By Kathi Bliss
In the final days before the Nov. 6, 2012, General Election, candidates and donors are opening their wallets and their coffers in a last push to secure elections. According to the seven-day spending reports filed with the Caldwell County Clerk’s Office this week, none are pushing quite so hard – or spending quite so high – as the Caldwell County Republican Party.
Each of six Republican candidates on the ballot have logged in-kind donations of $650 for a voter information kit recently mailed to Caldwell County voters, and most show monetary donations from the local Party, as well. In all, the Caldwell County Republican Party (“Caldwell County Republicans”) is responsible for upwards of $7,550 in contributions to local candidates.
In contrast, the Caldwell County Tejano Democrats (“Tejano Democrats”) logged $1,400 in contributions to local Democratic Party candidates, and the Texas Democratic Women of Caldwell County (“Democratic Women”) added another $400 or so.
The race for Caldwell County Sheriff continues to draw attention – and spending – from across Caldwell County.
In his report filed Oct. 29, incumbent Sheriff Daniel Law (D) reflects that he has collected $1,200 in contributions and spent $3,280.40 in the eleventh-hour push.
Law received $200 from the Democratic Women, $400 from the Tejano Democrats. A contribution of $500 came from Dollie Cole/Briarpatch Ranch, and other smaller contributions also trickled in on Law’s behalf.
The lion’s share of Law’s spending was in the form of donations made to the Delhi Volunteer Fire Department and the McMahan Volunteer Fire Department, totaling $1,185. He logged $603.50 in local advertising, and noted an expense for $194.90 to United States Badge, of San Antonio, for campaign materials.
Republican challenger Ray Chandler collected $3,850 in donations, and spent $2,500 on his campaign, according to his finance report, also dated Oct. 29.
Chandler received $1,250 from the Caldwell County Republicans, as well as the $650 in-kind donation for the voter information mailer. He also noted a $400 contribution from James Godwin, of Houston, and a $500 donation from Lem Allen, of Luling.
All of Chandler’s spending was directed to Victory Cleaners, of San Marcos, for campaign shirts.
The other countywide race on the ballot, for Caldwell County Tax Assessor-Collector, drew somewhat less attention.
Incumbent Assessor-Collector Debra French (R), who was appointed the post last year after the resignation of Mary Vicky Gonzales, claimed $2,000 in donations and $78.35 in expenses.
Like Chandler, French received $1,250 from the Caldwell County Republicans, and noted the $650 in-kind contribution. Her expenses were for various campaign-related materials, posted and promotional items.
Democrat challenger Darla Law did not report receiving any contributions during the reporting period, and said she had spent $194.50 in local advertising.
The race for Caldwell County Commissioner, Precinct 1, heated up, as Republican Todd Smith and Democrat Alfredo Munoz battle for the seat that will be vacated by John Cyrier at the end of this year.
Smith logged $1,750 in contributions, including the mailer and an additional $900 from the Caldwell County Republicans. His $863.29 in expenses was spent at Lockhart’s Printing Solutions, for a campaign mailer.
Munoz noted only $750 in contributions during the final reporting period before the election, and logged $2,441.63 in expenses.
He received $500 from the Tejano Democrats, and $250 from Dianne Stevenson, of Lockhart.
Munoz claimed $1,088.25 in local advertising expenses including a donation to the Lockhart High School Cheerleaders for inclusion in the football programs. He also paid $387 to the Democratic Gala, and racked up $582.15 for campaign-related events, and $175 in various donations.
In the race for Caldwell County Commissioner, Precinct 3, incumbent Democrat Ernesto “Neto” Madrigal ratcheted up not only his expenses, but his collections, logging $2,250 in donations and $1,374.36 in expenses.
He collected $500 from the Tejano Democrats, and another $500 each from Terry Wright, of Lockhart, and from Garage Door Services. In addition, he received $300 from Lloyd Doggett, $250 from Dianne Stevenson and $200 from the Democratic Women.
Madrigal logged various expenses for “travel within the precinct,” and spent $92.01 with Printing Solutions for campaign flyers. He also spent $82.16 at Smith Supply for campaign materials, and spent $202.50 on postage.
Madrigal noted several expenses less than $50.
Republican challenger Kathy Haigler noted $3,315 in campaign contributions and $2,420.15 in expenses.
She received $900 from the Caldwell County Republicans, and $600 from the Republican Party of Texas Candidate Resource Committee. An additional $500 came from the Friends of Ken Clark, of League City, Texas. Haigler also noted the $650 in-kind contribution from the Caldwell County Republicans for the mailer.
Haigler reported she spent $868.37 with Pages Printing, of San Antonio, for brochures, and logged $768 in local advertising. She spent $116.64 with First Impressions in San Marcos for cookies, and reported $160 for postage. She also spent $123.08 with Tractor Supply and $116.91 at Office Depot.
Incumbent Precinct 1 Constable Victor “Smitty” Terrell (D) did not have a seven-day report on file at press time. His challenger, Richard Polfus, reported $172.50 in expenses for local advertising, and $1.449.63 in contributions, including $650 for the mailer and $799.63 paid by John Mayes to Printing Solutions for printing.
Incumbent Precinct 2 Constable Richard Callihan (D) filed a report reflecting $625 in contributions and $801.35 in expenses. His challenger, Republican Tim Adams, reflected $800 in contributions and $922.45 in spending.
Polls remain open for early voting through 7 p.m. on Friday. Polls open at 7 a.m. on Tuesday morning, and will be open until 7 p.m.
