Campaign financial statements always tell an interesting story or two and the first financial statements of the Rancho Mirage campaign hold some interesting nuggets.
One of the first glaring takeaways is that Katherine “Kate” Spates is clearly working it. She has more individual campaign contributions than any of her competitors. At $33,531.21, Spates also brought in more contributions than any of the others in the six-person race. Her contributions ranged from $50 to $2.500 and everything in between, representing a broad range of support.
Incumbent G. Dana Hobart has the second largest amount of contributions at $30,595. He drew larger contributions from only about a dozen people. In an ironic twist, two of his biggest contributions came from Palm Springs residents. Jim Houston of Palm Springs contributed $10,000 as did Harold Matzner of Palm Springs.
Hobart reported having a beginning cash balance of $31,921.02 and an ending cash balance of $41,340.24.
As the campaign heats up, some critics have called residents in Cathedral City and Palm Springs to butt out. Patrick Evans of Rancho Mirage even said, “We’ve got this.”
Some $20,000 from two major players in Palm Springs to Hobart might explain some of the interest.
Robert Mueller, one of three challengers to the trio of incumbents, reported $18,247.05 in contributions with $14,000 of that in loans. He received $2,657 in individual contributions nearly all of which came from Rancho Mirage residents.
Incumbent Mayor Charles Townsend Vinci reported no contributions, according to his Campaign Disclosure Statement. He reported a beginning cash balance of $17,108.59 and an ending cash balance of $11,917.11.
Iris Smotrich, an incumbent, reported no contributions. She had a beginning cash balance of $28,269.10 and an ending cash balance of $16,452.42, according to her Campaign Disclosure Statement.
Michael Harrington, another challenger, is not required to file a Form 460 if he does not have an open committee. However, he is required to file a short form campaign statement (Form 470), which City Clerk Kristie Ramos said she has not yet received.
In the coming days, these reports are sure to be scrutinized to see if they comply with the rules and regulations of the California Fair Political Practices Commission.
The three incumbents – Hobart, Smotrich and Townsend Vinci – are running as a slate. Jay Wierenga, communications director for the Fair Political Practices Commission, told Uken Report “their individual obligations as a candidate and committee to file campaign finance reporting forms remains the same. The proper reporting of contributions and expenditures, and making sure campaign finance reports are filed properly and on time, all of that is still the law and is still required.”
One of the aspects expected to be scrutinized is whether all shared in the costs equally and reported such.