Of the three City Council incumbents running for re-election, Helene Schneider starts the race with the most money left in her campaign piggy bank: $15,000. Following close behind is Das Williams with $9,500 and Brain Barnwell $5,500.
Both Barnwell and Williams received big union donations; the police union gave Barnwell $2,500, and Williams $5,000. Williams also got $1,000 from the city fire fighters union. These numbers don’t reflect the donations Williams and Schneider received at a fundraising party held in their honor by attorneys Ron and Lori Perry. The party was held on Sept. 9 (9/9), Schneider explained, and the idea behind it was to get 99 people to attend and give $99 a pop. It turns out the event drew less than 99 people and not everyone gave the asking amount.
Schneider and Williams took some heat because $99 is the legal maximum that anyone can give without having their names listed on a campaign finance disclosure statement. Schneider denied there was any intent to violate the spirit of campaign finance law. Meanwhile, it appears the incumbents will be facing a slate of opponents: challengers Dale Francisco, Michelle Giddens, and David Hotchkiss. They may be getting a financial shot in the arm from real estate entrepreneur Jerry Beaver, who will use the organization he formed to fight the Light Blue Line project to bankroll those challenging the incumbents.