Friday, November 01, 2013

Campaign Finance: Iowa City

With four days to go before the election, the last mailings are on the way and the last campaign finance reports have been filed. They're always an interesting look at who's with who.

Here's the Iowa City races; Coralville is in a separate post.

The professional press is posting their stories without waiting for the last reports, so I'll do the same.

At Large

Kingsley Botchway raised $5,202.00 and spent $2,702.54 leaving $2,499.46. He did at least one mailing which landed today.

Lots of elected and former elected officials on Kingsley's list: council incumbent Jim Throgmorton, former mayor Ross Wilburn, Senator Joe Bolkcom, Supervisors Janelle Rettig Pat Harney and Rod Sullivan, Auditor Travis Weipert, Treasurer Tom Kriz, County Attorney Janet Lyness AND her recently announced primary opponent John Zimmerman,   former council member Carol deProsse, former Democratic Party chairs Dave Tingwald and Tom Carsner, and former school board member Nick Johnson, Also, just because I like this one: musician Iris DeMent.

Catherine Champion filed an organization statement August 13 listing her mother, outgoing council member Connie Champion, as treasurer. As of this morning there was no October 31 report posted.

UPDATE: Champion filed a handwritten report (with spectacularly challenging handwriting) late yesterday afternoon which was posted this morning. Late this afternoon the electronic version was posted. According to Iowa Ethics director Megan Tooker, who quickly replied to my question:
County and local candidates are not required to file electronically unless they raise or spend more than $2,000 in a calendar year beginning on January 1, 2011.  Once a committee crosses the $2,000 threshold, it is required to continue to file electronically thereafter. It is common for us to have committees that mistakenly file on paper when they are required to e file.  The first time it happens, we notify the committee and give them 10 days to file electronically.
So Catherine is in the clear.  As for the report itself, she was the top 2013 fundraiser (not counting Terry Dickens' holdover money from 2009) raising $9,045.00. Champion spent $4,862.96 leaving $4,182.04.

UI president Sally Mason put her own name on the check for Champion, it appears. The only current elected officials on the report are Dickens (the handwritten report lists both but the computer filed reports lists only wife Jo) and of course Mom. Ex-mayor Balmer and former candidates Leah Cohen and Captain Steve Soboroff donated, along with developer  Marc Moen, the Pagliai pizza family and burger man Kevin O'Brien.

Rockne Cole raised $4,056.71 and spent all but $126.81 of it. Throgmorton, deProsse, Johnson, Carsner, former council member Mike Wright, and former council candidate Garry Klein show up as donors.

Susan Mims started 2013 with $1,549.69 and raised another $4155, She spent $3,803.82, leaving $1,900.87. Her donor list would be a good starter set for anyone looking to identify the old guard Iowa City establishment. No current elected officials but loads of formers: John Balmer, Ernie Lehman, Dee Vanderhoef, Bob Elliott. And, a little out of place in this crowd, "progressive" Wright. Throw in the usual business suspects like Bob Downer and Ed Barker.

District B

Terry Dickens started the year with $8,132.62 in his jewelry box. That was left over from 2009, when he raised nearly $14,000 preparing for a serious race. Instead, he and Mims  got a near-walkover against a pair of students. Dickens has added another $4,478.00 and spent $3,466.50, for $9,144.12 left in the bank.

The only current elected official on Dickens' current donor list is Kriz, but again a lot of formers: Balmer, Vanderhoef, Ambrisco. You'll also see regent Bob Downer and McDonalds magnate Kevin O'Brien, who lives in Manville Heights but plays prominently in the Coralville reports.

Royceann Porter raised $4,026.00 and spent $3,757.60, leaving $268.40 on hand. Donors you may know include Bolkcom, Rettig and Sullivan, deProsse, Tingwald and Carsner. Porter lists every donor $5 and up, even though the reporting threshold is $25, making for a long list of small donors.

21 Bar

Iowa City has a $100 donation limit for candidates, but doesn't apply the same rules on ballot issues. Neither side would have nearly as much money if they faced such limits.  Also, Iowa allows corporate donations to issues, but not candidates. The issue committees also had an additional October 19 report due.

Young Adults for Equality and Safety, the pro-19 campaign, reported raising $3000, from four bars, on the October 19 report. The October 31 report listed another $3900, all from the "Cream Political Action Committee," which a little Googling tells us is... the Union Bar. So that totals $6900, with $2,635.92 left in the bank.

21 may complain that "only the bar owners support 19," and personally I think it was a strategic mistake for 19 to entirely self-fund for just that reason. But that handful of bar owners is up against the entire established power structure of the city and university...

21 Makes Sense (sic) reported raising $12,146.00 on the October 19 report and another $3,116.00 on the October 31 filing. for a total $15,262, more than twice the 19 total. They spent $13,694.98, much of it on three (so far) mass mailings. Our house got two copies of each even though A) Koni and I had both already voted and 2) I've kind of made my position clear on this issue. Still, that leaves them with $1,567.02, which I'm betting is earmarked for a Press-Citizen ad full of names.

The biggest 21 donor, as hecklers at the Wednesday night forum noted, is co-chair Tom Rocklin, the UI's VP of Student Life, with a $2500 check. Developer Marc Moen gave $1000. Joan Jehle, Ken (Mr. Sally) Mason and outgoing council member Connie Champion each kicked in $500.

Lesser donors in amount if not stature include, of course, mayor Matt Hayek and former mayors Balmer, Ambrisco, Naomi Novick, and Ernie Lehman, council member Rick Dobyns (who led the failed 2007 21 campaign), former council member Wright, former UI president Sandy Boyd (who also gave to Botchway), and Lensing Funeral Home (co-owned by Rep. Vicki Lensing who made a robo-call for Team 21).

No comments: