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Money flows in to Council candidates’ campaign coffers

Wednesday, January 16, 2008 by Austin Monitor

The race is on, and local entrepreneur Randi Shade, who is challenging Council Member Jennifer Kim in Place 3, is slightly ahead of the incumbent in the fundraising department. She has also managed to spend very little of what she has raised.


Shade reported $62,000 in donations as of the end of December, an outstanding $10,000 loan to herself and only $3,300 in political expenditures on this report. Her contributors, some of them active in local politics but many who were not, include many lawyers and business people. On the list are Cathy Bonner, Gary Farmer, Clarke Hammond, Adm. Bob Inman, William Dean Justice, Rosemary Lehmberg and Joe and Janis Pinnelli. Also contributing were Sandy Gottesman, Liz Carpenter, John Lewis, Tom and Melinda Stacy and Joe Bill Watkins.


Her expenditures included some food and initial campaign costs but no consultant fees yet. Her consultant, Mark Nathan is listed as a contributor ($300).


Kim reported raising $56,700 and spending $12,765. She has $7,700 in outstanding loans to herself.  Kim has strong contributions from the city’s Asian community. One of her biggest supporters is engineering consultant Channy Soeur, who along with his wife and daughter, gave Kim $900. Other well known supporters include Martha Cotera, Dick Kallerman, Nikelle Meade, Brigid Shea, and Melvin Wrenn, as well as commissioners Tracy Atkins and Jeb Boyt.


Consulting fees have gone to Ignite Consulting and Total Fundraising Strategies, although it is difficult to tell just how much of the more than $12,000 was for advice and how much for printing and voter lists, since all the expenses are lumped together.


Kenneth Weiss II is running in Place 3.  He has collected $860 in pledges, and spent $923 in expenditures. He has nine contributors.


In the race to succeed Mayor Pro Tem Betty Dunkerley, former Austin Neighborhoods Council president Laura Morrison made a strong showing, with more than $40,000 in contributions. To date, she has spent $21,000.


Morrison’s supporters include former Council Member Beverly Griffith as well as current and past commissioners Andrew Bucknall, John Donisi and Clarke Hammond. Her consultants, the bulk of her expenditures apart from food at campaign events, include Matt Glazer, Ignite Consulting, Amy Parham and Jean Stevens.


One of her opponents, attorney Robin Cravey, raised $13,900. He’s spent approximately $12,200 to date. His contributors include former Council Members Beverly Griffith and Willie Lewis, as well as commissioners Mary Ann Neely, Clarke Hammond and Betty Baker. More than half of Cravey’s contributors gave $100 or less.  The current limit is $300 per person. His major consulting expenditures have gone to Stanley-Garrison and Associates.


Former Planning Commissioner Cid Galindo has enough money personally to make this race competitive, but so far he apparently has not tapped into those funds. Galindo reports he raised $7,350 last year—the amount he must report today—plus $3,800 this month. His supporters include Michael Casias, Tom Stacy, Travis Froehlich, Mike Blizzard,  and Jeb Boyt.


Also running in Place 4, Allen Demling has raised $650 and has an outstanding loan of $2,321. He’s spent $828.  His handful of contributions have come from family members and friends. Frequent candidate Jennifer Gale, reported $12 in contributions. Another hopeful, Sam Osemene, has raised no money but spent $1,300. Most of his political expenditures have gone to create campaign signs.


Council Member Lee Leffingwell reported $47,000 in contributions and only $1,300 in expenditures. His contributors included William Espey, Gary Farmer, Sandy Gottesman, Clarke Heidrick, Charles Heimsath, Perry Lorenz, Mark and Melanie McAfee, Janis and Joe Pinnelli, Shannon Ratliff, Tim Taylor, Larry Warshaw and former Planning commissioner Chris Riley. His primary expenditure has been printing.


Council Member Sheryl Cole still owes herself $45,000 from her 2006 campaign but is not allowed to raise money until she announces for re-election—assuming she does that—in November.


The Better Austin Today PAC (BAT PAC), which is headed by those whose motto might be “We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it any more,” reported a total of $5,643 in contributions. Major contributors included: Bill Bunch and Mary Arnold ($500 each), Baile Griffith, husband of former Council Member Beverly Griffith, Fred Lewis and Lisette Schmidli ($1,000 each). 


To see the PAC, candidate and office holders’ reports, go to:

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