Wheeler leads in fundraising

editor@sierrastar.comApril 1, 2014 

With the June 3 primary election 60 days away, Madera County District 5 Supervisor Tom Wheeler has built a substantial campaign fund of more than $52,000. About $23,400 of the funds were raised during the last reporting period (Jan. 1 to March 17), with the balance being carried over from 2013.

Wheeler reported an ending balance of $42,851 in his campaign account as of March 17.

In contrast, his opponent, Paul Cliby, has raised about $2,600, including a $900 loan to his campaign from himself.

Cliby said with most political races the incumbent has all the advantages and have had time to align themselves with special interests to receive funding.

"I have fund raisers coming up, I'm walking the district, and I am starting to put up signage," Cliby said.

Wheeler's latest Campaign Disclosure Statement lists 80 individuals and businesses, with the largest contributors being developer Robert McCaffrey of Fresno and Ditton Enterprises, Inc. of Oakhurst — both giving $2,500. Other contributors include Hadley Ray Kern ($1,775), North Fork Rancheria ($1,000), Bryant Home Center, Inc. ($1,000), MDS Enterprises,Inc. ($910), Stan Madewell ($820), The Pines Resort ($800), Judy Fink ($725), Bodys By Boyd ($610), Theresa Bryant ($600), Tim Snyder ($500), and California Paving Company ($500).

In the race for Madera County District Attorney, Oakhurst attorney David Linn has reported more than twice as much as the incumbent Michael Keitz.

Linn has collected more than $46,000, including $22,180 carry over from 2013, and $36,500 in loans to himself from Linn Law Offices. Keitz has reported $21,526 in monetary contributions, including $6,120 carry over from 2013.

Linn listed 20 contributors on his first quarter report while Keitz reported 49.

Linn's largest contributor was Robert Brosi, DDS, of Oakhurst, with $500.

Keitz's list of contributors was lead by Todd Spencer with $3,000. Steve Barsotti, Ed and Barbara Thomasson, Richard and Mimi Gunner, and J. Oberti, Inc., all contributed $1,000. Other contributions came from Johnny and Dorie Deniz ($700), Mark Borba ($700). Contributing $500 were Mid Valley Labor Services, Inc., United Park, Inc., J.M. Lasgoity, and Mary Keitz.

As of March 17, Linn reported an ending cash balance of $6,937 in his campaign account and Keitz has an ending balance of $12,185.

DA candidate Miranda Neal reported contributions of $1,824.

With Madera County Sheriff John Anderson retiring after 16 years, six candidates are running for the position and their Campaign Disclosure Statements reflect the following monetary contributions:

Chowchilla Police Chief Jay Varney - $16,088.

Fresno City Police Detective Sgt. Greg Noll - $9,225 - includes $5,000 loan.

Madera County Undersheriff Michael Salvador - $10,675.

Retired CHP Sgt. Dennis Fairbanks - $7,350 - includes $4,200 loan.

Retired Madera Police Chief Michael Kime - $7,000.

Former Madera County Sheriff Deputy Frank Gauthier - $2,415.

Rules and regulations for all county candidates and Superior Court judges are overseen by the Californian Fair Political Practices Commission.

Part of those regulations require candidates to file campaign financial disclosure statements with the county elections division manager throughout the year. The first statement covered July 1 - Dec. 31, 2013. At that time, many current county candidates had yet to file to run for office, therefore, campaign funds were zero.

Statements will be required one more time prior to the June primary. Those statements will cover March 18 through May 17.

Candidates are required to report any monetary or nonmonetary contribution or loan of $25 to $99.99, along with the name and address of the contributor. In addition, the total amount received from that contributor over the course of the current calendar year (the "cumulative amount") must also be recorded.

If the contributor is self-employed, that fact also must be noted along with the name of his or her business. Generally, if a check is drawn on the account of a business entity, the contributor is the business entity, not the person who signs the check.

All Campaign Disclosure Statements are available to the public for 10 cents per page.

Details: Madera County Elections Division, (559) 675-7720.

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