Monday, July 07, 2008

Oconee Campaign Spending Figures Released

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.

Oconee County Voters Have Election Sources

News Stories and Recordings of Forums Available

A variety of information about the candidates for the Board of Commissioners, the Board of Education and coroner is available to Oconee County voters who will be making crucial decisions about the future of the county on July 15.

All the local action is in the Republic primary on July 15, and any voter can ask to participate, since registration is not by party in Georgia.

All the Republican contests except the coroner race will be decided at the July 15 primary, since only two candidates are running for each of the other open positions. If none of the three candidates for coroner gets a majority of votes, that race will go to a runoff on August 5.

Democrat Rich Clark, who is unopposed in the Democratic primary for Board of Education Post 5, will face either Tom Breedlove or Kyle Martin, Republican candidates for that post, in November. This will be the only contested election for a county office in November.

The free weekly newspaper, The Oconee Leader, has run a series of helpful stories on all the races, and these are available at the paper’s web site.

The Athens Banner-Herald has summary stories on the Board of Commissioners races, and there are available at:

County Commission Chairman (Bell and Davis)

County Commissioner Post 1 (Luke and Pritchett)

County Commissioner Post 2 (Daniell and Norris)

County Commissioner Post 3 (Hale and Porter)

County Commissioner Post 4 (Horton and Maxey)

Tim Byrant from WGAU interviewed all the candidates for the Board of Commissioners and for the Board of Education. These are archived and can be located and listened to or downloaded at the stations website.

The Candidates for Board of Commissioners and for the Board of Education participated in two candidate forums, one organized by a consortium of citizen groups and the other organized by the Chamber of Commerce. The coroner candidates were included in the Candidate Forum organized by the citizen groups.

Through the work of citizens, these are available for viewing at: and .

Additional stories relevant to the elections have been posted on this blog on 7/1, 6/22 and 6/10.

Another source of information on the elections is Another Voice from Oconee County. A series of critical reports on Incumbent Chairman Davis reflects the perspective of former Chairman Wendell Dawson, who stepped down rather than run for reelection eight years ago.

ADDED on 7/9/08

The Athens Banner-Herald, in today's edition, contains brief reports on the Board of Education contests and the coroner race.

Coroner (Carson, Mayberry, Quillian-Carr)

Post 2 (Guest and House)

Post 3 (Argo and Hood)

Post 4 (Hunter and Toney)

Post 5 (Breedlove and Martin)

ADDED on 7/12/08

The Athens Banner-Herald ran two stories yesterday that offer very concise summaries of the various races. If you were going to read only two things, these might be the best.

BOC and Coroner