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Oakland News: Libby Schaaf Rules Oakland Mayor’s Race Money

Libby Schaaf
Libby Schaaf

As of July 31st 2014, Oakland District Four City Councilperson Libby Schaaf leads all candidates in the Oakland Mayor’s Race, with $227,436 in cash remaining. That’s based on publicly available campaign finance records at the City of Oakland’s website.

UPDATE: I noticed that another publication, The East Bay Express also released an analysis of the fiscal numbers, but they are in error. For example, Bryan Parker took out a $30,000 loan in 2013, not in 2014. And there are many other errors as well. This is the best source of information and on EVERY candidate – not just some of them.

Now Bryan Parker’s going to get hoping mad, and remind us that he’s raised over $273,000 total, and that’s true – but the real story is in how much money one’s campaign has in the bank. It gives us a real picture regarding what’s going on. For example, Dan Siegel has $63,858.38 in cash on hand, right? Well, what if I told you his effort’s really underwater and in debt?

And Courtney Ruby’s our current Oakland City Auditor, right? Well, even though you’d expect her to pay her campaign bills, Ruby has $17,212 in “unpaid bills.” I’m not kidding – that’s what her report says.

Charles Lee Williams raised just over $10K, and spent just over $10K, and yet has just $393 left, and not even a campaign website.

Joe Tuman’s cash on hand of $132,905 may look formidable, but he’s only raised just over $50,000 for this year to date. Tuman’s coasting on a 2013 where he came roaring out of the gate.

Meanwhile, Oakland At-Large Councilperson Rebecca Kaplan’s engineered it so she doesn’t have to report a dime until October 6th – and so have many other Oakland Mayor’s Race candidates.

You have to look at the details.

Here’s the cash balance breakdown as of July 31st 2014:

Councilmember Libby Schaaf: $227,436
Mayor Jean Quan: $173,736.81
Joe Tuman: $132,905.72
Bryan Parker: $107,146.62
Dan Siegel: $63,858.38
Courtney Ruby: $61,429
Charles Lee Williams: $393
Patrick McCullough: $0
Nancy Sidebotham, Ken Houston, Larry Lionel Young, Peter Liu, Eric Wilson, Jesse Smith, Maragret Wrigley-Lawson, Fred Wesley (the legendary Oakland jazz great reportedly), Gregory Wade, Jason “Shake” Anderson, and Sam Washington did not file a 460 fiscal report for this period. There’s a reason for that, and to learn about it, read on.

Behind The Numbers

Libby Schaaf started 2014 with $119,838.54 in the bank – then she went boss and added $225,883 in cash contributions this year. Because of that, Libby was able to spend $118,355.86 and still have a massive cash stash of $227,436 left over to date.

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan started last year with $97,198 money raised, but $30,000 of that was a loan. Cash payments were $12,481.73 , for a net total of $83,976.27. Then, in the 2nd half of 2013, Mayor Quan added 63,036.00, and payed out $26,807 for a net of $120,255.15 ($30,000 of which is a loan.) Then in 2014, Quan added $86,700 in cash receipts, but then subtracted $33,219 in payments for a new net of $173,736.81 – almost three times what Ruby has left over.

$131,142.16 – that was what Joe Tuman entered the 2014 part of the Oakland Mayor’s Race with. But that great haul was offset by a lackluster addition of $50,506.00 for 2014. That amount was offset by $48,742 in expenditures – Tuman’s campaign has $132,905.72 going into the stretch round of the race.

Bryan Parker went into 2014 with a healthy cash balance of $140,706.55 (including a $30,000 loan in 2013); to date, he’s added $92,765.02 in 2014, but spent $126,352.54 for 2013 and 2014, leaving a net of $107,146.62. So while Bryan has raised more than Jean, he’s spent just over double what she has to get to his current point.

