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Monday, May 2, 2016

A new way to play the game?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bob Heaton is new to the world of politics.

Sure, he's seen quite a bit throughout the years.

Heaton starred for the Clay City Eels' basketball squads in the mid-70s. Following graduation, he played college basketball for the Indiana State University Sycamores, famously advancing to the 1979 NCAA title game against the Michigan State Spartans.

But recently, he entered the world of politics. And he's already witnessed something he believes needs to be changed.

Recently, Heaton -- the Republican challenger vying for Indiana House District 46 seat -- voiced his opinion regarding campaign financing.

"Looking at past history, I think people will want to know why," Heaton said. "Why is some outfit from California or New York giving $280,000 for this candidate?"

Heaton said he believes candidates for public office should be more honest with where campaign financing money comes from. In fact, he said he believes there should be a cap in place for monies from out-of-state donors.

"It has been an issue in the past," Heaton said. "It is something that needs to be discussed and it has been in the past. We need to look at the money we take in.

"It takes big dollars to run a successful campaign, but I think there ought to be a limit."

Heaton pointed to the current Presidential campaigns of John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.). Both campaigns offer campaign money totals monthly.

"The public deserves to know that their candidates are operating in a good-faith effort when it comes to campaign finance," Heaton said. "Transparency and accountability are the key attributes to any system that serves the people."

Heaton suggested those campaigning for public office could offer those totals on the Internet.

Heaton admitted he has accepted money from out-of-state donors in his campaign, but it was of minimal amount and from a high school friend.

Heaton's proposal calls for comprehensive and complete reporting of campaign money, real-time reporting of campaign money and placing caps on special interest contributions that come from out of state.

"People are going to say, 'Bob, there are more things to worry about,'" he said. "But it goes back to reporting (contributions) and being honest. It's legal, but it's something that needs to be looked at."

Heaton added if he loses in the upcoming election, advocating for improvements regarding campaign financing is something he's interested in.

"It's going to eventually come to a head down the road," he said.

Heaton is running in the election against Vern Tincher (D-Riley). House District 46 includes southern Vigo County and southern Clay County, Owen County and Bean Blossom Township in Marion County.