Municipal campaign contributions slow this year, APOC says

30-day reports show less money generated by candidates than in the past two contests

Posted: Friday, September 19, 2008

Candidates running for the Juneau Assembly raised fewer funds this year than candidates did in the last couple of regular elections with one month remaining in the race, according to reports filed with the Alaska Public Offices Commission.

Three candidates raised a total of $9,195 between them, according to financial disclosure reports required by state law to be filed 30 days prior to the Oct. 7 election. The same number of candidates raised a total of $14,630 in 2006 and $24,232 in 2007 during the same time period, according to the APOC Web site.

Areawide Assembly candidate Wade Bryson reported the highest gross income of the reports at $6,150, compared to $1,650 in income reported by his opponent, incumbent Bob Doll.

"That is solely because I put $5,000 of my own money into my campaign," Bryson said. "So I wouldn't say I've raised the most."

He said the figures should appear different when the next reports are due on Sept. 30.

"My fundraising has actually slowed and I bet you when the seven-day report comes out it will show that others have raised as much if not more than me," he said.

Doll said he is planning to ratchet up his campaign over the next couple of weeks and will be putting out more radio and television advertisements and making more public appearances as the election grows near.

Doll said there is quite a bit of interest in this year's municipal election, and he expects campaign contributions to increase in the coming weeks.

"I expect (to raise) somewhere between $10,000 and $15,000 and I would expect expenses to very closely match the income," Doll said.

Karen Taug, opponent of incumbent Jonathan Anderson for a District 2 Assembly seat, reported an income of $1,395 in her 30-day report.

Anderson filed as exempt with APOC, meaning that he plans to raise and spend less than $5,000 on the campaign and is not required by state law to disclose his campaign finances.

District 1 incumbent Merrill Sanford, who is running unopposed, also filed as exempt with APOC. The three School Board candidates vying for two seats - Ed Flanagan, Richard Monkman and Sally Saddler - also filed as exempt.

Anderson said he decided to file as exempt in order to not have to worry about filing financial reports with APOC. He has been cutting campaign costs by using e-mail to communicate with voters and by recycling signs, he said.

"I think it was just a feeling that this was possible to do, and I'm able to keep my costs down because I've got signs and flyers from last election and those are probably among the highest costing items," he said. "And I feel that it is the appropriate thing to do it."

Taug was unavailable for comment on Thursday afternoon.

Bryson said the remaining few weeks prior to Election Day should be interesting and busy.

"You get so busy with all the different meetings and forums," he said. "I can sum up campaigning in one sentence - at the end of the day the list of unaccomplished things is far greater than what I've got done."

• Contact reporter Eric Morrison at 523-2269 or eric.morrison@juneauempire.com.

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