Check next week’s Post-Register, and follow us online at www.post-register.com for election news as it develops and as returns become available.
**Earlier (Oct. 19, 2012) – Show me the money! Candidates report on pre-election spending
By Kathi Bliss
With less than a month to go until the Nov. 7, 2012, General Election, local candidates have filed their campaign spending reports, indicating where their campaign money is going and – perhaps more importantly – where it comes from.
The race drawing the most attention, and the most money, is the standoff between incumbent Sheriff Daniel C. Law and political newcomer Ray Chandler.
Law, the Democrat on the ballot, reported $4,225 in campaign contributions and $1,142.01 in expenditures in a report dated Oct. 8, 2012.
Law received a large contribution, $1,000, from Mitzy McCorvey, of San Antonio, and contributions of $500 each from George Hazelett, of Lockhart, Art Davis, of San Antonio, and Jerry Acosta and JoAnn Hoskins, both of Austin, as well as from Tom Douple, the owner of McMahan’s Whizzerville Hall. George Sanchez, of Maxwell, has contributed $300 to Law’s re-election bid.
In preparation for a campaign event, Law spent $273.53 at Sam’s Club in San Marcos, and contributed another $300 as a donation to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation during a recent fundraiser. He purchased signs from Super Cheap Signs in Austin for $256.55 and spent another $99.16 at Smith Supply for additional materials.
Law’s opponent, Republican Ray Chandler, also filed a report on Oct. 8, which indicates $2,000 in campaign contributions and $2,740.13 in spending.
Chandler’s largest contributor is Stuart Carter of Luling, who contributed $1,000 to help Chandler unseat Law. Carter is also the chief holder of a website which, during the last two election cycles, has launched an attack on Law’s character.
Chandler has also received $200 contributions from Dee Rodgers, of Rosanky, and from the Caldwell County Republican Women.
Chandler reported expenditures totaling $1,690.08 to Victory Cleaners, of San Marcos, for shirts, $750 to Scene Marketing, of Graham, Texas, $200 to Lasr Signs, of Lockhart, and $100.05 in local advertising.
Drawing in almost as much campaign money is the hotly-contested race for the Caldwell County Commissioner, Precinct One seat which will be vacated by John Cyrier in January.
Democrat Alfredo Munoz reported campaign contributions of $4,400 and expenditures totaling $4,550.42 in his report dated Oct. 5.
Munoz collected $500 from Kenneth Henderson, of Lockhart, and $300 from Ernesto Luna, of Austin. He also received $200 from the Texas Democratic Women of Caldwell County, and several donations of $100 each.
Munoz reported $1,654.34 in spending to Printing Solutions, of Lockhart, for various printed campaign materials. He also made a $1,000 donation to the Seton Care-A-Van. He spent $562.08 on a campaign fundraiser. Other expenditures include $180 for postage, donations to several youth organizations, and $229.16 in various materials.
Republican Todd Smith, who earned his place on the ballot in a four-way race that ended in a Primary Election runoff, reported $300 in campaign contributions and $396.74 in spending.
The Caldwell County Republican Women gave $200 to Smith’s campaign efforts, with his other reported donation coming from Robert Duda, of Kyle.
The bulk of Smith’s spending, $350.73, went to Printing Solutions for campaign materials.
In the Caldwell County Commissioner, Precinct 3, race, incumbent Neto Madrigal reported $450 in contributions and $1,122.72 in spending.
Madrigal received $250 from Linebarger, Goggan, Blair and Sampson, an Austin-based law firm, and $100 each from James Parish, of Austin, and Carlton Carl, of Martindale.
He spent $487.66 with Printing Solutions, and $389.70 with Sign Art, in Austin. He also showed $121.24 paid to Lockhart-based Logos for printing, and various small expenditures for travel and materials.
Madrigal’s Republican challenger Kathy Haigler collected $3,690 in contributions and spent $4,226.37 during the reporting period, according to her report filed Oct. 9.
The Republican Party of Texas – Candidate Resources donated $1,200 to her campaign, and Andy Taylor, of Burton, supplemented with $500. She also received $200 donations from John Davis, of Houston, and Robert Duda, of Kyle, along with several listed $100 contributions.
Haigler reported spending a total of $1,667.40 to Custom Ink, of McLean, Va., for shirts, and $500 to Scene Marketing, of Graham, for advertising. She also paid $438.90 to JS Printing, of Dublin, Ga., and $985.20 to the US Postal Service. Haigler showed various other donations and expenses, including payments to Lockhart High School and Luling High School for football program advertising.
It appears to be a quiet race between Democrat Darla Law and Republican Debra French for the seat of Caldwell County Tax Assessor-Collector.
Law reports having collected $635 for her campaign, with $250 coming from JoAnn Hoskins, and $100 each from Anthony Hardee, of Lockhart, and Arthur Etheredge, of Rosanky.
She said she spent $378.88 for campaign signs with Austin’s Super Cheap Signs.
Incumbent Assessor-Collector French reported collecting $325 in donations and spending $808.66 on her campaign.
French’s listed contributions came from the Caldwell County Republican Women ($200) and Robert Duda ($100).
She also lists a loan of $6,987, which she appears to have loaned personally to her campaign.
French reported spending $258.72 to Cotton Top, of Lockhart, for shirts, and $350 to Texas Rain for water bottles. In addition, she purchased advertising from LHS Cheer in the Lockhart High School football program, and spent $25.95 at Tuttle Lumber.
Candidates will be required to file another spending report seven days prior to the election. Watch future editions of the Post-Register for more news on campaign spending.