Publisher Waves Advertising Fee for Favored Candidate
Perhaps the most interesting contribution listed in the Campaign Contribution Disclosure Reports filed by Oconee County Board of Commission Candidates on June 30 is one listed for Post 3 candidate Esther Porter.
Vinnie Williams, owner and publisher of The Oconee Enterprise, contributed three newspaper advertisements free of charge, each to be one quarter page in size. The estimated value of the contribution is $852.
Newspapers are usually more discrete about their favors for political candidates.
Porter reported total contributions of $2,453 and spending of $3,606.
Incumbent Post 3 Commissioner Margaret Hale reported contributions of $3,450 for the campaign and a carryover of $1,887 from before the campaign began, for a total of $5,336. She spent $3,945.
Hale did not list any spending with The Oconee Enterprise.
Incumbent BOC Chairman Melvin Davis raised and spent the most money, according to the records filed in the Board of Election office. But Mike Maxey, seeking to unseat Chuck Horton in the Post 4 Commission race, raised nearly as much money as Davis, including loans he made to his campaign, and spent heavily as well.
Incumbent Chairman Davis raised $13,325 since the campaign officially began with qualifying in April. He also carried over $16,118, giving him $29,443 in campaign funds. He reported spending $17,375.
Davis’ biggest contributor was Melissa Bourbeau, listed as a housewife, who gave $2,300. Stuart Cofer, home and garden store owner, Jack Quackenbush, a financial advisor, and Richard Garrett, a grading and paving contractor, each gave $500.
Davis’ biggest expenditures were for advertisements placed with The Oconee Enterprise ($4,928) and The Oconee Leader ($4,120).
Sarah Bell, also running for chair of the commission, reported raising $7,243 during the campaign to June 30, and spending $6,129. Her biggest donors were herself ($1,150), Walter Gordon, listed as retired, who contributed $1,000, and Charles Baugh, also listed as retired, who contributed $500.
Bell’s largest expenditure, other than the qualifying fee, was for yard signs.
Incumbent Post 1 Commissioner Jim Luke raised $14,035 and carried forward from before the campaign $68, for a total of $14,103. He spent $9,980.
Johnny Pritchett, also seeking Post 1, raised $3,500, mostly via a loan to his campaign from himself, and spent $3,246.
Incumbent Post 2 Commissioner Don Norris raised $8,200 and carried forward $143. He spent $5,414. He loaned his campaign $1,000.
John Daniell, also seeking the Post 2 slot, raised $2,450 and spent $2,445. He contributed $1,000 to his own campaign.
Incumbent Post 4 Commissioner Chuck Horton raised $6,185 and carried forward $1,377, for a total of $7,562. He spent $5,298.
Maxey, also seeking the Post 4 position, raised $13,194 plus another $2,000 in in-kind contributions. He spent $10,487. Maxey lists $5,094 of the raised money as a loan from himself to his campaign.
Maxey spent $1,078 on advertisements with The Oconee Enterprise, $1,800 for advertisements with The Oconee Leader, and $1,770 for outdoor (billboard) advertising, making him the biggest spender on advertising with the exception of Davis.
Only Esther Porter got by without paying.