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2010 campaign finance reports: Petaluma City Council

By LORI A. CARTER
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

The three winning candidates for Petaluma City Council were also the top fund-raisers during the November campaign, according to election financial reports released this week.

The reports cover Oct. 29 through Dec. 31, the final reporting period for the Nov. 2 election in which three council seats and the mayor’s position were up for grabs. The reports also include totals for the 2010 calendar year.

Incumbent Council members Teresa Barrett and Mike Harris raised the most money, along with newly elected Chris Albertson; Barrett topped all candidates at $19,300 for the calendar year.

Contributors gave both Albertson and Harris about $17,400 last year. Harris’ total doesn’t include nearly $10,000 in non-monetary contributions to his campaign, much of it from himself paying for campaign supplies.

Harris raised the most of all candidates, $3,500, during the final reporting period.

In the mayoral race, the business- and city employee-backed candidate Jeff Mayne raised $18,500; David Glass, who was a councilman and was elected mayor, raised $14,700, including a $2,000 loan to himself.

Both Glass and Mayne received one contribution each in the campaign’s final days. A lobbyist for the garbage company North Bay Corp. gave Glass the maximum contribution of $200. Mayne received $100 from Petaluma retiree Marilyn Bragdon.

Overall, Glass ended the campaign with a zero balance after repaying his loan, and Mayne ended about $8,000 in debt, much of it to his consultant firm, Delphi of Santa Rosa.

Harris, who entered the campaign with a healthy war chest from his prior elections, spent $49,400. He raised the most money during the final reporting period, a chunk of it from the construction industry, developers and property managers.

Barrett raised $350 in the final period, from two medical marijuana interests in Sebastopol, and spent $20,500 on her successful re-election bid.

Albertson, the former fire chief, received about $1,100 in the final period from contributors in construction and real estate.

Among losing candidates, neither Jason Davies, Karen Nau nor Gabe Kearney took in contributions in the final days. Davies spent about $7,000 overall, Kearney spent $3,200 and Nau spent $4,600.

Ray Johnson raised about $2,500 in the final period and spent about $25,000 total, of which 60 percent of it was from his own pocket.

Council candidate Wyatt Bunker did not file a final report. Three other candidates didn’t mount serious campaigns.





5 Responses to “2010 campaign finance reports: Petaluma City Council”

  1. Money says:

    That Johnson spent 25K and still came in 6th says something….money doesn’t always translate into victory, especially whey it’s mostly a candidate’s own money as opposed to money from supporters. It’s also not always name recognition or previous Council experience, given Nau’s 7th place showing. Of course it’s interesting that Harris spent so much….$49K? For Petaluma City Council? We ought to take a look at local campaign finance laws. There ought to be limits and perhaps only local money should be raised. When you look at the campaign contribution lists, it’s amazing how much came from outside development interests. Seems like when this much money is coming in, it has a big potential to corrupt the process. Maybe there needs to be an overall spending limit, as well as the individual donor limits. Also, perhaps the donor limits should apply to a given family, so a single family can’t funnel money to their members for the same candidates.

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  2. Kim says:

    Watch Pup, the only way you would know about Petaluma Tomorrow is if you were a member…so…therefore you’re going to be supportive of Barrett and attack Harris. I don’t need any Terot cards to tell me that. Petaluma Tomorrow always tries to find fault with candidates other than the ones they support. Funny how that works :-)

    Harris raised alot of money, if he did it within the confines of the prescribed laws, what’s the problem?

    Torliatt raked in more money than Rabbitt, yet she lost

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  3. Wilson says:

    @ Watch Pup – Great comments. Thank you.

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  4. Watch Pup says:

    The real story here is Mike Harris spending $49,000 to retain his seat on the City Council — that’s a hell of a lot of money — especially considering that it’s more than twice what the other incumbent needed to spend to be reelected. What on earth did he spend it on?

    And Farmer West, I’d bet $49K that Petaluma Tomorrow has no such concern about Councilmember Barrett — your remark has no foundation and should have been excised by the moderator.

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  5. farmer west says:

    Barrett raised money from out of town Pot dealers. Petaluma Tomorrow is right to be concerned about how she is bought, paid for and beholdent to outside interests. We are in trouble.

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