Sunday, August 25, 2019

Ogden Election Primary Post-mortem: Ya Gotta Love Dan Schroeder

Here's a great pre-primary analysis, via  Dan Schroeder, a semi-regular WCF contributor over the years, Let's just call this our Ogden City Primary Election post-mortem:
Ogden voters: Primary Election Day is Tuesday the 13th, and we have four candidates for mayor. Following the money, I've downloaded their campaign finance disclosure reports from the city's web site ( Here are some details that I found notable. 
Incumbent Mike Caldwell began with nearly $20k left over from previous campaigns, and has raised an additional $15k. His largest contributors this year are the Northern Utah Realtors Association, R&O Construction, Robert Bolar, The McEntee Group, Jeanne Hall, and Kevin Garn. Contributions made through business entities are business-as-usual here in Utah but they raise ethical concerns: Are the donors committing tax fraud by writing off their political contributions as business expenses? And what favors do they expect from the mayor in return? Garn, meanwhile, is the confessed pedophile and disgraced ex-legislator from Davis County who developed Ogden’s Hilton Garden Inn (under a deal made with former mayor Godfrey), sub-contracting the concrete work to FLDS child abusers; what favors he may be seeking from the current mayor are anyone’s guess.
Challenger Angel Castillo has raised a little over $13k for her campaign. Of this, $4k came from Ogden restaurant owner Bec Sato, and another $2.7k came from 2015 mayoral candidate Sebastian Benitez, through his business (Intermountain Property Cleaning Service). The remainder came from a long list of smaller donors, some local but most from out of state--especially from Los Angeles, where Castillo herself lived until a year and a half ago. Perhaps the most interesting of her contributions was $100 from Chris Peterson, who set off the Ogden Gondola War of 2006 by proposing to acquire foothill property from the city and WSU, and to build a resort in Malan’s Basin. The address that Peterson provided is of a rented private mailbox in Evanston, Wyoming.
Challenger Daniel Tabish has been the biggest campaign spender so far: nearly $14k. But his $16k in contributions have come from only nine different individuals. More than $11k came from John, Johnny, and Dalton Gullo (all using the same address in Wyoming), obviously divided among the three of them to evade the $5000 individual contribution limit. John Gullo is a former Burger King franchise owner with a long history of local philanthropic activity, but apparently had a falling out with the current administration a few years ago. Tabish also received $2k from major gondola proponent Curt Geiger, and $1k each from David Stevenson and Dan Musgrave. Stevenson’s address is illegally omitted from Tabish’s disclosure form but he is probably the David Stevenson who practices law with former Ogden School District Superintendent Brad Smith. Musgrave is the former head of Downtown Ogden Inc. (the contractor that used to run downtown events for the city), and also owns a downtown reception center and a local Subway franchise. Perhaps I should also mention that Tabish has been endorsed by the notorious John Patterson, who served several years as Mayor Godfrey’s unscrupulous chief administrative officer.
Perennial candidate John Thompson has received no campaign contributions at all, but has spent $400 of his own money on advertising in the Standard-Examiner.

Pretty good eh?

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