Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Posted on Wed, Mar 24, 2010 at 2:31 PM

By Hank Sims

On Monday, candidates for local office filed their Form 460s -- financial disclosure documents periodically required by California's Political Reform Act. They tell you where the campaigns are getting their funds and how they are spending them.

Yesterday the Journal went down and photographed all umpteen million pages of the most recent round of disclosure, and after getting the A-OK from our legal advisors we now present them to you. This is a pretty funky way of going about making these things public -- you can see my thumb in some of the images -- but it'll have to do.

We wrote up a quick analysis of the documents for this week's Journal, and have appended that to this blog post for those of you who don't get the paper until tomorrow. But take a gander yourselves. Find anything interesting? Post us a comment, or drop a line.

Below: Links to PDF documents, each somewhere between three and seven megabytes.


Virginia Bass

Jeff Leonard

Bonnie Neely


Patrick Cleary

Patrick Higgins

Jeff Lytle

Ryan Sundberg


Kathleen Bryson

Paul Gallegos

Paul Hagen

Allison Jackson


Mike Downey

Mike Hislop


Jon Brooks

Johanna Rodoni

Mari Wilson

For the rundown that appeared in this week's Journal, click on through.

Ticket to the Fights

Need more proof that this is going to be a bruiser of an election? The most recent round of financial disclosure tells the tale. Between Feb. 1 and March 17, candidates for local office collectively raised over a quarter of a million dollars, according to the Fair Political Practices Commission Form 460s that were filed in the county elections office Monday.

Going by sheer dollar volume, the race for Fourth District Supervisor seems to be gravitating toward its natural place at the top of the ticket. During this cycle, incumbent Bonnie Neely raised $43,259 in cash and non-monetary donations. Top donors? The Blue Lake Rancheria kicked in $10,000 to the Neely campaign last week, and fellow Coastal Commission member Steven Blank -- the chair of the California chapter of the Audubon Society -- chipped in another two large. Former District Attorney Terry Farmer, Neely's husband, loaned the campaign $5,000. Attorney Zach Zwerdling gave $1,300, and McKinleyville forester Michael Atkins and the Humboldt Redwood company each gave $1,000. On the other side of the ledger, Neely spent around $10,000 on political consulting and research -- $4,000 to Sacramento political consultants Duffy & Capitilo and $6,000 to EMC Research, a Seattle pollster.

Neely's main competitor (at least insofar as the money game is concerned) is Eureka Mayor Virginia Bass. She raised only $24,315 in this disclosure period -- but that's on top of the $53,000 she accumulated in January. Bass is showing lots of donations in the $200-$1,000 range, with a couple of outliers: Regular donors from the conservative side of the aisle like auto dealer Harvey Harper ($2,000), property developer Steve Stromberg ($1,500) and others gave a little more. Humboldt Redwood, hedging the bet, also gave a grand to Bass. At the moment, Neely has the slightly larger war chest -- $39,149 cash on hand to Bass' $33,159.

Eureka City Councilmember Jeff Leonard better be concentrating on his ground game, because his fundraising efforts are a dismal third in this race: Just $2,728 raised since February, and only $838 in the bank.

Weirdness abounds in the District Attorney race. Incumbent Paul Gallegos is the fundraising champion in this period, with $27,093 taken in -- however, $20,000 of that was from a loan from a David Gallegos of Weston, Fla. David G. also chipped in a $5,000 donation. Gallegos also appears to be outsourcing his campaign -- the physical address for his campaign committee is a West Hollywood office apparently belonging to a political consultancy called "ML Associates." Meanwhile, the DA candidate with the least name recognition -- former prosecutor Kathleen Bryson -- has, according to her disclosure forms, apparently accomplished the very unusual trick of raising $8,450 in increments of less than $100 while taking in only $300 in donations above that amount. Bryson has also loaned her campaign $5,000. Fellow challengers Paul Hagen ($10,347 raised) and Allison Jackson ($13,674) are close to neck and neck, though Hagen got there with the help of $7,400 in loans from himself and his campaign treasurer, Eureka conservationist Maggie Herbelin.

If there's a surprise in this round of disclosure forms, it's the massive amount of money flowing into the downticket race for Humboldt County Assessor. Eel River Valley political force Johanna Rodoni raised a whopping $21,473 in her campaign for this unglamorous office, mostly through sub-G contributions from the historic Rodoni donors. Challenger Jon Brooks is far behind, raising $6,595, including a $2,000 boost from the Blue Lake Rancheria. Assistant Assessor Mari Wilson, who must have thought herself the heir apparent, is left in the dust by this sudden intrusion -- the forms say she took in $6,315, but most of that was Wilson spending her own money on the campaign.

Last quick note, because we're running out of both time and space: The Blue Lake Rancheria, as expected, went in big on the race for Fifth District Supervisor -- but it went in two ways at once. The rancheria, by far the largest single donor in recent election cycles, gave $5,000 each to Patrick Cleary, a Blue Lake Rancheria business partner, and Ryan Sundberg, a member of the Trinidad Rancheria.


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