Slick Gardner doesn’t need no stinkin’ campaign financing.
While he is an official candidate, Gardner’s campaign finance records from the Santa Barbara County Elections Division were blank, denoting no contributions or expenditures as of Jan. 17. Gardner said he does not want to be beheld to any person or interest.
“I’ve sponsored a lot of racecars with my own money,” Gardner said. “Everyone thinks the sponsors hand you the money and then go away, but it doesn’t work like that.”
Gardner said he wants to avoid the influence of donors and will pay any campaign expenses he incurs – like some upcoming television spots – out of his own pocket.
“I’ve been offered a lot of money, but I don’t want to answer to anybody,” Gardner said. “I’ve never answered to anybody.”
Gardner also said the sheer volume of paperwork required to keep track of campaign funding has kept him from accepting donations.
“Someone gives you a $10,000 check, you try to fill out the paperwork, and it’s like, this is more work than it’s worth,” Gardner said.
Gardner said he finds the legality of excessive campaign sign-posting “atrocious,” as well as the legality of phone calls from campaign workers that are just as annoying as those from telemarketers.
“Who gives a shit if you’re eating dinner and you get bothered by a telemarketer or if it’s a politician,” he said.
He has also stayed away from pursing endorsements, because “everyone always questions that stuff anyway.”