How do you describe campaign finance reports? They’re boring but revelatory, dreary but interesting. They’re headed for the dustbin of history, but they’re a fascinating snapshot of the candidates that have chosen to run, and of the people and organizations that make campaign contributions.
Incumbent Tim Leigh raised $6,875, including $3,000 from the Police Protective Association (CSPPA), $500 from Kempton Construction, $1,000 from Copper Ridge developer Gary Erickson and $500 from the Broadmoor Hotel. Don Knight pulled in $5,774 with $1.000 from Dave Neumann, $1,200 from Elaine Knight, $500 from Mark Swan and smaller contributions from, among others, Val Snider, Scott Hente, and Jan Doran.
Angela Dougan reported raising $5,575. The CSPPA kicked in $3,000, Kempton ponied up $500, the Housing and Building Association’s PAC added $1,000 to the $2,500 it contributed in a previous cycle, and High Valley contributed $500. Joel Miller reported $2,864, including $400 from Mark Swan and $910 from Glenn Grose.
In an interesting twist, Miller and his wife are offering a $2500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the sign thieves who have so far stolen 120 of his signs. He’s casting himself as a defender of the 1st Amendment, not merely a seriously P.O.’ed candidate. He has a point, since organized sign thievery on such a scale is unlikely to be accidental.
Jim Bensberg raised $3,701, including contributions from Kevin Donovan ($500), Imad Karaki, Bristol Brewing ($463), Eugene Griffith ($500), and Leroy Landhuis ($242.75). Bensberg continues to show strength in the race, despite Keith King’s financial advantage. The universe of likely voters is probably quite small, so the Kingly media blitz may not be important as it might be in a city-wide contest.
Keith King raised $9,875. Once again, King raked in the big bucks from contributors large and small. The breadth and depth of his community connections are telling. While many of the politically aware among us spread their donations out to several candidates, King has as many unique donors as most of the other candidates combined. His only rival in this respect is Brandy Williams – too bad for both that they’re in the same district! CSPPA contributed $3,000, ReBA $1,000, Kempton $500 and Business Furniture Systems $2,500. As of March 15th, King still had $36,939 in the bank, so expect a big media push in the next two weeks.
Brandy Williams brought in $17,635 from an impressive list of small contributors and one very large one. Small donors included Dick and Judy Noyes, John Crandall, Dottie Harman, Judith Casey, Phil Kendall and Martha Barton. Her biggest donor: Consuelo Williams, who wrote a $12,500 check. That’s a serious commitment, and shows that Brandy and her family are going all in to win this thing. Now that the ever-eccentric Tom Gallagher has withdrawn, it’s a three-candidate race – at least for those voters who are paying attention. Gallagher’s name will still be on the ballot, and although he endorsed King, Williams may be the beneficiary. We’ll see – so far, it’s quite the horse race.
Deborah Hendrix raised $5,225 and continues to enjoy the beneficence of big donors. CSPPA gave her $3,000, ReBA $1,000, Kempton $500, and High Valley $500. She’s hoarding the dough – as of March 15th, she still had more than $16,000 in the bank. Interestingly, Daniel Cole manages both hers and King’s campaigns, and is presumably coordinating media buys for both efforts.
Dennis Moore reported $1,985, all from small contributors. The number may not be impressive, but it’s clear that he has support in his district. Whether that support is extensive enough to overcome Hendrix’ name recognition and establishment support is another question.
Jill Gaebler came in at $5,820, with $3,000 from CSPPA, $500 from Tom Perkins, $500 from Lisa Tessarowicz and $250 from Phil Lane. She’s skilled at finding support from across the ideological spectrum, which bodes well for her ability to build coalitions and reconcile opposing factions on council.
Bernie Herpin booked $3,680, including $1,000 from ReBA, $500 from Chuck Murphy, $500 from Dave Neumann, and $250 from Paul Paradis. Bernie may not have Keith King’s fundraising clout, but he’s worked hard on council and should have very positive name recognition.
Al Loma raised $2,300, almost all from HBA – related sources. Elite properties gave him $1,500, Kempton $500, and Ralph Braden $250. This race, like that in District 3, is a hard one to call. A plausible case can be made for any of the three. Big donors often coalesce around a single candidate, but that’s not the case here – financially, it’s an even playing field.
David Moore pulled in $6,285, almost all from a handful of big contributors. CSPPA coughed up $3,000, Hogh Valley $500, ReBA $1,500, and Kempton $500.
Ed Bircham, who is emphasizing his independence by not accepting contributions, gave his campaign $3,000. He’s put in a total of $8,000 which, combined with his name recognition, should pull in a lot of conservative votes. If Moore and Andres Pico split the liberal/moderate/anybody but Ed vote, the indomitable Bircham might find himself on the Council dais.
Andres Pico put $2800 in the bank, including $200 from Colorado Springs Utilities retiree Harold Miskel and $1500 from Pico. And while Pico is as well-qualified as any candidate in this year’s election, it may be hard for him to overcome Bircham’s name recognition or Moore’s establishment support.
Two weeks to go, and things are as murky as ever. Keith King is the only candidate with enough money to run polls, but he’s probably spending his money elsewhere. It’s too late to re-adjust a campaign, since so many ballots have already been returned. The ballots haven’t been counted, but the election is over – or is it? Not every candidate has a chance, but races in D-3 and D-5 may be decided by a few dozen votes, so the candidates will be scrapping for votes until the polls formally close at 7 PM on April 2.