Stories indexed with the term ‘campaign finance’

2014 Pre-Primary Finance: Donor Analysis

A dataset analysis of pre-primary contributions to 11 different local campaigns for Ann Arbor elected office confirms some clear patterns among the donors. The primary election will be held Aug. 5, 2014.

Excerpt from summary report of a dataset of campaign contributions made to Ann Arbor local campaigns during the pre-primary reporting period for the Aug. 5, 2014 primary election.

Excerpt from summary report of a dataset of campaign contributions made to Ann Arbor local campaigns during the pre-primary reporting period for the Aug. 5, 2014 primary election.

The dataset was compiled by The Chronicle after the Friday, July 25 deadline for filing campaign finance reports. It includes contributions to the 2014 mayoral Democratic primary campaigns for the four candidates – Sabra Briere, Sally Petersen, Christopher Taylor and Stephen Kunselman – as well as contributions to Democratic city council primary campaigns of seven candidates in three wards: Don Adams and Sumi Kailasapathy in Ward 1; Nancy Kaplan and Kirk Westphal in Ward 2; and Julie Grand, Bob Dascola and Samuel McMullen in Ward 3.

Contributors to those 11 campaigns appear to perceive city council candidates Don Adams, Kirk Westphal and Julie Grand as aligned with mayoral candidate Christopher Taylor – as well as with each other. And judged by their donations, contributors appear to perceive city council candidates Sumi Kailasapathy, Nancy Kaplan and Bob Dascola as politically similar to each other – and to some extent politically similar to mayoral candidates Sabra Briere and Stephen Kunselman.

Those conclusions are based on the 1,278 individual contributions totaled across all the campaigns (517 for city council races and 761 for the mayoral race). The Chronicle counted at least 312 contributions that were made by people who gave to more than one of the campaigns. Those 312 contributions came from 99 different people. Not typical of the contributions were those of 22nd circuit court candidate Veronique Liem, who gave money to seven of the 11 campaigns, including all four mayoral candidates.

The Chronicle also tagged donors in the dataset as current or past members of public bodies – like the city council, the city planning commission and the Ann Arbor District Library board. That exercise revealed that every current member of the library board made at least one contribution to mayoral or council campaigns. Taylor received contributions from five of seven library board members and Briere from one. Westphal received contributions from three library board members.

Stephen Kunselman has campaigned in part based on his endorsements from four current city councilmembers – all of whom contributed money to his campaign. Ward 2 council candidate Nancy Kaplan received contributions from the same four, plus a former councilmember.

When former councilmembers are included in the count, Taylor received contributions from a total of seven. Briere received contributions from four former councilmembers. Among council candidates, Westphal received the most contributions from current and former councilmembers – a total of seven.

The Chronicle initially compiled the set of data – for three city council races and the mayor’s race – in order to generate analyses of geographic trends and distribution of amounts that have been contributed to each campaign. Those analyses are presented in previous coverage: “Council Election Finance 2014: Charts, Maps” and “Mayoral Election Finance 2014: Charts, Maps.”

The dataset should be viewed with the caveat that data entry was done manually from scanned documents generated by the campaigns, so they include a range of spelling variants and other minor inconsistencies. In addition, The Chronicle’s institutional knowledge about donors’ background, even when combined with online research, is imperfect. Some donors in various categories might have been missed.

Below we present some of the patterns of contributions made by donors to the campaigns.  [Full Story]

Council Election Finance 2014: Charts, Maps

According to reports filed with the Washtenaw County clerk’s office, seven Ann Arbor city council candidates in three contested Democratic primary races on Aug. 5, 2014 have raised a total of $57,877 in itemized cash contributions.

Contributions made to candidates in Ward 1, Ward 2 and Ward 3 council races are plotted based on the address of the contributor.

Contributions made to candidates in Ward 1, Ward 2 and Ward 3 council races are plotted based on the address of the contributor. (Image links to sets of dynamic maps by broken down by candidate.)

That’s about $100,000 less than the amount raised by four candidates in the mayoral primary. The filing deadline for pre-primary reports was July 25.

In Ward 4, incumbent Democrat Margie Teall is not seeking re-election and only one candidate is running – Graydon Krapohl. So he did not need to file campaign finance reports. In Ward 5, Leon Bryson announced several weeks ago that he was withdrawing from his challenge of first-term incumbent Chuck Warpehoski. Even though both Ward 5 candidates filed campaign finance reports, this article does not analyze them.

