City election 2014 – Follow the money #2

Ropen NalbandianZabel Thur de KoosStar Wars characters?  Maybe PK5 is their home planet?  And maybe Buick-El is their colleague from the planet Krypton?  Or comet Jee-Em? Well, even if they are aliens, at least they register their multiple identities with the state of Florida.

Without multiple identities, our shape-shifting masters of the muni-verse wouldn’t be able to endow the hopes’n’aspirations of their chosen enamorati.

In Follow the Money #3, I’ll look at the campaign reports filed February 28 and March 7.  They cover the three weeks from Feb 8 through Feb 28.

But first, let’s get an overview of the entire campaign’s big spenders who spread their generosity around.  Except where noted, all this municipal munificence accrued to the three “anti-establishment” candidacies of Chase, Carter, and Orlando.

The Gleims – Irvin, Lawrence, Stacey, and Garrett
They’re officers of Gleim Publishing and various other enterprises. In February, each of the four tossed $250 each into the kitties of Chase, Carter, and Orlando, for a grand total of $3,000.
Former 2011 candidate Rob Zeller and friends Michael Akey and Joel Mills
Under their own names and under the names of their businesses–Gator City Investments, Dancing Boots, Gator Ugly, CS Foods–they ponied up for a total of $2,000.
Nalbandian and associates
Ropen, Zabel, and Linda (Buickel) forked over a total of $1,750 via themselves and their avatars.
George “Cotton” Fletcher, his family and businesses
Constructed a total of $1,600 in contributions.
Realtor PAC
Three of them (On paper. Like there’s a difference.) invested a total of $1,500 in  Carter and Orlando.  (Maybe they just like the idea of putting their money in Orlando.  Sorry, couldn’t resist.)
Gary Almond
Joyously pumped out $1,250 as himself, Almond Oil, City Line LLC, and Deerhaven LLC.
The Smysor family
Under their own names and businesses contributed $1,250.
John Pastore and his Crime Prevention Systems
Distributed $1,000 among the trio.
Bob Lynn, Realtor
Gave $250 to each of our three “outsiders.”
Charles Perry Partners
Also gave $250 to the same three.

OK, let’s stop there for now. These 10 “entities” dished out a total of (at least) $14,850, for an average of just under $1,500 each, which is six times the supposed limit of $250 per “person.”

Looking at it differently, the three campaigns raised a combined total of about $90,00.  In other words, one-sixth of that total came from these top 10 sources.

If you accept the doctrine that money is speech, I’d say that’s a whole lotta speakin’ goin’ on.

Does this very large coin have another side?  What about the two establishment candidates’ contributors?

Interestingly, the largest contributor is one of the candidates.  Susan Bottcher, her husband Del, and his engineering business gave $750 to Helen Warren.  That’s actually more than the $500 plus change they put into Bottcher’s own campaign.

Two groups contributed $250 each to both campaigns: the local Central Labor Council and the Stonewall Democrats PAC.  Only one individual, Josh Feldstein, CEO of Allchem, contributed $250 to each candidate.

Obviously, one side of this coin is much bigger than the other.  Will these investors get their money’s worth?  Only time will tell…

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