Election expenses, donors on file at district hall
You don’t have to be a big spender to win an election, and you don’t have to spend other people’s money either.
Coun. Cheryl Ashlie proved that in November’s municipal election, earning her a second term on Maple Ridge council and spending $5,179 to do so.
“I just feel you can do an election for less than what I think some of the people think you have to spend on it,” Ashlie said Wednesday after Tweeting her campaign expenses.
All but $500 of that came from her own wallet, with her brother chipping in $300 and a friend adding $200.
But Ashlie doesn’t like even taking those small amounts from family and friends. “I don’t feel good about taking money from people in any aspect of my life. It’s never been comfortable for me.”
Councillors have until March 19 to file disclosure forms showing who helped in their campaigns during last Nov. 19’s election.
However, all but two of the present councillors have already filed those statements at Maple Ridge district hall.
So far, the top spender is Coun. Al Hogarth, with $11,289 in election expenses. When it comes to those who helped with those expenses, Hogarth’s top campaign contributors were Futurevest Investement Inc., of Port Coquitlam who donated $1,000.
Genstar Development in Burnaby also gave the same amount while Avtar Grewal and Himmat Sekhon contributed $750.
Spending the next highest amount was Mayor Ernie Daykin, re-elected for a second term.
Daykin spent and raised $11,219, a drop from more than $30,000 in the 2008 election.
His largest contributor was Narland Properties, owners of Haney Place Mall, which gave $3,000.
“They phoned and made an offer. I guess the comment was, they were appreciative of the direction the downtown was taking.”
Dan Sek Contractors, of Port Coquitlam, also donated $1,500 to Daykin’s successful run for a second term.
But Daykin’s not familiar with the company. That cheque came in the mail. “I don’t know who they are or what they like about me.”
He maintains the contributions don’t affect how he votes, as he’s said previously.
“Whether people give me their money or don’t give me their money, has no bearing on how I view things.”
Ashlie holds the same view of her colleagues.
“I’ve never seen any of them, in any way shape or form, ever be influenced, other than by their own judgment on things.”
Though he’s yet to file his statement, Coun. Mike Morden also figures he spent about $11,000, about $6,000 of which came from his own pocket, with the rest from contributions.
He has a few developers on his list of donors and says they play no role in his decisions. He’d be willing to as well to see new legislation that limits donations from corporate – as well as labour organizations, pointing out the latter donates millions in greater Vancouver elections.
He pointed out that some potential corporate donors told him they’d no longer contribute because of the publicity it generates.
Next on the list, of spenders was Coun. Corisa Bell who spent $9,072.
Her largest donor was Wilf McIntyre who chipped in $1,800. McIntyre, an NDP member, worked with Bell on the anti-HST campaign. Bell released her figures during the campaign and said other candidates should announce their contributors as well.
NDP MLA Michael Sather also helped with Bell’s campaign by chipping in $150.
Coun. Judy Dueck spent $4,522 on her campaign and raised $4,400 in contributions.
Her largest donation was $500. Portrait Homes, Alain and Jocelyne Tse, Park Lane Homes and Water Danisek all contributed those amounts.
Coun. Bob Masse hasn’t filed the forms, but will do so within a week.
He estimates he spent about $6,700 on the campaign, but only about $850 came from contributions. He paid the rest himself.
Masse said he only produced 150 signs during the campaign and did minimal social media. He figures people voted for him because they knew him after his 30 years in the community as a chiropractor and volunteer, added he thought he reflected what people were thinking on the issues.
• To see the campaign disclosure forms go to: