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Council Candidate Expenditures Top $121,000

In the Lake Forest City Council race, Dwight Robinson outraises all other candidates; Adam Nick outspends the bunch.

Campaign spending by the candidates aiming for a seat on the Lake Forest City Council topped $121,000 by the third week of October, according to campaign finance statements.

Of the seven candidates running for two open seats, candidate Dwight Robinson reported outraising other candidates for Lake Forest Council by a significant margin.

In his most recent campaign finance statement, Robison reported monetary contributions of $19,899: $17,832 in cash and $2,067 in non-monetary contributions. 

His overall contribution total of $35,899 this calendar year includes $15,000 in self-loans.

Four political action committees have kicked in cash to Robinson's campaign:

  • Family Action PAC, $1,000
  • California Real Estate PAC: $1,000 
  • OC Biz PAC: $500 
  • OC Taxpayers Association: $250.

Some Orange County politicians also gave to Robinson's campaign.

Lake Forest candidate Adam Nick gave Robinson $1,000 in April. The campaign committee for current Mayor Pro Tem Scott Voigts gave Robinson $500 in August. Ed Sachs, a candidate for Mission Viejo council, kicked in $250 in February.

Athens Services—the trash collector that beat out longtime Lake Forest contractor Sunset Properties for a contract with Lake Forest this January—gave Robinson $250 in February.

As of Oct. 20, Robinson reported expenditures of $31,784—the second-highest total of all candidates. Of that, $10,421 went to election mailers, according to campaign finance statements.

Nick recorded the second-highest fundraising total of the candidates, but funded the majority himself.

The candidate raised $2,650 from supporters and gave $5,000 to his campaign, raising his contribution total to $7,650. Nick has loaned his campaign a total of $35,000 this year, taking his contribution total to $42,650.

Nick has spent the most of any candidate so far in the race, with $40,466 in reported expenditures.

Of that, Nick spent $20,421 for campaign literature, including $15,883.50 in October alone for mailers, according to financial statements.

Incumbent Marcia Rudolph reported $6,637 in monetary contributions. She is the only candidate who has not reported any loans.

Most of Rudolph's cash was from Foothill Village, which gave $5,000. Brookfield Homes, a developer planning to erect 151 condos in Foothill Ranch, gave $500.

Rudoph reported expenditures of $6,863.

Lake Forest Planning Commissioner Terry Anderson has spent $20,966 this year, according to campaign finance documents.

He reported $3,294 in cash contributions, non-monetary contributions of $1,174 and self-loans of $13,000, for a total of $17,468.

The campaign committee for Councilman Peter Herzog gave the Anderson campaign $300. Herzog's committee also gave to candidate Kathy Zechmeister.

Zechmeister has collected $4,244 in cash donations from supporters, $1,148 in non-monetary contributions and self-loans totaling $11,250, bringing her contribution total to $16,632.

Brookfield Homes builder Dave Bartlett, who kicked in $250, is among her supporters.

As of the latest campaign filing, the Zechmeister campaign had spent $16,572.

Candidate Jim Gardner reported cash contributions of $1,330 and a $3,000 self-loan for a total of $4,330.

He reported spending $4,780 for campaign expenses.

Candidate Ken Carrell did not reach the $1,000 threshold that obligates candidates to detail their finances by Oct. 20, the due date for the latest filing period. However, he indicated that he will have surpassed that mark by the election, and will therefore be required to file a statement in January.

Ken Carrell November 06, 2012 at 04:02 PM
First, I don't answer to Jim Gardner. I took my Form 460 to the City Clerk and she told me that I didn't need to file it yet. She told me that I only needed to file Form 410 and it didn't have to be that day. I don't listen to someone who quotes from a document, I listen to someone who deals with this on a daily basis. And if anyone thinks that Jim Gardner is doing this for the city, they better think again. My wife had a fundraiser for Breast Cancer Solutions. Gardner sent me an e-mail asking if we could turn it into a meet and greet for the two of us. I told him absolutely not, it is a fundraiser for BCS. He still showed up with a Gardner for City Council button and shook hands and then left after 10 minutes. He didn't even bother to buy something or bid on anything. So anyone thinking that Gardner is for anyone other than Jim Gardner, think again.
Jim Gardner November 06, 2012 at 06:20 PM
I asked Ken if I should ask my supporters to show up at the fund raiser so that we could increase foot traffic for Breast Cancer Solutions and help earn them extra funds. He said no, so I didn't. My wife and I showed up even though we had another event to attend. We stayed for about 15 to 20 minutes and she purchased several watches. I didn't purchase anything or bid on anything because when I go to these events with my wife it's usually her job to do that, which is what she did. I shook hands with many people at the fund raiser. The fact is I have been supporting Breast Cancer Solutions for more than a decade. I know just about everyone on the Board and most of their volunteers. I helped raise them thousands of dollars over the years, hosted their events in my home, etc. So there was nothing unusual in me greeting the people who I have worked with for more than a decade. As far as the Form 460s is concerned, I don't want to speak for the City Clerk or the FPPC. According to the FPPC documents (which I quoted), Ken is in violation of their regulations. It's not my intention to file a complaint against him.
PTB November 06, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Mr. Carrell, the Gardner's have supported BCS since it's inception more than 10 years ago. Anne has worked tirelessly on BCS' behalf for over a dozen years and both have attended BCS' events regularly for that long. Please don't make it sound like the only reason he was there was for campaigning. Don't tell me that you hosted the event and didn't intend on some of that "rubbing off" on your candidacy. Really. Cheap shot.
Mason November 06, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Ken Carrell - Fact check - Jim and his wife have been actively involved with Breast Cancer Solutions for at least 10 years now (back when it was called Breast Cancer Survivors). Get it right.
Jim Gardner November 06, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Thanks PTB. I didn't mention that Ken's double sized signs and campaign literature were prominently displayed at the fund raiser because I know that his wife's store, The Jewelry Box, has hosted fund raisers for BCS in the past so the purpose of the fund raiser was not to promote Ken's campaign per se, although he obviously took the opportunity. And I never thought to criticize him for that either, since BCS is such an important charity and The Jewelry Box's support has been helpful to them. Nor am I criticizing him now. But it is worth mentioning now that he raises the issue of trying to use a fund raiser to promote oneself. It's true I did wear my "Gardner For Council" button. I wear it just about everywhere, unless I have on my red white and blue T shirt that blazes my campaign. In deference to BCS and not wanting to upset anyone, especially Ken, I left the T shirt in the car.

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