Mo' money, no problems
Candidates blow past spending records
By Jake Armstrong 03/03/2011
Councilman Steve Madison will likely spend more money than any non-self-financed Pasadena City Council candidate in history in his hotly contested re-election bid for Council District 6, according to campaign finance reports.
As of Feb. 19, the close of the last reporting period prior to the March 8 election, Madison reported spending $99,524 this year alone, eclipsing the $91,000 candidate Margaret York spent in the race for District 7 in 2009. Records show Madison also dropped $18,000 on his campaign last year, bringing his spending this election cycle to more than $117,000, nearly twice what the elected position will pay in annual stipends over its four-year term.
The showdown for District 6 — rooted in competing visions of community development — has so far been replete with mailbox attacks aimed at Madison from challenger Carolyn Naber, whose campaign has spent $33,000. Madison said Naber’s negative mail campaign spurred a high-priced retort.
“I don’t think its any secret that there’s been just a blizzard of negative mail,” Madison said. “It is expensive to respond to that.”
But Naber said she’s just doing what she needs to do to expose the effects the three-term councilman’s voting record has had on the city. “Some people call negative ads negative,” she said. “I consider my ads as shedding a light on a 12-year incumbent’s record, providing a contrast to the voters.”
District 4 candidate Gene Masuda — locked in a four-way race with Chris Chahinian, Allen Shay and Jill Fosselman, who had yet to file the latest finance report — is blazing trails on the other side of town, having upped his personal investment in his campaign to $135,000 and spending $107,000, likely a record for a self-financed candidate. Final fundraising reports are due Aug. 1.
In District 1, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union and the Virginia-based political action committee of AECOM, a Los Angeles-based consulting firm currently working for the city, gave Councilwoman Jacque Robinson’s campaign a last-minute boost of $11,500. That gave her a sizeable cash advantage over opponent James Smith, whose campaign was nearly $6,000 in debt even after $2,500 in contributions from Pasadena School Board members Scott Phelps and Ramon Miramontes.