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Shade, Leffingwell big winners in fundraising saga

Friday, April 11, 2008 by Mark Richardson

One month before the May 10 City Council election, some candidates are well-funded for the home stretch—including Randi Shade, who is challenging incumbent Jennifer Kim. Shade has more than $103,000 in cash to make it to the finish line, while Kim reports $74,000 cash on hand. On Thursday, both were among the candidates filing their reports 30 days prior to the election.


The net amount of contributions is up considerably over the 2006 election, due mainly to an increase in the allowable donation from $100 to $300 per person. The reports filed yesterday are for the period Jan. 1-March 31.


Shade’s campaign has collected $158,000 in donations since last fall, and has spent about $63,000 so far. Shade’s campaign put out a release Thursday listing more than 40 high-profile contributors. Her major expenses include $8,500 to American Campaign Signs and Graphics, $9,500 to Mark Nathan at Austin Strategies, $6,000 to Stanford Campaigns, and $12,000 to Susan Harry Consulting.  


In the Place 1 race, Lee Leffingwell carries the largest war chest into the final month, with a little over $110,000 left. Leffingwell has raised a total of $168,374 during the campaign and has only spent $55,385.  Most of his expenditures went to consultants Mark Nathan at Austin Strategies and $17,500, and fundraiser Susan Harry for $9.000.


Other Place 1 candidates include Jason Meeker and Alan Demling. Meeker reports contributions of $8,480, and expenditures of $4,434, leaving him with just over $4,000 cash. The bulk of his expenditures were mostly campaign printing and mailing. Demling reports contributions of $460, expenses of $1,600 and loans to himself for about $1,200. Most of his expenditures were for a web site and yard signs.


Kim’s campaign has collected almost $141,000 since the campaign began, spending about $69,000 through Thursday. Major expenses include $7,500 to her campaign manager, Paige Hill, $16,000 to Ignite Consulting, $7,500 for Opinion Analysts, and $7,100 to Southwest Opinion for opposition research.


Also a candidate for Place 3, Ken Weiss raised $290 in political contribution, and has loaned himself $600. He has $188 on hand, and has spent $639, mostly on a web site and campaign flyers.


In Place 4, Cid Galindo leads the pack in contributions and spending. The former Planning Commission member has taken in almost $90,000, with expenditures of about $70,000 and $26,000 cash on hand. Galindo has made a $10,000 loan to his campaign.  Major expenditures include more than $27,000 to Fero Hewitt Global Consultants—but $15,000 of that was for TV advertising, which Hewitt purchased for Galindo. Kelly Vidovic received $10,500 and Rachel Fletcher received  $4,400.


Kelly Fero, one of the principals at Fero Hewitt Global, told In Fact Daily Thursday that he was no longer working for the Galindo campaign. “We agreed to part so that he wouldn’t have to answer for any fallout from the Keel controversy,” he said. “Our work was done anyway.  Gave him a good message and a good TV spot..”  Fero was involved in a campaign incident as a consultant for Rosemary Lehmberg during the District Attorney’s race. Fero wrote an anonymous blog linking Terry Keel to Mindy Montford’s campaign, and the Lehmberg campaign used the material without identifying Fero as the author. Keel has asked Travis County authorities to begin criminal proceedings against Fero in the matter.


Former Austin Neighborhoods Council President Laura Morrison has raised about $79,000 plus a loan from herself for $40,000. She has $28,000 in cash, and has spend about $52,000. Her major expenditures include $4,200 to Matt Glazer, more than $8,000 to Ignite Consulting, and $4,000 to Jean Stephens.


Robin Cravey has raised some $35,000, and loaned himself $2,000. He has about $1,500 left on hand, and has spent about $34,000. Major expenses include $4,000 to Stanley-Garrison and Associates, and more than $5,000 to Emma Cravey, his campaign manager.


Other Place 4 candidates include Jennifer Gale and Kenneth Vasseau. Gale reported contributions of $48, a loan for $500 and expenditures of $500, with $59 cash on hand. Vasseau reports contributions of $10, and expenditures of $1,100, with no explanation for the discrepancy.

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