Big spenders didn't always get more votes - East Valley Tribune: News

Big spenders didn't always get more votes

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Posted: Tuesday, September 9, 2008 7:01 pm | Updated: 11:12 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Money likely played a role in Scottsdale's Sept. 2 city election results, but the more one spent did not necessarily guarantee success. Councilman Jim Lane was outspending Mayor Mary Manross by $15,000 in the weeks before the election, and later loaned himself money to spend more. He finished 367 votes ahead.

On the City Council side, more money did not necessarily mean more votes as eight hopefuls vied for three seats.

Joel Bramoweth was spending the most among the council candidates at well over $30,000, yet he finished seventh out of eight and did not advance to the Nov. 4 runoff.

Lisa Borowsky was outspending Ron McCullagh, Betty Drake and Suzanne Klapp. Yet she finished fourth behind all of them.

Nan Nesvig had spent $5,656 and Tom Giller had spent $3,668, which is well below the top four finishers.

The candidates not included in the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce mailer highlighting Manross, McCullagh, Drake and Klapp as those supporting economic prosperity point to that expenditure as a major boost that should be factored in to overall spending.

The other candidates in the race have called the mailer illegal, and a complaint is pending with the Arizona Attorney General's Office.

The chamber did not form a political committee for the mailer - which it says was not necessary - so it's unknown how much was spent on printing and mailing it.

GROUP USED FLIERS, NEWSPAPER ADS

On the other hand, Republicans for a Bright New Day, an independent expenditure committee, handed out fliers and ran newspaper ads saying to reject the chamber's four candidates, as well as phone banks supporting Republican candidates. The latest filing showed the committee had spent about $3,500.

And Mike Fernandez, the treasurer of the committee, paid for newspaper ads that linked Manross, Drake and McCullagh to light rail, suggesting a fixed-rail route could run up Scottsdale Road through Old Town.

All of the spending amounts were as of Aug. 13, the final reporting date included in the last campaign finance filing before the election.

The numbers represent trends leading into election day, with final pre-election spending figures due Oct. 2. That's also the day we'll learn how much money each candidate has left for the final month.

In the end, the two mayoral candidates and six of the eight council candidates advance to the runoff.

MANROSS SEEKS 'IN-DEPTH DEBATES'

Manross' campaign sent out a news release Tuesday calling for "in-depth debates" on revitalization, transportation, the McDowell Sonoran Preserve and the arts that should be moderated by the Scottsdale Tribune and Scottsdale Republic.

The Tribune was already planning another debate between Manross and Lane that could touch on those topics and a number of other city issues. A date has not been set.

The news release included a written statement from Manross: "There are stark differences between my opponent and myself. I will challenge my opponent to in-depth debates to allow the public to compare and contrast the accomplishments, voting records and the vision of both candidates."

Lane said whatever is planned is something the candidates would have to agree on. Lane also said he has no problem with the Tribune moderating, but has concerns about a Republic debate because the newspaper has already endorsed Manross. The Tribune does not endorse candidates.

There was no shortage of debates and forums between the two leading up to the Sept. 2 election. Neighborhood groups, business organizations, Scottsdale Community College, Scottsdale Healthcare, both daily newspapers and others hosted forums during the spring and summer.

DISTRICT 11 DEMOCRAT MAKES BALLOT

When District 11 Democrat Rep. Mark DeSimone withdrew from the primary election ballot after a domestic violence arrest, it left Democrats scrambling to have someone qualify for the November ballot against two Republicans, Rep. Adam Driggs and Jon Altmann.

The party succeeded.

Eric Meyer, a Scottsdale Unified School District board member, needed 301 write-in votes in the Sept. 2 election to have his name placed on the Nov. 4 ballot. He received 2,785 write-in votes.

Meyer, who is also running in November for re-election to the school board, will challenge Driggs and Altmann for two seats in the district, which includes east Phoenix and Paradise Valley.

Jon Hulburd, a Phoenix lawyer, also filed to run as a write-in candidate, but received just 35 votes. Hulburd told the Tribune the weekend before the election that he was not running as a write-in candidate.

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