cash is tied up in my house and the astronomical property taxes here. There is nothing left in my bank account to devote to funding a campaign to secure a low-paying elected office.

    Is the Mayor advising that only the wealthy will have a shot at running this city in the future?

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