BY FAIMON A. ROBERTS III
Advocate staff writer
December 02, 2012
Mayor-president Kip Holden outspent his nearest challenger, Metro Councilman Mike Walker, by nearly $100,000 in the weeks immediately before and after the Nov. 6 primary election, according to the latest campaign finance reports, filed Wednesday with the Louisiana Ethics Administration.
Holden, a two-term incumbent, raised almost twice as much as Walker during the same period, the records show.
Holden won the race outright Nov. 6, defeating Walker, lawyer Steve Myers and businessman Gordon Mese without having to go to a runoff.
For the reporting period Oct. 18 to Nov. 18, Holden spent $253,974. Walker, a term-limited Metro Councilman, spent $159,053 during the same period. Holden raised $56,300 to Walker’s $27,238.
Between Jan. 1 and Nov. 18, Holden raised $652,430, the records show. Walker raised $341,433 between the start of the year and Nov. 18.
Holden, who entered the reporting period with nearly $200,000 more in his campaign war chest, spent the biggest chunk of money on media advertising, paying $67,257 to Baton Rouge television stations and cable provider Cox Communications, the reports show.
The second biggest amount of money was spent on canvassing: $25,000 to the firm The Political Source, which coordinated Holden’s canvassing efforts, said Rannah Gray, a Holden campaign adviser. Another $23,860 was spent to pay more than 160 individual canvassers and coordinators in amounts ranging from $100 to $1,500, the reports show.
Those two expenditures show the Holden campaign’s two-pronged strategy going into the final weeks of the campaign, Gray said.
“Our main focus at the end was on media and stepping up our media buys,” Gray said. Her firm, Marmillion/Gray Media, received $15,132 in commissions on Holden’s media buys, plus $17,500 in professional fees, the records show.
“We usually start a couple of weeks out with a really robust grass roots effort and then go back on Election Day to push turnout,” she said of the campaign’s canvassing efforts.
The reports show that Holden had $128,605 on hand at the end of the reporting period.
Some of that cash had been spent closing out accounts after Nov. 18, the end of the reporting period, Gray said. Some of the funds will be used to help fund Holden’s inauguration Jan. 2, she said.
Holden also spent $13,500 for polling by The Kitchens Group, $11,000 on direct mail postage, $6,900 to have his election night party hosted at the Crowne Plaza hotel and another $4,000 for entertainment at the party, the records show.
Walker’s campaign was even more heavily focused on television advertising in the run-up to Nov. 6, according to reports filed by his campaign.
Walker spent $91,375 on advertising with television stations WBRZ, WAFB, WVLA and Cox Communications, the records show.
Walker campaign consultant Roy Fletcher was paid $16,125 in commissions on those television advertisements, the records show.
Walker paid $12,104 to WBRZ for television ad production costs.
Walker’s campaign also spent $8,273 with radio companies Cumulus Media and Guaranty Broadcasting, his report shows.
Walker paid $8,175 in payroll to five campaign staff during the reporting period, according to his campaign filings.
He also spent $8,003 for a facility and entertainment for his election night party and $558 for 11 campaign meetings at restaurants in Baton Rouge during that period, the records show.
In contrast to Holden’s six-figure ending balance, Walker reported just $2,057 on hand as of Nov. 18, and his report lists an outstanding debt of $6,393 to a company that made automated phone calls on Walker’s behalf.
Reached by phone Thursday, Walker said he was doing some post-election fundraising.
“I don’t want to owe anybody anything,” he said.
Walker campaign manager Chris Boudreaux said Walker relied on a core group of volunteers for their canvassing efforts.
“We were fortunate that we didn’t have to spend money on canvassing,” Boudreaux said. “If we would have had more money, that might have been different.”
The two other candidates in the race, attorney Steve Myers and businessman Gordon Mese, spent far less than Holden and Walker, the reports show.
Myers spent $124,542, but $104,795 of that was to repay a loan he made to his own campaign, the reports show. Of the other $19,747, the biggest expenditure was $5,648 for Facebook advertising. He also spent $5,130 for radio advertising, $2,978 to Noel Hammatt Enterprises, $1,000 for yard sign placement and $1,000 to advertise with the Central City News newspaper, the reports show.
Mese, who did not accept campaign contributions, listed just $1,472 in expenditures, of which $1,339 was to repay a loan he made to his own campaign, the reports show. The other $132 was used to purchase food and supplies for his election night party, according to the report.
Campaign donations of more than $500 from Oct. 18 to Nov. 18 are as follows:
$5,000: Continental Enterprises LLC., John Georges.
$2,500: Beau J. Box Inc., Michael A Polito, Rotolos LLC, Eric Spiritas, The Shane Morrison Companies LLC.
$1,500: Matthew Saurage.
$1,000: Stephen Babcock, Shelton Blunt, Burk-Kleinpeter Inc., Grady H. Crawford III, Robert D. Daigrepont Jr., Elos Environmental LLC., Gas Investments LLC, Gauthier & Amedee APLC, Hartman Engineering Inc., Integrated Logistical Support Inc., ITS Regional LLC, Julien Engineering & Consulting Inc., Robert J. Lambert, Mose-Mac LLC, MWH, Vera L. Olds, Perez APC, Pinnacle Engineering LLC., Professional Service Industries Inc, Rahman & Associates Inc., Robert Rainer Rental Account, SEIU Cope, Three Fold Consultants LLC
$800: United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers.
$500: Air Products Political Alliance, Bernard L. Charbonnet Jr., Jennifer V. Enlow, Steven R. Lavinder, MBG Investments Inc., Elisa M. Speranza, Team Toyota, David M. Thornton, Michael Wayne Victorian.
$2,500: L. Lane Grigsby.
$1,500: Harold C. Ashy.
$1,000: Richard D. Liebowitz, Mack White Jr., Mose-Mac LLC, Finance American Business Group LLC., Karl W. Weber, Harold Leggett & Associates LLC., Skyline Imports.
$750: William E. Smith.
$500: Greenwell Properties, R.M. Pizza Inc., Robby L. Turner, Conker Drayage LLC., Earl G. Romero, BFM Corporation LLC, Ross Tire & Service LLC, David M. Thornton, W. Ross Little, GM Cable Contractors Inc.