Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ballard Burns Through Half Of Campaign Funds Raised

Mayor Greg Ballard has been raising close to $1 million a year since he took office in January 2007, the vast majority of which has been raised from city contractors, but his campaign committee is a very costly endeavor. While his campaign raised $988,000 last year, it spent $522,000 or 52% of what it raised. Despite having raised close to $3 million to date, his campaign goes into this election year with a balance on hand of $1.47 million. Ballard's largest single expenditure has been a $10,000 a month consulting fee he has been paying to Jennifer Hallowell's political consulting firm. His likely Democratic opponent, Melina Kennedy, has not done as well raising money for her campaign, although her efforts have been impressive for a challenger. Nonetheless, she begins the year with just shy of $1 million on hand to use in her efforts to defeat Ballard because she has managed to save most of what she has raised to date. Ballard's fundraising expenses have been unusually high when you consider he did not officially kick off his re-election campaign until a few weeks ago. He even had money to spend at Jackie Nytes' husband's business, Printing Partners. Nytes took a lot of licks over the past couple of years from her colleagues for crossing party lines to vote for controversial Ballard initiatives opposed by her Democratic colleagues. The community development corporation she runs, Mapleton-Fall Creek CDC, has also been rewarded with millions of dollars in grant money by the Ballard administration in consideration for her legislative support for the Republican mayor. If you want further confirmation of Pay To Play Is The Ballard Way, check out who is contributing to his campaign here. Every standout contribution is from a business or executive/owner of a business that conducts business with city-county government.

UPDATE: The Star's Jon Murray has an online story that summarizes Ballard's major contributors as follows:

Here are Ballard's top contributors in 2010, all connected with firms that have had or sought city contracts: Willis Conner, president of American Structurepoint, $22,500; Barnes & Thornburg, law firm, $20,000; Christopher Burke, president of Christopher B. Burke Engineering, $16,250; Elham Shayota, president and CEO of Sigma Associates, $16,000; James Wade Jr., CEO of RW Armstrong, $15,000; Marlin Knowles, vice president for sales at American Structurepoint, $13,200; Michael Hinton, president and chief operating officer of Bernardin, Lochmueller & Associates, $12,500; Keith Lochmueller, chairman and CEO of Bernardin, Lochmueller & Associates, $12,500; John Brand, president of Butler, Fairman & Seufert, $12,000; Sanjay Patel, president of VS Engineering, $11,000; and Clark Dietz PAC, political-action committee for engineering firm, $11,000.

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