Tuesday, June 21, 2011

4 Days Until the Election: Smith, Baker and the Benjamin$

Candidates have submitted their third campaign finance report, and the last one before the election.  It’s out last chance as voters to see who they are getting their money from, and where they are spending it, before we go vote.  There are more finance reports due after the election, so we’ll still be able to find out more, but by then, we will have elected our Chief.

Since time is short, we’ll just do two blogs on finance here in the past week, one on the amount of money raised by each candidate, and one on the expenditures of each campaign.  Also, these aren't posted on the Cherokee Phoenix web site, so we'll have to put them online ourselves.  

Today, we’ll start with Bill John Baker.  At the end of his last report, his campaign had about $17,000.  He’s raised $44,746.47 since then, and loaned his campaign a whopping $46,000.  That brings his total loans to his campaign to $115,000.  As we’ve said before, that’s a lot of scratch for a guy who reports an income of less than $50,000 a year to the IRS.  His family has also donated $20,000 more, so that’s a big commitment from folks named Baker to this election.

He had 84 donors chipping in to add up to the $44,746.47 total, which averages out to almost $533 per donor.  His previous donors average $625 each. Baker had a listing for $500 in anonymous cash, which, as we mentioned in the last campaign finance blog for Smith,  is perfectly legal, as long as the anonymous cash is less than $1000 for the total campaign.

Overall, Baker has raised $174,074.75 from others, including $20,000 from his family.  His loans to his own campaign total $115,018.49, which brings the total amount of money available to the campaign so far to $289,093.

Baker has $13,507.08 left in his campaign account, and no telling how much more in his personal piggy bank that he’s willing to chip in during the final few days.

At the end of his last report, Smith had about $42,000 in his account, and he raised $59,299.14 since then. 

He had 138 contributors, which means his average donation was about $429.  His previous donors average was $700.

Overall Smith has raised $244,944.94 from others.  He’s loaned his campaign $100, which brings the total amount of money available to his so far to  $245,044.94.

Smith has $54,348.75 left in his campaign, as of the end of June.

That means through this reporting period, Baker has spent more than $275,000, and Smith has spent about $190,000. 

Overall, Smith has raised more money from others, but Baker, with his six-figure loan, has more money to spend, and has spent more. 

Tomorrow, we’ll talk about how each candidate is spending their money.

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