Candidates, PACs disclose campaign finances

PRESCOTT ­ So far in the Prescott City Council election campaign, candidates and Political Action Committees (PACs) have collected a whopping $63,000 and have spent more than half of that amount on their various election efforts.

That total includes about $36,000 that the candidates seeking seats on the Prescott City Council have collected, as well as about $27,274 that the four registered PACs have generated.

With about two weeks remaining until the Sept. 13 primary, the candidates and organizations supporting election issues easily have outdistanced the spending that occurred in previous city election campaigns. By this time in 2003, for instance, the candidates running for City Council had collected about $30,000, and had spent about $23,000.

State law requires that candidates disclose their campaign contributors, as well as how they spend the money. The law limits the amount an individual can give a candidate to $370. The deadline for the disclosures in the most recent reporting period was Thursday.

City records show that the candidates and PACs collected their money from dozens of individuals, and spent it on a variety of campaign expenses, including radio, television and newspaper advertising, brochures, postage, and campaign signs.

Of the four mayoral candidates and eight candidates seeking three seats on the City Council, council candidate Howard Mechanic had the largest campaign fund ­ at about $11,000. He also was the top spender, disbursing about $9,400 of his total amount.

The bulk of Mechanic's campaign money came from a $6,000 loan from himself, but he also received 34 contributions from individuals ranging in amounts from $25 to $370.

Former City Councilman Robert Behnke had the second-largest campaign budget, with total receipts of $5,875, and total disbursements of $5,126. A total of $5,000 of that amount was Behnke's own money, and he reported seven individual contributions ranging from $50 to $200.

Three of the mayoral candidates ­ incumbent Rowle Simmons, Lindsay Bell and Matt Hein ­ were fairly even in campaign totals ­ all in the $3,000 to $4,000 range.

Simmons had the largest budget, with $4,066 ­ $3,200 of which he carried over from his original mayoral campaign in 2001. Bell came in second in campaign totals among the mayoral candidates with $3,530 on hand. Of the three, she had the most individual contributions, with 10, ranging in amounts from $30 to $370.

Hein had $3,255 on hand, $3,000 of which came from a loan from himself.

Mayoral candidate Paul Katan filed an exemption form, which states that he plans to collect or spend no more than $500. Council incumbents Bob Roecker and John Steward, as well as candidate Alan Dubiel, also filed the exemption forms, City Clerk Marie Watson reported.

A breakdown of the finances of the candidates who filed disclosures includes:

• Lindsay Bell ­ top contributors included: Carefree retiree Seymour Baskin, $370; Prescott retiree S.J. McDougal, $370; and Thunderhead Alliance Executive Director Sue Knaup, $370. Bell also made a $1,369 loan to her campaign. Her largest expenses included $377 for signs and $558 to KQNA/KPPV Radio for advertising.

• Matt Hein ­ along with the $3,000 loan Hein made to his campaign, he received five contributions ranging from $10 to $100. His largest expenditures included $625 for office and management work, $325 for Web design, $300 for stickers, and $300 to Prescott High School for foam fingers for football advertising.

• Rowle Simmons ­ along with the carry-over from his previous campaign, Simmons had five contributions from individuals, the largest of which were: Humboldt homemaker Hollie Jordon, $200; local car dealer Donald Biele, $200; and Humboldt contractor J. B. Jordan, $200. Simmons' largest expenditures were $1,052 to Prescott Newspapers for advertising, and $2,000 to Print Works for postcard printing.

• Robert Behnke ­ along with the $5,000 contribution to his own campaign, Behnke's largest contributors were: Prescott retiree David Shunk, $200; and Gary Ballard, owner/president of TT Windows, $200. His largest expenditures were: $1,759 to Cable One for advertising; $1,542 to KYCA/KAHM for radio ads; and $545 to Prescott Newspapers for advertising.

• Bob Bell ­ with 24 individual contributions, Bell had receipts totaling about $3,400. Of that amount, he spent $1,525. His largest contributors were: Terry and Pat Moore, owners of the Willow Creek Inn, $200; retirees Dick and Laura Hudson, $200; retirees Marlin and Tana Kuykendall, $200; Bryan Tucker, owner of Davidsons, $370; retiree Ken Mabarak, $370; York RV owner Bob Been, $250; and Mike Fann, president of Fann Contracting, $250. Bell's largest expenses were: $501 to the Daily Courier for display advertising; and two expenses of $459 each to Arizona Highway Safety Specialists for campaign signs.

• Robert Luzius ­ with about 17 individual contributions, Luzius reported total receipts of $2,359, of which he spent $2,121. His largest contributors were: local retiree Barbara Hoff, $300; local retiree Edward Birtic, $350; local property owner Jack Wilson, $370; and local retiree Jack Martin, $370.

• Howard Mechanic ­ along with the $6,000 loan to his campaign, Mechanic's largest contributors were: local retiree John Zambrano, $200; retiree Jack Wilson, $370; Prescott landlord Suzanna McDougal, $370; local retiree Carol Oldershaw, $370; local retiree Eric Kranke, $200; Phoenix retiree David Winkler, $200; and Jeri Smith-Fornara, local manager of a trust, $370.

Mechanic's largest expenditures were: the Yavapai County Voter Registration Department, $2,256 for City of Prescott voter registration lists; Cable One, $549 and $836, for television ads; America's Campaign Store, $1,860 and $780 for signs; and $683, $510, $124 and $931 to The Daily Courier for advertisement.

• Lenny Porges ­ along with a $400 contribution to his own campaign, Porges received 25 individual contributions ranging from $20 to $370. By the filing deadline, Porges had raised $1,944, and had spent about $526 of that, mostly on printing and postage. His largest contributors were: local retiree Jack Wilson, $370; and local physician Patrick Beatty, $200.

Contact the reporter at cbarks@prescottaz.com