Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hopefuls on fundraising frenzy


With six business days remaining until election day, Santa Barbara County Third District candidate Steve Pappas lined his campaign coffers with nearly three times the amount his opponent, Doreen Farr, did in the past three weeks.
During the most recent fundraising period, which began Oct. 1 and ended Oct. 18, Pappas, a local business owner who lives in Los Olivos, raised $98,950 to Farr’s $36,247.
The jump in funds for Pappas still fell far short from taking over the overall lead, which Farr retains with a total of $486,511, roughly $66,000 more than Pappas’ total of $420,551.

Both candidates spent heavy in the beginning of October, with Farr making $129,569 in expenditures, while Pappas spent $117,303.
Barring a continued burst in cash flowing Pappas’ way, Farr will likely have more cash on hand down the stretch, as she still has $43,738 in her war chest compared to $12,620 for Pappas.
Pappas made a similar fundraising run just prior to the June 4 primary election. While it’s difficult to know how much difference the last-minute cash meant to Pappas, some believed it helped vault him in front of former candidate David Smyser, who finished 723 votes behind Pappas despite being hand-picked by current supervisor Brooks Firestone as his successor.
But while Pappas’ money may have helped him clinch the second spot to force a runoff with Farr, the former county planning commissioner was still 10 percentage points ahead of Pappas.
The Third District, which stretches from Isla Vista to Vandenberg Village, and Goleta to the Santa Ynez Valley, is notoriously difficult for candidates to manage during campaigns.
While the First and Second District are isolated to the South Coast in terms of media markets, and the Third and Fourth districts are solely in North County, the Third District stretches between the two, requiring candidates to allocate funds across a diverse cross-section of media.
During a recent interview with the Daily Sound, Farr said winning in the geographical and demographically diverse district requires spending money.
The makeup of the two candidates’ financial backers during this filing period couldn’t be more different.
While Farr received 68 individual contributions, 33 of which were for $100 or less, Pappas received 20 separate contributions, two of which were for $100.
According to campaign finance documents, Pappas’ largest donor is Anne V. Crawford-Hall Enterprises, which gave the candidate $50,000 during the past three weeks. Throughout the duration of the campaign, Crawford-Hall, also known as Nancy Crawford-Hall, owner of the Santa Ynez Valley Journal newspaper, has given Pappas $102,500.
Pappas’ second largest source for contributions is the Alamo Pintado Equine Clinic, owned by Doug and Sue Herthel.
Through the Equine Clinic, the Herthel’s have given Pappas’ campaign a total of $37,000.
The Herthel's, through their local supplement company Platinum Performance, have also contributed $71,800 in non-monetary donations to Pappas’ campaign. These donations appear to be for television advertisements.
Pappas has also received $25,100 in non-monetary contributions from a man named Mark Herthel.
Though Farr trailed Pappas during the recent filing period, she picked up ground on Oct. 22 with a $20,000 contribution from the Santa Barbara chapter of the Service Employees International Union and a $5,500 contribution from that same union in Los Angeles.
With these two donations factored in, Farr’s recent contributions total just over $60,000.
After SEIU contributions, Farr received $1,000 from Alice Gillaroo of Santa Ynez, which brought her total donations to $8,000 — $2,000 from Malinda Chouinard of Ventura, $100 from Santa Barbara Mayor Marty Blum, $250 from former county supervisor Gail Marshall, $5,000 from Wayne Siemens, who has now given Farr a total of $10,000 and $2,500 from the Hope Ranch Political Action Committee, which also gave $5,000 to Pappas.
Over the course of the campaign, Pappas has taken out $46,500 in personal loans, far more than Farr’s $5,000.
In the past three weeks Pappas has spent $105,326 on television commercials and another $4,172 on mail-related advertisements. Farr spent $72,770 on television commercials and $10,150 on radio advertisements.
According to county election officials, any contribution between now and the election of $1,000 or more will have to be reported on a case-by-case basis.

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