Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Guest View-Don Bristow: Power Elite/Donor Class and Campaign Finances

For Oro Valley, the majority of the donor class are owners and developers of un-developed parcels of land, builders, commercial real estate representatives, and the owner of a local resort and apartment complex. These donor class members are a handful of Oro Valley residents,; but, they have considerable influence with Oro Valley's Majority-4 (Mayor Hiremath, Vice Mayor Waters and Councilmembers Hornat and Snider) council members. 

This table (right) summarizes the campaign contributions received by the Majority-4 and their complementary PAC. Triple E PAC.

My review of all donations to these recipients revealed that:
  • The total contributions to Majority-4 and the Triple E PAC was an astounding $107,500 in 2015.
  • 72% of actual dollar contributions received for the 2015 recall election came from the Donor Class (list right)
  • Contributions of $50 or less were less than 2% of 2015 total. 
Note that the single largest contributor, HSL Properties, got the Hilton El Conquistador and Encantada Apartments in deals made with the Majority-4. As a result, now the town owns three expensive, money losing ($3 million in the first 15 months) golf courses and a money losing restaurant.

The total contributions to the four (Steve Didio, Ryan Hartung, Shirl Lamonna, and Pat Straney,) who opposed the Majority-4 in the 2015 Recall Election, including the Accountable Government Now PAC was $35,061.   All of these contributions were made by individuals. There were no contributions from the "Donor Class."

Clearly, unlike the Majority-4, the only special interest of the challengers was the people of Oro Valley.

Tomorrow:  Read how spending buys the Oro Valley local elections.

Don Bristow
Oro Valley Resident

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