No, big spending doesn’t guarantee election success – CTA kicked ass with $330 – have a glass of turnip juice, it’s on me!

8 Feb

I’ve been so disappointed in the Enterprise Record lately, I wish I could stop reading it, but for Chico news, that’s all there is.  It’s not really news, but it’s a good indicator of what they want us to think is going on around here.

I was just reading an editorial by David Little, where he just gushes all over Tom Lando. That’s good to know.  Remember what Madame Web said – “Keep your enemies even closer.” 

This story below, which details some of the spending in last November’s local election, ignores Measure J completely. Wouldn’t you like to know what the city spent on Measure J?   I’ll tell you what I spent – $330, and some change. That bought 100 “No on Measure J” signs, and we didn’t even get all of those out. But we won, go figure.

We followed Tami Ritter’s advice – we ran an effective campaign, not a costly one.  Although, I will say, for a family like mine, who live on about half of what Sean Morgan spent on his campaign, $330 is a lot of money. It would have gone most of the way paying for my kid’s class at Butte College. Luckily, the CTA came through, everybody chipped in. We found out – an individual can spend almost $1000 without creating a PAC or having to fill out paperwork. On whatever they like. We chose signs.

Ritter talks about giving money to charity. She should know – I wonder if she’s ever had a salary that did not get squeezed out of the public teat. She acts like she spent nothing – $15,000 is chump change to these people.  We kicked the crap out of Measure J with roughly two percent of what she spent.

 I call that, damn good turnip squeezin!

And here’s that application link again:

Click to access CellPhoneRefundApplication_011713.pdf

Big spending doesn’t guarantee Chico election success

By ASHLEY GEBB-Staff Writer
Posted:   02/05/2013 12:21:45 AM PST
Click photo to enlarge

Chico City Council candidate Dave Donnan removes his election signs along the Skyway on Nov. 7,…

CHICO — Spending big bucks in the Chico City Council race was not a guarantee to secure a seat at the dais last year, with two out of three top spenders failing to get elected, the latest finance filings show.Finance reports released this month for Oct. 31 to Dec. 31 show that Sean Morgan spent and received the most in 2012, at $40,928 and $41,081, respectively. He was the third-highest vote getter for one of four available seats.

But two candidates who raised the second- and third- highest sums of money and also spent large amounts during their campaigns did not get elected.

Andrew Coolidge spent $36,822 and came in fifth place. Bob Evans spent $27,636.92 and received the seventh-highest amount of votes.

First-time councilor Morgan thinks the money and effort spent on his campaign was worth it, but more importantly, he said, he hopes citizens who supported him got what they wanted.

“The deal was you contributed because you believed in my message — a safe place to raise a family, an ideal location for business, and a premier place to live,” he said. “And that is what we are working on.”

The three other candidates to be elected were Ann Schwab, who spent $27,342, followed by Randall Stone at $25,072 and Tami Ritter at $15,919. They received the first-, fourth- and second-highest vote totals, respectively.

In both spending and contributions, Ritter ranked seventh among the 10 candidates. She said she credits getting elected to an effective campaign,  not a costly one.”I made a commitment early, in terms of the amount of money I was going to spend,” Ritter said. “There is an awful lot of money that goes into the campaign process and for me that was a real challenge. Being as tied in as I am to the social services community, I see how much good those dollars could be doing.”

She devoted much of her energy to walking door-to-door, enlisting volunteers and utilizing free social media.

She invested what she did spend on well-planned advertising, using a targeted approach instead of blanketing the community, she said.

In total, last year’s campaign spending by the 10 candidates who accepted contributions totaled $224,680.41. Campaign donations totaled $236,220.87.

Some candidates spent more than some citizens’ annual incomes, Ritter said, but at the other end of the spectrum was candidate Lisa Duarte, who pledged to not accept any money and encouraged people to donate to community causes instead.

“I would love it if that were the norm for a campaign because clearly I can think of multiple organizations around Chico that can benefit from the $15,000 I spent,” Ritter said.

Yet, Duarte received only 3.26 percent of votes, a fraction of those tallied for candidates who amassed thousands of dollars in contributions and invested heavily in their campaigns.

Both Ritter and Morgan said spending money seems to be an inevitable part of campaigning.

“The neat thing about a city council race is you can still meet a lot of people. You can go door-to-door and meet people and say hi,” Morgan said. “But can you knock on 10,000 doors? Probably not. You need money to get that message out there.”

As a newcomer to political races, he did everything he could to reach out to strangers and people he’s known for decades.

“What I didn’t want to happen is for it to get to be the last week and not win because we missed one mailer or one ad,” he said.

Morgan pointed out the campaign finance reports show only what candidates raised and spent, not what was raised or spent in support of them by other individuals or political action committees.

“Somebody else could have had twice that spent on them, and no one looks at it because it is outside,” he said.

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