3.26.2010

TS - Money flows into local races in Humboldt County

Money flows into local races in Humboldt County

In a 10-week period, more than $200,000 in contributions were pumped into the campaigns of locals running for four county offices, according to disclosure forms filed with the Humboldt County Elections Office this week.

The California Fair Political Practices Commission requires that candidates for office who will raise or spend $1,000 or more in a calendar year file Form 460s with their local elections office, detailing exactly how much they've raised from whom, what nonmonetary donations they've received and where they've spent their campaign money. The forms are public, meaning anyone can walk into the Elections Office and request copies.

Forms filed Monday detail candidates' campaign activity from Jan. 1 to March 17, and indicate that running for county office -- at least a high-profile one -- is generally not a cheap endeavor.

The following is a look at campaign disclosure filings for the four highest-profile races in Humboldt County. The numbers are based entirely on the candidates' Form 460s filed with the Elections Office this week.

4th District supervisor

The race to become Humboldt County's next 4th District supervisor is quickly shaping up as the most expensive on the North Coast, as three candidates vying for the seat combined to raise more than $70,000 in the disclosure period.

Incumbent Bonnie Neely -- who has held the 4th District seat for 24 years -- led all candidates for the filing period, raising $43,259 in donations.

Neely, who ended the last filing period with $25,348 in cash on hand, reported hauling in $22,634 in cash contributions in this filing period to go with a $5,000 loan from her husband Terry Farmer and $15,625 in nonmonetary donations.

In total, Neely reported receiving 32 donations of $100 or more, 15 donations of $250 or more and six donations of $1,000 or more. She reported receiving a total of $834 in contributions of less than $100 from an undisclosed number of donors.

The incumbent's biggest reported contributors for the filing period were Blue Lake Rancheria, which contributed $10,000; Steven Blank, a commissioner on the California Coastal Commission, which Neely chairs, who contributed $2,000; Zach Zwerdling, an Arcata attorney, who contributed $1,300; Michael Atkins of McKinleyville, who contributed $1,000; Eureka attorney Neal Sanders, who contributed $1,000; and Humboldt Redwood Company, which contributed $1,000.

Neely reported spending $13,832 during the filing period, and ended with $39,149 in cash on hand.

Challenger Eureka Mayor Virginia Bass reported raising a total of $24,315 in the filing period, with $22,152 in cash contributions and $2,163 in nonmonetary contributions.

Bass, who reported starting the filing period with $52,767 in campaign cash on hand, reported receiving 47 donations of $100 or more, 22 donations of $250 or more and six donations of $1,000 or more. She also reported receiving $4,289 in donations of $100 or less from an undisclosed number of donors.

The Eureka mayor's biggest reported contributors for the filing period were Harvey M. Harper Co., which contributed $2,000; Shaw and Peterson Insurance Co., which contributed $1,700; and C&K Johnson Industries, Eureka developer Steve Strombeck, and Don's Rent-All, each of which contributed $1,500 in the filing period.

Bass reported spending a total of $21,775 in the filing period, and ended with $33,154 in cash on hand.

Challenger Eureka City Councilman Jeff Leonard trailed the pack in fundraising, and reported raising a total of $2,728 in the filing period, with $2,444 in cash contributions and $284 in nonmonetary donations.

Leonard, who reported beginning the period with $4,838 in cash on hand, reported receiving four donations of $100 or more, two donations of $250 or more and zero donations of $1,000 or more. He also reported receiving $1,594 in contributions of $100 or less from an undisclosed number of donors.

The councilman's biggest reported contributors for the filing period were Bayside's Ruth Robertson, who donated $400; Kramer Investment Corp., which contributed $250; and Allpoints, Inc., and Eureka's Richard Whitaker, who each contributed $100 in the filing period.

Leonard reported spending a total of $6,728 in the filing period, and ended with $838 in cash on hand.
5th District supervisor

Four candidates in the race to become the county's next 5th District supervisor reported raising a combined $39,601 in campaign donations for the filing period.

Lost Coast Communications President Patrick Cleary reported leading the pack in fundraising, bringing in a total of $20,357 in campaign contributions. Cleary, who began the period with no money in his cash-on-hand piggy bank, reported receiving $15,057 in cash contributions, $300 in nonmonetary donations and loaning his campaign $5,000.

In total, Cleary reported receiving 45 donations of $100 or more, 15 donations of $250 or more and two donations of $1,000 or more. He also reported receiving $1,131 in donations of less than $100 from an undisclosed number of donors.

Cleary's biggest reported contributors for the filing period were Blue Lake Rancheria, which donated $5,000, and McKinleyville's Victor Koshkin, who donated $1,000.

Cleary reported spending $5,849 in the filing period, and ended with $14,427 in cash on hand.

McKinleyville resident Ryan Sundberg reported raising $14,567 in the filing period. Sundberg, who began the period with $41,500 in cash on hand, reported receiving $14,750 in cash contributions and $17 in nonmonetary contributions.

In total, Sundberg reported receiving 16 donations of $100 or more, nine donations of $250 or more and seven donations of $1,000 or more. He reported receiving $0 in donations of $100 or less.

Sundberg's biggest reported contributors for the filing period were Blue Lake Rancheria, which contributed $5,000; Shaw & Peterson Insurance Co., C&K Johnson Industries, Eureka developer Steve Strombeck and Don's Rent-All, all of which contributed $1,500; and Humboldt Redwood Co. and Arcata Realtor Justin Porteous, both of which contributed $1,000.
Sundberg reported spending $26,255 during the filing period, and ended with $31,630 in cash on hand.

Fifth Division Harbor District Commissioner Patrick Higgins reported raising a total of $5,244 in the filing period. He reported receiving no loans or nonmonetary donations, and raised all the funds in cash donations.