Accounting for more than half of the total amount raised in the other three wards were the two candidates in Ward 2: Kirk Westphal and Nancy Kaplan. Kaplan’s $16,314 was easily more than any other candidate. By way of comparison to recent Ward 2 races, for the pre-primary campaign period in 2011 and 2013 Jane Lumm raised about $19,000 and $20,000 in those respective years. Westphal raised $12,420 this year, which is about $2,000 more than he raised during the comparable period in his unsuccessful 2013 campaign against Lumm. Westphal and Kaplan are competing for the Ward 2 seat currently held by Sally Petersen. She decided to run for mayor instead of seeking re-election to the Ward 2 seat.

This year’s Ward 3 contest features Julie GrandBob Dascola and Samuel McMullen, who are all competing for the seat that Christopher Taylor is leaving in order to run for mayor. Among the three, Dascola raised the most money with $7,385 in contributions compared to $6,595 for Grand and $5,248 for McMullen. (McMullen’s campaign reported a total of $5,315 in itemized contributions, but The Chronicle’s calculation was for $67 less than that, based on the documents.) Grand’s total this year is significantly less than the $10,825 she raised in the comparable period in 2013 for her unsuccessful campaign against Stephen Kunselman.

The Ward 1 race features one-term incumbent Sumi Kailasapathy and Don Adams. Kailasapathy raised $5,345 compared to $4,570 for Adams. Kailasapathy’s amount this year is about $1,000 more than what she raised during the pre-primary period for the 2012 primary, which she won against Eric Sturgis.

While the raw totals provide some insight into how the campaigns are being financed, there’s more to it than that.

Here’s a read-only link to the Google spreadsheet used by The Chronicle to generate charts and maps: [2014 Council Campaign Finance: Ann Arbor] For readers who’d like full-sized versions of the maps embedded below, here’s a link to the Google Fusion tables: [2014 Council Campaign Finance Maps]

Below we present charts and maps to illustrate the distribution of donations by amount and geography. [Full Story]

Mayoral Election Finance 2014: Charts, Maps

According to reports filed with the Washtenaw County clerk’s office, the four Ann Arbor mayoral candidates in the Aug. 5, 2014 Democratic primary have raised a total of $153,847 in itemized cash contributions. The filing deadline for pre-primary reports was July 25.

Based on Ann Arbor’s population of about 114,000, that works out to about $1.35 per resident.

Plots of campaign contributions for four candidates in the Ann Arbor mayoral primary.

Plots of campaign contributions for four candidates in the Ann Arbor mayoral primary.

All four mayoral candidates currently serve on the Ann Arbor city council: Sabra Briere (Ward 1), Sally Petersen (Ward 2), Stephen Kunselman (Ward 3) and Christopher Taylor (Ward 3).

Raising by far the most of any candidate was Christopher Taylor with $75,198. (The campaign reported a total of $75,698 in its filings, but that amount was $500 more than the contributions calculated by The Chronicle, based on the campaign finance itemized list.) [link to WC clerk filing by Christopher Taylor] Taylor’s total came from 365 contributions, with an average contribution of $206.

Next was Sally Petersen with $44,495 from 133 contributions for an average contribution of $334 per donation. Petersen’s total was boosted with a $10,000 contribution of her own and $15,000 from her husband. The $2,000 limit does not apply to candidates themselves or members of their immediate family. [link to WC clerk filing by Sally Petersen] That total does not include a $5,000 late contribution filed by Petersen, bringing the total she and her husband contributed to $30,000.

Raising $26,680 was Sabra Briere. That total came from 204 contributions, for an average contribution of $130. [link to WC clerk filing by Sabra Briere]

Raising $7,474 from 59 contributions for an average donation of $126 was Stephen Kunselman. He had been the first to announce his candidacy for mayor – before current mayor John Hieftje decided that he would not be seeking an eighth two-year term. [link to WC clerk filing by Stephen Kunselman]

By way of comparison, when Jane Lumm raised roughly $18,000 for her pre-general election race for Ward 2 council in 2011 and then raised $20,000 for the same period in 2013, those totals were considered remarkable.

Here’s a read-only link to the shared Google Spreadsheet used by The Chronicle to generate charts and maps: [2014 Mayoral Campaign Finance: Ann Arbor]

Below we present charts and maps to illustrate the distribution of donations by amount and geography. [Full Story]

Ann Arbor Campaign Finance 2013

Candidates in Ann Arbor city council races have so far raised a combined total of more than $50,000 in contributions for the general election to be held on Nov. 5, 2013. The $20,875 raised by Ward 2 independent incumbent Jane Lumm made her total about twice as much as any other candidate. That included Ward 2 Democratic challenger Kirk Westphal, who raised $10,103 during the pre-election campaign period, which ended Oct. 20.

