Costly City Council campaigns

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April 25, 2008

2:37 AM

The campaign finance report of the six candidates for Williamsburg City Council reveals a stark contrast between individual fundraising efforts and expenditures.

Both incumbents, Paul Freiling ’83 and Clyde Haulman, paid a $100 fine for filing their reports after the April 15 deadline. While Freiling received $1,200 of his $3,700 from five retired persons, all of Haulman’s $3,900 came from 59 donations of under $100.

While the amounts raised were similar, the ways in which the funds were spent differed significantly. Freiling spent over $1,800 on various forms of publicity such as flyers and newspaper ads.

Haulman, however, spent $600 on a mass mailing and allotted nearly $750 on two separate occasions to advertise in The Virginia Gazette.

Challengers Judy Knudson and Matt Beato ’09 kept pace with the fundraising efforts of the incumbents, but Terrence Wehle ’77 and Gil Granger ’57 were not able to do so. Wehle collected just $550 from seven donors and paid a few hundred dollars for advertisements in The Virginia Gazette. Five people supporting Granger contributed $400; his lone expenditure was $33 for a list of registered voters.

The total of Knudson’s donations amounted to just over $3,600. The majority of her expenditures went toward mass mailing items, including stamps, labels, flyers and a $350 bulk mailing permit.

Beato reported an intake of $3,300, including a large donation of $300 from Beato Enterprises, Inc. Susan Evans, the College’s director of web and communication service, donated $250, and $150 came from a plastic surgeon. Additionally, Beato’s campaign brought in 50 small donations amounting to over $2,500 total. His campaign reported expenses ranging from $360 for newspaper advertisements to $25 to for “pizza for staffers.”

No candidates reported taking out loans, and each is expected to report his or her expenses for the month of April on Monday.

__Updated April 30 to correct an error.__

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