Campaign Contribution Reports Filed, Wolf Leads the Pack
by Martha Sadler
The official deadline to report campaign donations passed quietly on May 20, though candidates may continue to receive campaign funds from donors until the eve of the election, provided they file a late contribution report within 48 hours of receiving late donations. According to the campaign finance reform initiative — Prop 34 — passed by California voters in 2000, candidates are required to file periodic reports throughout their campaigns, rather than after the fact. However, loopholes are fairly prevalent and enforcement is minimal: Contributors of $100 or more often neglect to list the name of their company; or, if contributors are retired or financially supported by a spouse, they are not required to state their source of income.
Individuals or groups may contribute non-reportable “soft money” by paying for campaign advertising rather than donating funds directly. However, if a candidate actively participates in a soft money advertising effort, it must be reported as a contribution. Likewise, a contribution report must be filed when a candidate receives advertising support from a fellow politician.
While none of the candidates running for 2nd District supervisor has approached the record $230,000 raised in 2004 by 1st District Supe Salud Carbajal, the money continues to flow in the race to replace Susan Rose. The following is a summary of contributors who have given money since mid March, and the totals for the 2006 calendar year.
Janet Wolf: Leading the pack is Wolf, whose campaign coffers swelled to more than $200,000 — including a $10,000 gift to herself — with $25,000 from the Santa Barbara County Firefighters Association, and another $20,000 from the Santa Barbara County Deputy Sheriffs Association. Wolf also received considerable support from Democratic incumbent Rep. Lois Capps — running for re-election in November — whose campaign ads featured endorsements of Wolf with an estimated in-kind donation value of $12,000. Friends of Salud Carbajal contributed $17,999 to pay for Wolf’s campaign mailings during this period. Wolf received some $10,000 from out-of-town land developers, while her largest individual contributor was Montecito philanthropist and Democratic donor Lillian Lovelace — wife of Jon Lovelace, heir and CEO of Capital Group Companies, one of the world’s leading investment management organizations. Lovelace made two donations to Wolf in ’06, totaling $10,500. While TV ads have been Wolf’s biggest expenditure, she was the only 2nd District candidate to report spending money on slate cards. Wolf paid a total of $3,275 to be included on the Parents’ Ballot Guide, California Voter Guide, and Early Voter slate cards mailed to homes and available on Web sites. Wolf had roughly $55,000 remaining.
Dan Secord: Longtime Santa Barbara City Councilmember “Doctor Dan” raised $178,036 by the end of the reporting period with no loans or unpaid bills outstanding. Secord received several generous boosts in ’06, including $7,500 from the California Real Estate PAC and $3,000 from the Republican Lincoln Club of Santa Barbara. Although Secord returned two $1,000 contributions from out-of-town developers, he collected donations from local developers including Michael Towbes, the Blankenships, and Pacific Capital. So far, Secord spent $20,000 on radio ads, more than any other candidate. At the end of the reporting period, Secord had $80,000 left to spend.
Joe Guzzardi: At the end of the reporting period, the self-professed grassroots candidate had raised the least, with a total of $40,174 that included an initial $100 loan to himself. His largest contributor was Mesa resident Lessie Sinclair Nixon, a liberal philanthropist and former attorney who gave $12,000. Guzzardi garnered numerous donations from activists associated with Citizens for Sensible Planning, who oppose high-density housing in the eastern Goleta Valley. He also collected $125 from anti-roundabout activist Michael Self. Guzzardi spent $10,323 on campaign literature and yard signs, more than he spent on TV or radio; as of May 20, he had some $10,000 remaining.
Das Williams: With two years left on his Santa Barbara City Council term, Williams’s bid to jump to the Board of Supervisors was kick-started last December with $25,000 from University of Phoenix mogul and environmentalist Peter Sperling, listed by Forbes as one of the world’s wealthiest people in 2003. Williams’s 2006 contributions totaled $119,000, with no loans or unpaid bills. He received $12,500 from the Service Employees International Union, whom Williams collaborated with to institute a living wage for city contract workers and also to prevent Wal-Mart from putting down roots in Ventura. The International Union of Operating Engineers in Pasadena contributed $6,500 worth of in-kind printing services. Williams’s second-largest contribution was for this period was another $12,000 from Sperling. Victoria Ward, a Goleta foothills homeowner, contributed $10,000. Williams garnered thousands from the Santa Barbara Hotels Group and various private hotel owners; he also received numerous donations from environmental and arts advocates. Williams showed an ending cash balance of almost $20,000.
Sheriff’s Campaign Contributions The race for the office of top cop was lopsided in favor of the familiar. During the last reporting period — from mid March through May 20 — incumbent Sheriff Jim Anderson raised almost $97,000. Notable donors included the S.B. County Deputy Sheriff’s Association, contributing $25,000, and Comsup Commodities of New Jersey, which made an in-kind donation of $12,000 domestic postage. Former sheriff Jim Thomas followed Anderson with roughly $40,000 during the same period, including hefty donations of $5,000 each from chiropractor Jeff Stone and Santa Barbara businessman and former Sheriff’s Council honcho Chris Edgecomb. Lompoc Police Chief Bill Brown raised $24,000 since mid March, including $1,500 from gubernatorial candidate Steve Westly; $500 from the Teamsters; $1,300 from Wal-Mart stores; $500 from Taser; and $15,000 from his father, William Brown. Sheriff’s Lt. Butch Arnoldi raised $14,328 during this reporting period with notable contributions from land development attorneys Barry Capello and Susan Petrovich, who each gave donations of $1,000.