All Candidates

Dots correspond to addresses that made contributions to Ann Arbor city council candidates for the Nov. 5, 2013 election.

Lumm’s fundraising effort during the pre-election phase exceeded her total from 2011 when she contested the general election with incumbent Democrat Stephen Rapundalo. That year she raised $18,950 from 193 donors.

The third Ward 2 candidate, Conrad Brown, filed a reporting waiver, which is allowed if a candidate does not expect to raise more than $1,000.

Ward 1 incumbent Democrat Sabra Briere raised $11,800 in a race where she’s challenged by independent Jeff Hayner, who has raised $2,680 so far.

In Ward 3, incumbent Democrat Stephen Kunselman, who survived a tough primary race with Julie Grand, did not raise any additional money during this most recent filing period. Kunselman’s independent challenger Sam DeVarti raised $945.

In Ward 5, Mike Anglin does not have an opponent on the ballot, but raised $4,299 in this most recent period. He’s spent $1,340 of that. In addition to Thomas Partridge, who declared his write-in candidacy much earlier in the year, Charles “Chip” Smith has just recently filed his paperwork to declare a write-in candidacy for the Ward 5 seat that’s up for election this year. Responding to an emailed query, Smith said he will try to keep his expenditures under the reporting-waiver limit of $1,000.

In Ward 4, Jack Eaton does not face any opponents on Nov. 5 on the ballot or as write-ins, but does have a write-in opponent in William Lockwood. Eaton won the Democratic primary against incumbent Democrat Marcia Higgins.

The Ann Arbor city council includes a total of 11 members – two from each of the city’s five wards and the mayor. All city council positions are elected for two-year terms, with one of the wards’s seats up for election every year. The position of mayor is elected in even years, so not this year.

The filings, which were due on Oct. 25, are available through the Washtenaw County clerk’s searchable campaign finance database. Charts and maps by The Chronicle are presented after the jump. [Full Story]

City Council Campaign Finance Crosses Wards

A preliminary analysis of pre-primary campaign finance reports for the four contested races in the Aug. 7 Ann Arbor city council Democratic primary shows a total of $53,050.25 in cash was raised by the eight candidates combined, with the average donor contributing a bit over $100.

Which Ward is this

Shaded areas indicate Ann Arbor’s five wards. Colored dots denote the address of a donor to a campaign – brown for one candidate and orange for the other candidate. Which ward’s race does this map show? Details below.

The two candidates in Ward 5 raised a combined total greater than any other ward – with Chuck Warpehoski raising $9,558 and Vivienne Armentrout receiving about $2,000 more, at $11,350. Warpehoski’s total came from a significantly greater number of donors than Armentrout’s contributions, but were on average much smaller. Armentrout and Warpehoski are competing for the Democratic nomination and will face Republican Stuart Berry in November. Sitting Ward 5 Democrat Carsten Hohnke decided not to seek re-election.

Raising slightly less than Ward 5 candidates were incumbent Ward 2 councilmember Tony Derezinski ($8,475) and challenger Sally Petersen ($7,947). The distribution of donation sizes was similar for the Ward 2 candidates, and both showed a much higher per-donor average than the citywide figure – $163 for Derezinski and $139 for Petersen.

In Ward 4, Democratic primary voters will have the same choice they had in 2010 – between incumbent Margie Teall and challenger Jack Eaton. This year, they have raised roughly the same amount of money – Teall with $4,685 and Eaton with $4,305.

Ward 1 showed the greatest difference in the amounts raised by the two candidates, as Sumi Kailasapathy raised about 70% more than Eric Sturgis – $4,220 compared to $2,510 for Sturgis. The seat will be open because Sandi Smith is not seeking re-election.

A common theme across all the campaign finance reports is the significant support candidates receive from outside the ward they’re seeking to represent. That’s a trend visible in the maps we present after the jump.

Part of that trend can be explained by the number of city residents who donate money to more than one campaign. Out of the nearly 500 different donors across the eight campaigns, 58 donated to two or more campaigns, and 23 donated to three or more. The Chronicle counted nine donors who contributed to four different city council campaigns.

Many observers perceive a grouping of candidates based on shared basic philosophies – Kailasapathy, Petersen, Eaton and Armentrout on the one hand, contrasted with Sturgis, Derezinski, Teall and Warpehoski. While there’s likely considerable room for disagreement about what the common thread is that ties those candidates together, the multiple-campaign donors bear out a perception of some commonality: Of the 58 multiple-campaign donors, all but three squared up with that candidate grouping.

