Thursday, March 17, 2011

Campaigns: Follow the money

Posted By on Thu, Mar 17, 2011 at 8:57 AM

Steve Bach
  • Steve Bach

Campaign finance reports! Dull — you bet. Full of gossip-worthy factoids? Absolutely.

Here, conveniently encapsulated for your reading pleasure, are a few nuggets from the latest filings.

Steve Bach

Big donors: The Broadmoor Hotel $5,000, Gary & Jane Loo $5,000 for a cumulative total of $10,000, Stephen Clark (a prominent Wichita real estate developer/investor) $5,000, Stump Creek Inc. (A “private operator of nonresidential buildings” incorporated in Delaware) $2,000, Ron Johnson $2,500, Realtors Political Action Committee $2,500.

Big expenditure: Rock Chalk Media (Grand Junction), $30,360

Strange but true: Bach has apparently tapped a class of contributors undreamed of by his opponents — former state university regents. Steve Clark was on the Kansas board, while Jerry Rutledge, who gave $500, served two terms as a CU regent.

Quick summary: It’s good to have lots of supportive friends and contributors, especially affluent ones!

Brian Bahr

Big donors: Copper Ridge developer Gary Erickson and his spouse Donna $2,500 each, Brian Bahr $200,000 (including a $100,000 contribution and a $100,000 loan).

Big expenditures: Bullhorn Communications $47,826, Rocky Mountain Voter Outreach $6,000.
Strange but true: Bahr’s spouse Heather isn’t listed as a donor to her husband’s campaign, but she did donate $500 to Brandy Williams’ council campaign.

Quick summary: Affluent friends are fine, but personal wealth is even better.

Dave Munger

Big donors: AFL/CIO $3,500, Colorado State Conference of Electrical Workers Small Donor Committee $2,500.

Big expenditures: Colorado Springs Business Journal ads $5,858, Citadel Broadcasting $22,629, Gazette $3,204, KILO $3,293, Colorado Springs Independent $870.

Strange but true: The Business Journal has a circulation of around 2,300 weekly, while the Indy distributes more than 40,000 copies every Thursday — but wait a minute! Business owners get 20 votes each, according to City Clerk Kathryn Young.

Quick summary: Friends are good, and so are unions.

Richard Skorman

Big donors: Former city councilmember Wayne Fisher $1,000, Julie Francis $1,000, Ian Griffis $4,000, Scott Long $4,000, Donald Holliday $2,500, Colorado Springs Police Protective Association $10,000, Colorado Springs Professional Firefighters Association $2,500.

Big expenditures: Essentially none as of last report-but Skorman has more than $100,000 in the bank.

Strange but true: Bach may have the university regents, but Skorman’s donor include an astrologer ($1,000), a writer/attorney ($1,200), and an editor ($3,000), who’s actually a publisher on leave from a prominent regional newspaper.

Quick summary: Bring me your rich, your poor, your city employees, your huddled masses yearning for Skorman — it’s all good!

Sean Paige & Jan Martin

Strange but true: Presumably thanks to overlapping endorsements from the Housing & Building Association, both report donations from David & Carolyn Jenkins, Ralph Braden, Fred Veitch and other prominent builders/developers. Uh, guys, Sean and Jan aren’t exactly on the same page — so congratulations on supporting lively debate in council chambers!

Yet even stranger: Sean Paige reports an in-kind donation of $1,800 from nationally syndicated conservative columnist and Colorado Springs resident Michelle Malkin, who gave him an ad on her website. Uh, Sean, those conservative California rich guys who read her column can’t vote here…but oh, I get it — they could contribute to the campaign! Good thinking!

Lisa Czelatdko

Big contributors: Jim & Laura Johnson $1,000, Colorado Realtors Political Action Committee $1,000

Big expenditure: The Sign Shop $1,078.

Strange but true: Lisa C. has been endorsed by the big three-the Realtors, the HBA, and the Chamber, yet the campaign cash has been slow to materialize. Next week’s report should tell the tale — but meanwhile, Mike Merrifield’s campaign is a lot more visible — although Lisa C. posts at least seven times a day on Facebook.

Quick summary: Sarah Jack and Sallie Clark are both advising the campaign, which is kind of like having Karl Rove and Dick Wadhams advising Obama — the campaign infighting might be more interesting than the campaign.

Mike Merrifield

Big donors: Colorado Springs Firefighters $1,000, Colorado Springs Police Protective Association $2,000, Esther Beynon $2,000.

Big expenditure: Lamar Advertising (billboards) $4,155.

Strange but true: This is Merrifield’s third campaign in thirty months. He was re-elected to the state legislature in 2008, failed in a bid for the county commission in November of 2010, and formally declared for city council the next month.

Quick summary: “I’ll be seeing you/In all the old familiar places/That this campaign of mine embraces…”

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