With four days until the Oct. 2 city election and this month's terrorist attacks factoring into campaigns, candidates for the Juneau Assembly are spending less than anticipated.
Candidates were required to turn in spending reports to the Alaska Public Offices Commission this week. Reports also are due 30 days before the election and 10 days after.
M'Iva Rickey, owner of the Juneau public relations and advertising firm Crystal Clear Communications, estimated spending is down about 20 percent this year in local races. She attributes the change to a soft economy and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
"It's changed the spending and the tenor of the campaigns this year, as it should have," she said. "A little bit of that funding got put toward other philanthropic enterprises."
According to this week's APOC report, incumbent Assembly member Jim Powell has raised $13,131, spent $10,907 and accumulated $11,870 in debt or accrued expenses. He accepted $300 from the Juneau Coalition for Pro-Choice, an abortion-rights group, and $200 from Alaska Conservation Voters, a statewide coalition of environmental and conservation groups. Powell and his wife Juneau Rep. Beth Kerttula have contributed $701 to the campaign. According to the seven-day report, 162 contributions were $100 or less; contributions worth more than $100 totaled $3,345.
Powell's campaign also amended its 30-day report to include an additional $74.12 in expenses.
Because of 1998 reporting violations, Powell has a team of people checking his campaign spending reports, he said. The team includes Powell, Kerttula,
accountant Bob Sramek of Anchorage, treasurer Brad Campbell and volunteer Juli Lucky.
"We've been very careful about accrued expenses," Powell said.
Accounting services are not noted in any candidate's report. According to Alaska law, a candidate does not need to report services provided by an accountant or another person to prepare reports and statements as contributions.
Powell said he expects to spend less than he thought he would, probably $22,000 or $23,000. In 1998, he spent a record $45,000. In 1995, he spent about $24,000, according to APOC.
Chuck Collins, also running for the areawide seat, has raised $8,264, spent $3,722 and listed $10,687 in debt. Collins, the owner of Copy Works and Copy Express, has contributed about $2,001 in donated services to his campaign for signs, postage and printing. Contributions of more than $100 totaled $3,746; 46 contributors gave $100 or less.
Collins said he is raising and spending less than he thought he would. He expects his total campaign spending to be about $15,000.
"I'm not putting in as much money as Jim is," he said.
In the race for the District 1 seat, Jeannie Johnson has raised $10,519, spent $6,493 and accrued $6,877 in debt. The real estate broker accepted $300 from the Juneau Coalition for Pro-Choice and has contributed $5,000 of her own money to the campaign. Johnson said her finances are right about where she thought they would be. Contributions of more than $100 totaled $6,600; 39 contributors gave $100 or less.
The terrorist attacks have affected local campaigns, she said.
"I think what happened is it took a week out of everybody's life," she said. "I don't think things are quite up to speed. I think all of the candidates are dealing with that and we just have to work harder."
Retired teacher and salesman Tony Reiger has raised $3,280, spent $2,309 and recorded $3,119 in debt. Contributions of more than $100 totaled $555; 79 contributors gave $100 or less.
He said the terrorist attacks affected his campaign indirectly, bringing the reason why he's running into sharper focus.
"We really need to come together as a group of people," he said.
On average, spending on the District 2 seat appears to be the least expensive of the three.
Dixie Hood has raised $4,073, spent $1,429 and recorded $1,581 in debts, which she said is right on budget. She accepted $300 from the Juneau Coalition for Pro-Choice. Contributions of more than $100 totaled $1,058; 49 contributors gave $100 or less.
Randy Wanamaker has raised $8,899 and spent $7,840. He has contributed $2,000 of his own money to his campaign. Contributions of more than $100 totaled $3,305; 58 contributors gave $100 or less.
"I'm spending less than what I thought I'd be and I'm happy to be doing so," he said.
Clancy DeSmet has raised $3,230, spent $1,710 and listed debts of $1,091. Contributions of more than $100 totaled $450; 29 contributors gave $100 or less.
"I think I'm spending about what I thought, which is not very much," he said. "I don't think you should have to raise an exorbitant amount of money to run a political campaign."
Joanna Markell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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