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WatchSonoma Watch

Business-backed candidates rake in money in Petaluma

By LORI A. CARTER
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Business-backed candidates running for Petaluma mayor and city council brought in the most money during the first two weeks of this month, according to the latest campaign finance disclosure forms.

Of the five candidates who garnered the most contributions from Oct. 1 through Oct. 16, four are backed primarily by business interests and city employees: mayoral candidate Jeff Mayne and council candidates Ray Johnson, Chris Albertson and incumbent Mike Harris.

The other, incumbent Teresa Barrett, is a member of the self-described “smart growth” majority that controls the council.

The four business-backed candidates also were the recipients of $7,500 in billboard and mail support from the city’s police union, the Peace Officers Association of Petaluma. Unions representing nearly all of the city’s 300 workers are supporting the same candidates.

Mayne led his rival, incumbent councilman David Glass, with $2,400 in contributions this reporting period. Glass raised $865 in the same timeframe.

They have raised almost $14,000 each, not including $2,000 Glass lent himself. As of Oct. 16, Glass still listed $4,600 in the bank, while Mayne lists himself as $1,100 in debt.

Glass reported $200 contributions, the maximum, from three large unions: iron workers, carpenters and SEIU. He spent $100 to be included in Sonoma County Conservation Action’s election material.

Mayne’s largest backers include: the North Bay Leadership Council, the engineering contractors union and the North Coast Builders’ Exchange.

Johnson led all council candidates with $2,100 in contributions this period. Notable contributors include two executives from the Airport Business Center and their wives, for $800 total, North Coast Engineering Contractors and business lobbying groups Sonoma County Alliance and Northcoast Citizens for a Better Economy, which represents the construction industry.

Albertson, who took in $1,300 this period, also received $200 contributions from the Sonoma County Alliance and Northcoast Citizens for a Better Economy, as did Karen Nau.

Nau raised $1,100, spent $650 and has $1,100 left in bank. Other top supporters for her include the North Bay Leadership Council and Merlone Geier, which is seeking to build a Lowe’s shopping center in Petaluma.

Albertson also received a $200 contribution from retiring 2nd District county Supervisor Mike Kerns.

Both Johnson and Albertson received $200 from River City Communications, which acts as the public spokesman for the developer seeking to build the Lowe’s-based Deer Creek Village shopping center.

Incumbency is benefitting Harris and Barrett, who have raised the most money overall.

Harris, who carried over $12,000 from his 2006 election and started the year with $39,600 in the bank, has taken in $13,000 this calendar year. He spent $14,000 in the most recent two-week period — $4,600 on TV ads and $5,400 to his consultant for campaign literature.

Barrett, starting with $5,300 from 2006, has raised $17,200 overall and spent a total of $3 this period. She raised $1,345 this period and reported $6,800 left in bank going into the campaign’s final two weeks. Her top supporters include SEIU, the iron workers union and the North Bay Labor Council.

On the day after this period’s report was due, Barrett made a $2,500 contribution from her war chest — the maximum allowed — to Petaluma Mayor Pam Torliatt’s campaign against Councilman David Rabbitt in the 2nd District supervisor’s race.

Barrett’s political ally Jason Davies raised $545 while spending $3,300 this period, leaving him with $2,500 in the bank. He also received $200 from SEIU and he paid $26 to Conservation Action.

Another progressive, Gabe Kearney, raised $1,200 this period, including $50 from Petaluma City Councilwoman Tiffany Renee and her husband, Jaimey Walking Bear, who is running for the Petaluma school board.

Independent candidate Wyatt Bunker raised $870 this period, spent $50 and has $3,200 left in bank. Overall he has raised $8,200, though $6,000 are loans from himself. He received maximum contributions from BSI Insurance Services of Petaluma and Kerry Davison of Mahoney Davison Property Management.





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