by Elliott Stonecipher [Revised 1:10PM]
When I wrote two days ago about the full roster of unvetted candidates for Shreveport mayor, I admit to wondering what else we would learn from the release of their Campaign Finance Reports. Having looked at those reports, it is clear that by far most Shreveporters have yet to find a candidate they care to support with contributions.
Most Shreveporters who typically participate in these campaigns, sometimes to a personally expensive degree, well remember when they put up just short of $900,000 for former City Attorney Jerry Jones to run for mayor in 2006 … only to lose to Cedric Glover.
In more ways than one, political things have never been the same since, and participation in the process continues to decline.
The campaign finance reports of the top four mayoral candidates competing for November 4th votes confirm the slide: combined, the four have raised just over $350,000 with thirty days to go in the primary campaign.
State Representative Patrick Williams leads in contributions and spending, and has borrowed significantly, too. He reports $169,874 in contributions, $146,246 in loans to his campaign, and $305,987 in campaign expenses. He has $40,969 on hand as election day bears down.
The loans made to the Williams campaign are, according to attorney John Settle, overstated. Settle and his wife had loaned $64,745 to the Williams campaign in June and July through entities named “BIKE LLC” and HALEAUX LLC,” loans which are not permitted / legal under campaign finance law. (Settle’s direct contributions totaled the maximum allowable as well.) When, in August and September, the Williams campaign corrected the disallowed loans, the candidate personally borrowed $81,500 for his campaign. Settle reports that his / his wife’s loans have been paid off. The combined $64,475 and $81,500 explain the Campaign Finance Report loans figure of $146,245.
Former educator Ollie Tyler has $35,731 on hand for the final primary campaign push after spending $112,874 of the $149,430 contributed to her.
Newcomer Victoria Provenza is in the process of testing her strong belief that social media will be enough to win. She has raised $25,745, spent $11,877, and thus has $9,649 on hand.
City Councilman Sam Jenkins has raised $10,050 for his not-really campaign, and with funds forwarded from other such efforts shows $28,009 on hand.
Anna Marie Arpino reports $358 in receipts.
Williams vs. Tyler
There is no question about the headline story from these reports. Patrick Williams has proven that when it came time to push-back against any attempted anointing by local usual suspects of Ollie Tyler as the next mayor, he and his knew how to do it.
Noting Williams’ use of loans which Tyler has not (yet?) taken out, Williams has spent $306,000 to $113,000 for Tyler, approaching three times as much. In the simple test of who takes in the big bucks from the biggest political players, the two are even with about two dozen contributions each of $2,500 or more.
Campaigns were likely still receiving contributions as these reports were being prepared and filed, so what the full picture was and is will not be known until after the primary, then again after any December 6th run-off. It is nowhere more true than in campaign fund-raising that “it ain’t over ’til it’s over.”
For now, the “smart money” I mentioned in my article two days ago is, to this point at least, going with much greater force to Patrick Williams than Ollie Tyler, and not at all to Victoria Provenza. Should Williams parlay his relatively stronger fundraising ability into a win, the current Shreveport political alignment then shifts away from current mayor Cedric Glover and his well-heeled and otherwise politically potent sponsors.
Elliott Stonecipher’s reports and commentaries are written strictly in the public interest, with no compensation of any kind solicited or accepted. Appropriate credit to Mr. Stonecipher in the sharing – unedited only, please – of his work is appreciated.