Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Money Talks

The 10-Day Pre-election Reports filed by candidates for Fayetteville Mayor tell an interesting story. If the election can be bought, then Dan Coody is on track to own it, and Steve Clark will be First Runner-up. Both have also made significant loans to their own campaigns, but those will be easy to pay off if one of them wins. Lots of people with an interest in city government will come forward to retire those personal loans after the election, and that is all legal, regardless of how it might smell.

Dan Coody. Raised $66,716 and spent $55,315. Dan and Deborah Coody have loaned the campaign $9,946, and Deborah has also made $823 in non-monetary contributions. Contributors are heavy on real estate sales, developers, architects, and engineers, including several who do business with the city. Dirk VanVeen, ZON Graphics, Rob Merry-Ship, Buddy Coleman, John Rausch, Hunter Collins Haynes, Greg House, James McClelland, Brock Hoskins, Jim Blair, Robert Kuta, Tyson Foods, CDM Engineering, USI Consultant Engineers, and the Arkansas Realtors PAC were generous. Biggest expenditure was $23,227 on television advertising.

Steve Clark. Raised $42,740 and spent $31,728. Steve and Suzanne Clark have loaned the campaign $11,721. Spent $4,996 on phone bank calls. The majority of Clark's contributions come from out of state and out of town, but developer Hank Broyles and Sweetser Construction are locals. The largest contribution was $2,500 from David Herdlinger, the former Springdale City Attorney sentenced to three years in federal prison for mail fraud and taking bribes to fix DWI charges, who now lives on St. Simons Island.

Lioneld Jordan. Raised $24,979 and spent $16,931. No campaign loans. Largest percentage of campaign contributions from Fayetteville of all candidates. Former Alderman Don Marr and his company HR-Factor are the largest contributors, along with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Alderman Nancy Allen, former Alderman Cyrus Young, State Senator Sue Madison, and State Representative Lindsley Smith were also contributors.

Walt Eilers. Raised $16,340 and spent $15,844. No campaign loans. Spent more than a fourth of his money to hire campaign staff. Many out of state and out of town contributors, but developer Tom Terminella, architect Rob Sharp, and former UA administrator Bob Smith are among his local contributors. Two puzzling entries are Scott Van Laningham, identified as a UA Professor, who must moonlight at his other job, and the Southeast Fayetteville Community Center, identified as a non-profit organization, which could endanger its tax exempt status for making political contributions from 501(c)(3) funds.

Sami Sutton and Adam Fire Cat did not file reports.

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