Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mayoral candidates invest finances toward campaign - University Star

Mayoral candidates invest finances toward campaign
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2008 at 10:18 am 
By Theron Brittain
News campaign financing San Marcos elections
"Campaign expenditure reports show mayoral candidates spent thousands of dollars in the months leading up to the Nov. 4 election.

The reports, filed Oct. 27, reveal how much the two candidates, Susan Narvaiz and David Newman, invested in their chances. A third candidate, Dan McCarthy, pledged in August to spend less than $500 during any given reporting period. State law exempted him from filing regular financial reports because of his pledge.

Newman reported $870 in total political contributions for the period roughly covering the end of September to the end of October. He spent $1,351 on his campaign for the same period. Narvaiz, whose election was confirmed Monday, outspent Newman, taking in $4,455 in total political contributions and spending $10,261 in the same period.

Narvaiz received 50.08 percent of the 12,878 votes casted, Newman 30.03 percent and McCarthy 19.89 percent.

Narvaiz and Newman’s campaigns spent the majority of their funds on advertising. Gloria Salazar, campaign treasurer for Narvaiz, said she hoped the extra capital helped make the campaign more effective.

“One of the largest expenses for the campaign was getting the new signs,” Salazar said. “And then we did something that we had not done as much of in the past campaigns — we did continuing advertising with The University Star to try to reach out to the students. We were doing ads weekly.”

Salazar said she was pleased with the financial support the mayor received over the last year, which totaled around $68,000.

“It’s just a real wide range,” Salazar said. “It came from business people. It came from individuals. It came from everywhere. We tried to reach out to all parts of the community.”

Dan Praver, Newman’s campaign treasurer, performs financial services for clients in San Marcos and said there was a one-to-one correlation between advertising and market share. Praver said Newman spent most of his financial resources on advertising, and he listed campaign buttons, printing supplies, paint and hardware as expenses.

“We spent money on spray paint and hardware to put together signs,” Praver said. “We bought some signs from Sign Crafters, and we bought some signs from a company called Super Cheap Signs. In fact, for the first accounting period, that was about a third of where the money went.”

Newman said he spent between $6,000 and $7,000 on his campaign. He provided $3,000 to $4,000 from his own finances.

“I received about half of my campaign finances in contributions and about half of it I put up myself,” said Newman, who ran on his own finances through the end of the election. “I spent about $2,000 in television ads and about $1,000 in printing costs. I spent about $3,000 on campaign signs.”

Newman ran ads on a variety of television channels, including CNN, FOX, ESPN and a few on MTV. Newman said he never had a proper fundraiser but might have held one if a runoff occured.

“We ran a pretty financially-tight campaign,” Newman said. “I was hoping the word was getting out there through the debates and media coverage. I didn’t have the money to saturate the print media like I wanted to. There are some things I think we could have done differently, but within the time frame I think we did most of what we could.”

Chris Jones won re-election to Place 4 on the City Council with 55.6 percent of 11,088 votes cast. Jones reported $3,800 in contributions and spent $854 on his campaign for the month of October. Jones’ opponent, Lisa Marie Coppoletta, operated under the same state exemption as Dan McCarthy. She received 44.4 percent of the vote.

Salazar said funds left over from Narvaiz’s campaign would be used to help defray costs resulting from the mayor’s duties and could be used in future campaigns.

“When you’re in office, and especially for our counsel where they do not get paid, there are expenses they have to incur throughout the term that are not covered,” Salazar said. “There are either out of pocket expenses or, for certain things, they are able to cover them through any monies they have left over from their campaign.”

Newman said he used all his contributions in the race."