The three donors identified by The Chronicle as flouting that grouping included 22nd circuit court judge candidate Carol Kuhnke, who gave money to both Ward 2 candidates (Derezinski and Petersen) as well as Sturgis and Teall. Past Ward 2 candidate Stew Nelson gave money to Petersen and to Sturgis. And former Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority board member Ed Shaffran donated to Teall and to Armentrout.

Which group had more multiple-campaign donors? There the nod goes to the group with no incumbents – Kailasapathy, Petersen, Eaton and Armentrout – with 39 of the 58 multiple-campaign donors. [Full Story]

General Election 2011: City Council Money

For nine candidates in Ann Arbor city council races this year, Oct. 28 was the pre-election campaign filing deadline.

Overridge Drive

Magenta dots indicate addresses of donors to the campaign of Ward 2 independent Jane Lumm. Overridge Drive is Lumm's home street, located near Huron Hills golf course, visible to the north in this image.

In an uncontested Ward 1 race, documents filed with the Washtenaw county clerk’s office show Democratic incumbent Sabra Briere raised $3,640 from 48 donors since the primary election (which for her was also uncontested).

In the contested Ward 3 race, Democratic incumbent Stephen Kunselman raised an additional $20 from one donor, bringing his total to $4,045 for this year’s election cycle. Kunselman prevailed in a three-way primary in August. Kunselman’s Republican challenger David Parker filed a waiver request – which is allowed if a candidate expects to spend less than $1,000.

In Ward 4, Democratic incumbent Marcia Higgins raised $1,075 from seven donors, compared with no contributions raised by her Republican opponent Eric Scheie. Scheie filed a negative balance (–$1,173.73), which earned him a notice of error from the county clerk’s office – the source of funds used to pay for expenditures must be given, even if it is a loan by the candidate to the campaign.

In Ward 5, Democratic incumbent Mike Anglin, who also had a contested primary, raised an additional $185 from three donors to bring his total this year to $7,405. Anglin’s Republican challenger Stuart Berry filed a waiver request.

In Ward 2, filing documents for Stephen Rapundalo show he raised an additional $4,420 since the primary, which was a contested race for him, bringing the total indicated on his paperwork for this year’s campaign to $8,505. [The Chronicle's arithmetic calculates $4,380, not $4,420, for this filing period.]

Independent challenger Jane Lumm, who of course did not participate in a partisan primary, outpaced all other candidates’ combined totals since the primaries by raising $18,950 from 193 donors.

After the jump we break down the Ward 2 contributions with charts and maps. [Full Story]

More Local Candidates Enter State Races

With about two months remaining until the filing deadline to get on the Aug. 3 primary ballot, more local candidates for state legislature are entering the race, vying for seats that are opening in several districts representing Washtenaw County.

David Rutledge – a Washtenaw Community College trustee and a county road commissioner – is joining a crowded field of Democrats in the 54th District state House primary. That seat, representing eastern Washtenaw County, is now held by veteran lawmaker Alma Wheeler Smith, a Democrat running for governor. For the Republican primary in the 54th, Rodney Nanney of Ypsilanti, who has previously campaigned for other candidates, is making his first bid for office.

On the county’s west side, only one Democratic candidate in the 52nd District – Scio Township trustee Christine Green – is firmly in the race, while Republican Mark Ouimet, a current county commissioner, is raising a sizable war chest for his primary campaign in that district. The seat is now held by Democrat Pam Byrnes, who is running for state Senate.

Districts that may be up for grabs are particularly important this election cycle: Following the completion of the 2010 U.S. Census, the legislature will redraw state legislative and congressional districts. Although that every-10-years exercise is meant to account for population changes, it typically creates political advantage and disadvantage. The most recent redistricting, for example, led to the creation of a congressional district map that in 2002 put former U.S. Rep. Lynn Rivers (D-Ann Arbor) is the same district as fellow Democrat U.S. Rep. John Dingell, ensuring that one of the Michigan Democrats would be knocked out of Congress.

Though providing updates on all districts, this report focuses on the 52nd and 54th District House races, where the fields of candidates have recently expanded or contracted. We’ll introduce candidates entering the contests – as well as some notable politicians who’ve decided not to run – and report on how candidates are faring in their fundraising efforts. Future reports will focus on candidates’ backgrounds and issues, in addition to looking at any new local candidates in the House and Senate races. [Full Story]