Monday, July 20, 2009
Numbers Are in for Tea Parties, Campaigns
By Dan McKay And Sean Olson
Of the Journal
Mayoral candidates offered a peek Friday into how fast they're spending public campaign finance money. It was the first disclosure required since the candidates each received about $300,000 in city funding as part of the public-financing system for the Oct. 6 mayoral election. The amount each candidate gets varies a little, depending primarily on how much initial seed money they raised.
State Rep. Richard Berry has spent the most so far — about $66,000. Richard Romero, a former state Senate president pro tem, isn't far behind, having spent about $61,000. Incumbent Martin Chávez, who started his campaign late, reported spending about $37,000.
Payments to campaign staff make up a sizable portion of the campaign spending so far.
A detailed list of each candidate's spending is available at www.cabq.gov/clerk. Click the links for campaign and political contributions, then current campaign records.
TEA PARTY TALLY: The Albuquerque Tea Party released its unofficial attendance count for the July 4 rally that drew thousands of supporters.
After a disagreement with the Journal over attendance at an April 15 event — we reported "several thousand" and organizers said 7,000 — the local Tea Party gave out stickers to every man, woman and child they saw at the July 4 event to get a good idea of the crowd.
Their final tally was between 4,800 and 5,300 people, if you choose to count the 600 "spirit flags," which represented supporters who couldn't make it but sent a message of support. That was more than double the Washington, D.C., Tea Party crowd on July 4, which was estimated by CNN at 2,000. Many other tea parties across the U.S. had supporter numbers dwindle on their second day of rallying around the country.
The Albuquerque Tea Party began as a way to fight excessive spending in Congress and is organizing into a permanent nonprofit group.