In total, Higgins reported receiving 12 donations of $100 or more, six donations of $250 or more and two donations of $1,000 or more. He also reported receiving $144 in donations of $100 or less from an undisclosed number of donors.

Higgins' biggest reported contributors were Blue Lake self-employed consultant Wiliam Kier, who contributed $1,000, and Patrick and Diane Higgins, who contributed $1,000.

Higgins reported spending $4,254 in the filing period, and ended with $989 in cash on hand.

McKinleyville resident Jeffrey Lytle reported receiving no donations of any kind and receiving a $50 loan from J.L. Construction. He reported spending $2,084 during the filing period and ending with $0 in cash on hand. Lytle filled out many of the Form 460s with “N/A,” seeming to signify “not applicable,” so it's unclear if he began the filing period with any cash on hand.

Humboldt County sheriff

The two candidates vying to become the county's next sheriff combined to raise $48,595 in the filing period.

Humboldt County Undersheriff Mike Downey led the two candidates, and reported raising $27,033 in the period. Downey, who entered the period with $1,905 in cash on hand, reported bringing in $24,491 in cash contributions and $2,542 in nonmonetary donations.

In total, Downey reported receiving 50 donations of $100 or more, 30 donations of $250 or more and three donations of $1,000 or more. He also reported receiving $6,509 in contributions of $100 or less from an undisclosed number of donors.

Downey's biggest reported contributors were Humboldt County Correctional Peace Officers, which contributed $1,500; Travis Campbell/TAP Ventures, LLC, in Bayside and Carlsbad plumber William Beeson, both of whom contributed $1,000.

Downey reported spending $25,543 during the period, and ended with $3,658 in cash on hand.

Humboldt County District Attorney's Office Chief Investigator Mike Hislop reported receiving $21,562 in donations during the period. Hislop, who entered the filing period with $0 in cash on hand, reported bringing in $14,739 in cash contributions and $6,823 in nonmonetary donations.

In total, Hislop reported receiving 32 donations of $100 or more, 16 donations of $250 or more and two donations of $1,000 or more. He also reported receiving $4,949 in contributions of $100 or less from an undisclosed number of donors.

Hislop's biggest reported contributors were Arcata's Pat Murphy, who is self-employed, and Bill Davidson, of Eureka's Bill Davidson Bail Bonds, both of whom contributed $1,000 during the filing period.

Hislop reported spending $7,960 during the period, and ended with $6,778 in cash on hand.

Humboldt County district attorney

Four candidates racing to become the county's next top law enforcement official combined to report raising almost $65,000 over the last couple of months.

Incumbent District Attorney Paul Gallegos, who has held the post since 2002, led the way, reporting a total of $27,093 in donations during the period. Gallegos, who entered the filing period with $0 in cash on hand, reported receiving $7,093 in cash contributions, $0 in nonmonetary donations and a $20,000 loan from David Gallegos of Weston, Fla.

In total, Gallegos reported receiving five donations of $100 or more, four donations of $250 or more and one donation of $1,000 or more. He also reported receiving $693 in donations of $100 or less from an undisclosed number of donors.
Gallegos' biggest reported contributors were David Gallegos, who contributed $5,000; McKinleyville's Ken Miller, who contributed $500; and Eureka's Zwerdling Dibble, LLP, which contributed $500.

Gallegos reported spending $16,197 in the filing period, and ended with $10,895 in cash on hand.

Challenger Allison Jackson, who entered the filing period with $0 in cash on hand, reported raising $13,674 in the filing period, entirely through cash donations.

In total, Jackson reported receiving 32 donations of $100 or more, 26 donations of $250 or more and one donation of $1,000 or more. She also reported raising $423 in donations of $100 or less from an undisclosed number of donors.

Jackson's biggest reported contributors were Harland Law Firm, which contributed $1,000; and Eureka developer Steve Strombeck, Barnum Timber Co., Eureka Oxygen, Kramer Investment Corp. and 15 others, each of which contributed $500.
Jackson reported spending $11,838 in the filing period, and ending with $1,835 in cash on hand.

Another challenger, Paul Hagen, entered the filing period with $0 in cash on hand, but reported raising $10,347 in the period. Hagen reported receiving $2,780 in cash donations, $167 in nonmonetary donations and receiving a combined $7,400 in loans, $5,200 from himself and $2,200 from Eureka's Margaret Herbelin.

In total, Hagen reported receiving nine donations of $100 or more, four donations of $250 or more and no donations of $1,000 or more. He also reported receiving $167 in contributions of $100 or less from an undisclosed number of donors.

Hagen's biggest reported contributors were Chicago attorney Darren Watts, who contributed $700; Eureka's Margaret Herbelin, who donated $500; and Bayside's Loren and Linda Azevedo, who contributed $300.

Hagen reported spending $4,537 in the filing period, and ended with $5,642 in cash on hand.

Kathleen Bryson, who also entered the filing period with $0 in cash on hand, reported raising a total of $13,750, with $8,750 in cash contributions and $5,000 in a loan from herself to the campaign.

In total, Bryson reported receiving three donations of $100 or more, and no donations larger than that. She also reported receiving $8,450 in contributions of $100 or less from an undisclosed number of donors.

Bryson's biggest reported contributors were Senior Resource Director Margaret Kraft, Humboldt County Law Librarian Richard Edgar and lawyer Eleanor Kraft, each of whom contributed $100.

Bryson reported spending $18,208 during the period, and ended with $1,241 in cash on hand with an outstanding debt of $10,700.

Thadeus Greenson can be reached at 441-0509 or tgreenson@times-standard.com.

Thadeus Greenson/The Times-Standard
Posted: 03/25/2010 02:10:35 AM PDT