The Standard-Examiner reports this morning that the final 2009 Ogden City Municipal Election financial disclosure reports are now on file with the City Recorder's Office:
Weber County Forum contributor Dan Schroeder earlier this morning, including the following thoughtful analysis, which nicely puts these campaign disclosure statements into real-world context:
LEDE MISSES THE POINTAs an added bonus, Dan has compiled and submitted this handy table, to conveniently allow our readers to make quick comparisons at a glance. (Click to enlarge image):
The lede for this story should have been that none of the candidates had large funding advantages over their opponents. This is news because it's a radical change from just two years ago, when the Lifty candidates (Godfrey, Johnson, Eccles, and Petersen) out-raised and out-spent their opponents by factors ranging from 2 to 6. This year the Lifties couldn't rely so much on the Godfrey machine to raise their campaign funds, as Envision Ogden did for Johnson and Eccles in 2007. Moreover, they couldn't rely too heavily on any of their deep-pocket contributors, since contributions are now limited to $1500 per donor. The Smarties, for their part, seem to have finally realized that it takes $10k to run a serious at-large Ogden City Council campaign; the days when you could win without even putting up yard signs are long gone.
The article does point out several of the interesting details of the candidates' finances. Most remarkable is the Hains $5650 deficit, which is presumably just another way of saying that he donated (or loaned) that much to his own campaign. The various contributions from PACs, corporations, and elected officials are also noteworthy.
But the article is curiously inconsistent about whose large contributions are mentioned and whose aren't. The two significant omissions are Hains and Phipps. (Dean received no new large contributions since his last report.) Hains received $1500 from The Boyer Company, $1479 from a new PAC called Forward Ogden (operated by Blain Johnson and Royal Eccles, according to the Lt. Governor's web site), and $500 from the Utah Apartment Association. Hains also received $1500 from the Utah Association of Realtors which he disclosed in late October, but which the Standard-Examiner has yet to report; this contribution is especially newsworthy because Hains had already received $1500 from the UAR's local affiliate so it was a likely violation of the $1500 per-donor limit. Phipps received $1500 from Steve Waldrip of Eden, which he should have disclosed before the election but apparently didn't.
Other noteworthy details: Dean's campaign was funded mostly by Dean himself. Garcia and Garner each spent over $14 per vote, thanks to the low voter turnout in their ward.
A Weber County Forum Tip O' The Hat to Professor Schroeder for his special effort in assisting in the interpretion of the consolidated campaign financial disclosure data this morning.
All other WCF readers are invited to chime in with their own observations, theories and interpretations, of course.