Old Campaign Debt Trails San Jose Councilmember
John Pelissero, senior scholar at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, said it’s not unusual for a politician to carry campaign debt for a long time after their election because it’s difficult to raise funds to pay off old expenses. But he said it can create the appearance of a conflict of interest if a candidate or their family members have other dealings with a company to which they’re indebted.
“Even though it may all be above board, it has this unethical appearance of being inappropriate,” Pelissero told San José Spotlight. “That’s what members of the public may focus on, (saying) ‘Hmm, why is this individual’s family member working for an entity that the former candidate, now councilmember, owes money to?'”
John Pelissero, senior scholar at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University and professor emeritus of political science at Loyola University Chicago quoted on San Jose Spotlight.