Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Big money goes to Sallie

Posted By on Wed, Jun 6, 2012 at 11:48 AM

El Paso County commissioner election

Sallie Clark, trying for her third term as an El Paso County commissioner, has received the most campaign dough among those seeking county office this cycle.

Clark has hauled in $22,249, according to campaign finance reports filed yesterday, which is more than your run-of-the-mill commissioner campaign attracts. She's spent $12,304.

Karen Magistrelli, Clark's opponent in the June 26 primary, has brought in $8,900 and spent $5,535.

Dennis Hisey, who's also seeking a third term, reported $11,654 in contributions and $9,114 in campaign expenses.

His Republican primary foe, Auddie Cox, drew $6,330 in contributions and spent $4,017.

Commission Chair Amy Lathen, who's seeking her second term, has no primary opponent but still raised $13,365 in contributions and spent $7,359.

As for where the money is coming from, all three commissioners' campaigns are being padded by high-ranking county employees. Money has come to one or all of them from such people as County Administrator Jeff Greene, public works official Max Rothchilde, County Attorney Bill Louis, coroner Robert Bux, and Imad Karaki, who works in employee benefits and IT.

El Paso County election
  • Clark: Rolling in dough.

Clark has snagged a lot money from development interests, such as Nor'Wood officials, Chuck Murphy and the Colorado Springs Housing and Building Association.

Like Clark, Hisey got $750 from the HBA.

Also like Clark, Hisey got $2,000 from Jim Johnson, owner of G.E. Johnson, which has been paid more than $13.5 million for contractor work under the county's Strategic Moves Initiative, a $61 million shuffling of county offices that included purchase of the former Intel building on Garden of the Gods Road.

Hisey also has received $1,000 each from Robert and Steven Norris, members of a ranching family that's trying to build a reservoir southeast of the city on a site targeted by Colorado Springs Utilities for its own reservoir as part of the Southern Delivery System pipeline project.

A footnote on Hisey's spending: He claimed $50 as a campaign expense for attending the CASA of the Pikes Peak Region's Light of Hope event held in April. Interesting. So he was there campaigning, rather than simply supporting the organization. Got it.

El Paso County election
  • Magistrelli: Thanks, Mark.

Most of the cash for the two challengers, Magistrelli and Cox, has come from the Mark J. Bogosian Trust. Bogosian is securities trader and investor who lives in the Broadmoor area and has supported groups opposed to city and county tax increases. He also has given thousands of dollars in the past to presidential candidate Ron Paul, Bob Schaffer's U.S. Senate campaign and Doug Lamborn's congressional races.

He gave Magistrelli $5,000 and Cox $5,000.

Hisey and Clark might not be facing challenges within their own party except for their approval of a ballot measure in 2010 that asked voters to "limit" them to three terms, wording some voters cried foul over, considering commissioners at that time already were limited to two terms.

The measure passed, voters protested, and both Hisey and Clark refused to allow a new ballot measure in 2011 that would attempt to overturn the 2010 measure. If successful, Hisey and Clark couldn't have run for a third term. But it didn't happen. Instead voters have been promised the measure will be on the November ballot.

If elected, both Hisey and Clark stand to gain hundreds more dollars per month in retirement pay, along with four more years of their $87,300 annual salary.

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