Campaign money flows slowly in Jefferson County this election

By Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News

Here are contributions of $100 or more to general election campaigns in Jefferson County, as reported by the state Public Disclosure Commission or by representatives of the campaigns.

Contributions to the campaigns of Jefferson Healthcare commissioner candidate Matt Ready and Citizens for Port Ludlow Fire & Rescue, which is supporting a tax levy proposal for Port Ludlow-area Fire District No. 3, are listed as they were reported by the PDC at www.pdc.wa.gov.

Contributions to Yes! On Home Rule, which favors the home-rule charter proposal, and ­Nocountycharter.com, which opposes it, are reported by representatives of those groups. The PDC listed no reports from those committees.

Ready’s opponent, incumbent Marc Mauney, has not received any contributions and is self-financing his campaign.

Matthew Ready

■   $250: John V. Ready, Sequim.

■   $130: Richard Doherty, Seattle.

■   $100: Al Bergstein, David W. Crozier, Ramon Daily, Korinda Dalton, Deborah Jahnke, Richard Jahnke, Helen Kolff, O’Neill Louchard, Joseph Nutsford, Marcia Reidel, Port Townsend; Jason Mebane, Seattle; Adrian F. Gentle, Port Ludlow; Michael P. Haugh, Brighton; Kathy Larson, Minneapolis; Shirley A. Tinsley, Sequim.

Citizens for Port Ludlow Fire & Rescue

■   $2,500: Jefferson County Firefighters Association.

■   $1,634: C4PLFR Car Wash, Port Ludlow.

■   $1,000: Port Ludlow Fire and Rescue Foundation, Port Ludlow.

■   $250: Targhee Fire Services LLC, Keyport.

■   $200: Systems Design NW Inc., Poulsbo.

■   $100: Fire Service Repair LLC, Snohomish; Menke Jackson Beyer LLP, Yakima.

Yes! On Home Rule

■   $500: Niles Powell, Port Townsend.

■   $450: Doug Milholland, Port Townsend.

■   $443: Norm Norton, Eaglemount.

■   $420: O’Neill Louchard, Port Townsend.

■   $378: Mike and Val Phimister, Port Townsend.

■   $290: Mike Regan, Irondale.

■   $146 Ellen O’Shea, Eaglemount.

■   $100: Deanna Pumplin, Port Townsend.

Nocountycharter.com

■   $1,200: Jefferson County Democrats.

■   $250: George Yount, Port Townsend.

■   $100: Bruce Cowan, Leland Miller, Port Townsend; Stan Nealey, Cass Brotherton, Quilcene.
PORT TOWNSEND — It’s been relatively quiet on the campaign-contribution front this election season.

Marc Mauney, incumbent Position 3 Jefferson Healthcare hospital commissioner, and challenger Matt Ready were the only candidates in Tuesday’s general election who had filed contribution reports with the state Public Disclosure Commission, or PDC, as of Monday, the most recent official reporting date.

Combined, Mauney of Port Hadlock and Ready of Port Townsend had raised $10,948, almost all of it self-financed.

Of Ready’s $7,297 in contributions, $5,000 was his own money in the form of a loan.

All of Mauney’s $3,651 came out of his own pocket.

In addition, committees for and against the Jefferson County home-rule charter proposition and a committee in favor of the Port Ludlow-area Fire District No. 3 maintenance-and-operations levy have raised and spent money for their causes.

Citizens for Port Ludlow Fire & Rescue has raised $5,885 to pass the levy, the PDC said.

Nocountycharter.com had raised $2,400, while Yes! On Home Rule raised $3,100, according to representatives of those campaigns. Reports were not listed on the PDC website.

Voters on the charter issue have two parts to decide: first to approve or reject the home-rule process, and second to elect a board of freeholders.

If voters reject starting a charter process, then electing 15 freeholders out of a field of about 50 will become moot.

If they approve county Proposition 1, the elected freeholders would be charged with writing a proposed charter by June 20, 2015. The charter then would go before voters.

Home-rule charters, such as the charter operating in neighboring Clallam County, are permitted by the state constitution as a way for counties to provide forms of government that might differ from the commission form prescribed by state law.

Ready, 40, said last week that if he wins, he will quit his job at the hospital, and if he loses, he hasn’t decided whether he will stay.

“This is a big deal to me,” he said of his attempt to get elected.

“I really am willing to sacrifice my job and willing to sacrifice money to try to make it happen.”

Ready said he spent most of his campaign fund on a mailer, which alone cost more than $5,000, and spent about $400 on signs.

Mauney “could outspend me if he wanted to,” he added.

Mauney, 58, said he can afford to finance his own campaign, adding that he sent out a campaign postcard to voters and purchased two newspaper advertisements.

“I thought people’s money would be better spent elsewhere,” he said.

He did not do any doorbelling.

“It’s low-yield and labor-intensive,” Mauney said, adding, “I was my campaign organization.”

Mauney said he suggested would-be campaign contributors give money to Jefferson Healthcare Position 5 incumbent Jill Buhler, who is running against challenger Savannah Hensel, neither of whom had filed contribution reports.

Candidates in races in which there are 5,000 or more registered voters must register with the PDC, agency spokeswoman Lori Anderson said.

But only candidates who raise more than $5,000 in those races must file contribution and expenditure reports with the PDC.

Anyone who raises less than that falls under “mini-reporting” guidelines under which they do not have to report their contributions to the PDC, though no one other than a candidate can contribute more than $500 to a campaign.

Half of Nocountycharter.com’s contributions — $1,200 — were from the Jefferson County Democratic Party.

The campaigns for and against home-rule charter Proposition 1 have been partisan, said Bruce Cowan, chair of Nocountycharter.com.

He said many top county Republicans are running for freeholder positions on the charter commission, seats they will take if Proposition 1 is approved, while George Randels, an executive board member of Jefferson County Democrats, also is running for freeholder.

“All measures that come before voters are nonpartisan,” Cowan said, adding that contributions have been spent on signs and print advertising.

He said he does not see anything negative about political parties getting involved in issues that are presented as nonpartisan.

“We certainly hope the voters would take that bit of information in with the campaign materials and make their own judgements,” Cowan said.

Norm Norton, an organizer of Yes! On Home Rule, said he was “very unhappy” the campaign seems to have coalesced along party lines.

The Yes! On Home Rule Ballot Committee has a website in conjunction with the Community Rights Coalition of Jefferson County Home Rule Task Force at www.yesonhomerule.com.

Charter proponents needed to raise more money than opponents, Norton asserted.

“It’s an uphill battle,” he said of the charter’s chances Nov. 5.

“It’s a big change in governance, to go from what we know to something we don’t know.”

Most voters are cautionary, like drivers approaching, Norton said.

“It’s an amber light out there, and we have to buck that light,” he said.

Keppie Keplinger, an organizer of Citizens for Port Ludlow Fire & Rescue, said the group was formed to ensure enough information about the levy proposal made its way to the community so voters could make an informed choice.

The four-year levy would add 59 cents per $1,000 of property valuation per year to the tax bills of Fire District No. 3 residents.

“The citizens who became involved with Citizens for Port Ludlow felt this was a very worthwhile cause,” she said.

“We definitely need the services that Port Ludlow Fire provides.”

The largest single contributor to the campaign was $2,500 from the Jefferson County Firefighters Association.

About 20 to 25 volunteers worked on the campaign.

________

Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5060, or at pgottlieb@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: November 02. 2013 6:22PM
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