The one thing that got Dan Siegel’s campaign off the ground is the one thing that’s keeping it afloat: a $100,000 loan. With it, he has $144,051.82 in cash receipts; without it, he has 44,051.82 in cash receipts. Dan just started his campaign this year, but even with that, he has posted a cash balance of $63,858.38. But get this: his 460 fiscal report lists outstanding debts of $124,072.64 – that’s the $100,000 loan, plus $24,072.64 in what are called unpaid bills (same as Ruby).

So, Dan’s campaign is really underwater by $60,214 if you consider the loan and the unpaid bills. He’s got to raise another $60,214 just to get to zero, all other things equal, which they never are. But in fairness, as I can hear Dan screaming now, Siegel’s cash balance on hand is $63,858.38.

Courtney Ruby raised $83,132, got a loan for 18,000, and a nonmonetary contribution of $928, for a total of $103,060.39 to date. She’s made $41,631.21 in expenditures (of that $23,490.63 in payments), and has an ending cash balance of 78,641.37 – but if you subtract the $17, 212 in unpaid bills, that comes to $61,429 left over.

What about Oakland At-Large Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan? She’s not filed a financial disclosure statement of any kind for the Oakland Mayor’s Race as of this writing on July 31st, 2014. She gets around the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) disclosure rules by not having a committee. Thus, no one has any idea how much money Rebecca’s committing to the Oakland Mayor’s Race, and will not have one until the next filing deadline, which is October 6th.

Considering the other allegations of shady political fiscal actions Councilmember Kaplan has had to weather, I’m not sure this strategy was a good idea. On the other hand, she’s just getting started and a report filed at this point would most certainly be weak – unless she got a $100,000 loan like Siegel did. But with Rebecca’s current approach, we just don’t know.

It’s almost like Saied Karamooz, who says he’s not taking a dime from any supporter. He doesn’t even want you to buy cupcakes for a house-party for him. I’m serious! So, it should come as no surprise that Mr. Karamooz has just filed a 501 document and that’s it; no committees, no money.

Unlike Karamooz, Nancy Sidebotham, Ken Houston, Larry Lionel Young, Peter Liu, Eric Wilson, Jesse Smith, Maragret Wrigley-Lawson, Fred Wesley (the legendary Oakland jazz great reportedly), Gregory Wade, Jason “Snake” Anderson, Sam Washington, don’t have committees, but do take donations, even if it’s at a very small level – and you can have parties for them. But, they too can wait until October 6th before they disclose what money they’ve raised.

By contrast, Charles Lee Williams and Patrick McCullough have elected (excuse the pun) to play it straight. While he’s gotten a late start, Charles Lee Williams filed a 460, which reports $10,635 in contributions, but $10,242 in expenditures, leaving $393 in left over cash. You have to ask why he elected to make that expenditure, and what has he gotten out of it so far? Mr. Williams certainly doesn’t have a website or any way to buy pre-made t-shirts or election swag online. That’s bad. What happened?

Patrick McCullough filed a financial reporting statement, but only to report he’s received no contributions, and has no expenses save for $100. That’s it. No cash balance.

The bottom line here is this: the more serious a candidate is in running for Mayor of Oakland, the more work they’re going to do to get your vote. That means raising money, creating a campaign organization, and spending money related to it.

Some candidates will take my point as an insult, but until the very-likeable Mr. Kamarooz in particular starts allowing supporters to spend money to support him, no one will take him seriously as a viable alternative to those considered to be the front-runners. It would be one thing if Saied had a genius plan, but he lacks one. It’s there to be made, but he’s not created it.

Stay tuned.

Zennie Abraham
Zennie Abraham | Zennie Abraham or "Zennie62" is the founder of Zennie62Media which consists of zennie62blog.com and a multimedia blog news aggregator and video network, and 78-blog network, with social media and content development services and consulting. Zennie is a pioneer video blogger, YouTube Partner, social media practitioner, game developer, and pundit. Note: news aggregator content does not reflect the personal views of Mr. Abraham.