Follow the Money, Local Candidates in the 2012 election

Suffolk News Herald has a story out today about the end of election spending, Candidate Spend Heavily At the End. This is interesting to read to see who spent what and where the money went. For example, Leroy Bennet paid his wife – again. Linda Johnson dropped some serious coin on a direct mail campaign, while Art Bredemeyer still owes himself over 6,000$ for a loan he made to his campaign.

Lue Ward proved you don’t need to spend much at all if you really know your audience. Despite council seats being “non-partisan”, he paid 150$ to be able to use the VA Democrats VAN system – a votebuilder program that allows a candidate to target their campaign to likely democrat voters.

Fawcett dropped over 16 grand into the same direct mail company Linda Johnson uses, Creative Direct, LLC, which, interestingly enough, targets Republican voters.

Curtis Milteer spent about 1500$ paying poll workers – despite the fact that he was running unopposed. In an unopposed race, he spent over $7,000 on what was essentially a sure thing.  And this guy is one of the ones in charge of the city budget?

At least newly-elected School Board member Diane Foster – who also ran unopposed – had the good sense not to spend more than 1,000$ of her own money on her unopposed campaign.

But – even more interesting than where the money went, is where it came from. Follow the money, people, follow the money.

Mayor Linda Johnson received $18,900 from Real Estate Developers & contractors. Ms. Johnson is also an active real estate agent. I don’t care what she says, it looks fishy for someone who makes their money from selling homes, to also be in a position to approve the building of new homes, and to be receiving thousands of dollars to her campaign from those who want to build the homes she will eventually have a chance to sell.

Roger Fawcett’s money mostly came from his own family, as did Lue Ward’s, however, Ward also received a donation from Democrat Delegate to the VA House of Delagates Lionell Spruill.

Curtis Milteer raised over $11,000 – despite running unopposed! About half of that money came from Real Estate Developers, surprise, suprise. Milteer also received money from Delagate Lionell Spruill, and fellow councilman Charles Parr’s funeral home, as well as $300 from BSMC – a group called Businesses Supporting Minority Candidates.  BSMC got it’s start in 2005 under a different name though — Blacks Supporting Minority Candidates.