Monday, October 3, 2016

With dearth of competitive races in Oakland, campaign money is not flowing

Oakland Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan during
a forum in Oakland this summer.
Oakland At-Large Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan's campaign finance report appears at first glance to be robust. Kaplan is the only incumbent of five councilmembers on the ballot this November facing modest competition. Kaplan raised $49,535 over the last three months, according to the latest campaign finance reports, but nearly half came from her own pocket.

On the last day of the filing period on Sept. 24, Kaplan dropped a $24,000 donation to her campaign, leaving her on the hook for $44,000 in personal loans this year. For the year, Kaplan has raised $101,734, including the pair of loans.

At-large council candidate Peggy Moore raised
more than $50,000 in less than two months.
Overall, Kaplan, in her bid to defeat her strongest challenger this fall, Peggy Moore, spent $27,706 from July 1 to Sept. 24, according to finance records. Kaplan holds $65,439 in cash reserves for the final month of the campaign.

The financial scene is somewhat positive for Moore, a staffer for Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. Moore raised $51,679 since opening her campaign account on Aug. 1. She spent $36,036 during the same period, while maintaining $15,642 in cash on hand.

Dipping into personal finances is not limited to Kaplan. Another challenger, Bruce Quan, is holding $50,000 in loans. However, he raised $25,819 during the fundraising period, while spending $51,437, the most of any candidate in the five-person at-large race. Quan has $24,381 in cash reserves.

Other Oakland council incumbents are also doing an adequate job on the financial side of their campaign ledgers. District 7 Councilmember Larry Reid, inching up on 20 years on the city council, did not accept any donations until after July 1, according to his latest report, which showed $37,846 in contributions and expenditures of just $4,422 through Sept. 24.

Reid is expected to easily win re-election against Marcie Hodge and Nehanda Imara next month. According to her latest finance reports, Hodge's campaign is running a $335 deficit on just a single donation--her own--a $1,000 loan. Imara reported raising $11,504 this fundraising period with more than $10,000 in cash reserves.

Council President Lynette Gibson McElhaney accepted just $10,709 since July 1 in District 3, but spent only $16,943. Her campaign against Noni Session, who did not file a campaign finance report, is sitting on $88,058 in cash.

And District 1 Councilmember Dan Kalb raised $29,995 during the finance period, while his opponent Kevin Corbett reported $19,867 during the same time. In addition, to $10,000 in debts, Kalb's campaign has $45,430 in the bank, as opposed to Corbett's $11,706.

In District 5, challenger Viola Gonzales raised $23,705, in addition, to a $10,000 loan to her campaign since July 1. After $4,653 in expenditures, Gonzales reported cash on hand of $29,052. Incumbent District 5 Councilmember Noel Gallo has no record of a finance report during this election, according to the city's website.


Reminds me of a Boudreaux and Thibodeaux joke - or, at least, the converse scenario. Boudreaux was the only lawyer in his small town, and he was poor. Then lawyer Thibodeaux moved to town. Now they’re both rich.

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