Becker outspends them all
Pitt Meadows mayoral candidate John Becker spent close to $30,000 in his bid to get elected mayor of Pitt Meadows, vastly outspending not only his local rivals, but all municipal candidates in Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge.
All candidates who ran in the November 2011 municipal elections were required to file their campaign financing disclosure statements by Monday.
Pitt Meadows Mayor Deb Walters spent $20,347 on her campaign, which ultimately proved successful. Gary Paller’s failed mayoral bid, meanwhile, cost $5,206.
In Maple Ridge, Mayor Ernie Daykin spent just more than $11,200 on his re-election campaign.
While Becker’s campaign was largely self-financed, Walters accepted $20,385 in donations from individuals and corporations.
However, that money will have absolutely no influence on how she will do her job as mayor, Walters insists.
Although she wouldn’t mention names, Walters said she turned down some donations from donors who were asking her for political favours. “I made people [who donated] absolutely no promises, and I told them their donations would have no influence,” she said.
Walters said she hesitated to accept any donations at first. “In the past I’d always paid for my [council] campaigns myself,” she said.
“But running for mayor, you have to step it up a notch.”
Walters said she had a feeling Becker would be spending a lot of money on his campaign, and she would have to do her best to match it.
Among Walters’ biggest contributors were Rob McCarthy of developer Mosaic Homes, who contributed a total of $4,500 both individually and through corporate donations. Mosaic Homes is the developer of the Osprey Village community in south Pitt Meadows.
The owners of Cardiff Farms on Harris Road, which is earmarked for industrial development, also contributed to Walters’ campaign.
Walters said she sees no need to abstain should a vote affecting one of her donors arise.
“I’ve always been upfront with people, and I think they appreciate that,” she said. “I think my reputation is pretty solid.”
Among Beckers’ campaign contributors was Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge-Mission Conservative MP Randy Kamp, who donated $200 in leftover signage, as well as former Pitt Meadows councillor Deb Eisel, who contributed $200 cash and $100 of in-kind donations.
In all, Becker collected $2,900 in campaign contributions, the largest donation coming from EcoWest Renovations in Port Coquitlam, for $1,000.
Dave Murray easily outspent his rivals in the Pitt Meadows council race, spending $15,021.80 to get elected.
Murray, who is the Secretary-Treasurer of CUPE’s Fraser Valley District Council, received more than $13,000 in donations from various CUPE locals.
Bruce Bell, Doug Bing, John Clancy, George Coghlan, Gay Conn, Janis Elkerton, and Rick Kreklewitz all funded their campaigns themselves, not accepting any donations.
In the race for one of the five Maple Ridge school board seats, Mike Murray spent more than $11,200, nearly four times as much as the next closest trustee candidate, Ken Clarkson.
Trustee Clarkson had the second most expensive campaign at $2,704.59. While Murray’s campaign was entirely self-financed, Clarkson’s campaign was financed by a variety of labour groups. The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 703, CUPE’s provincial chapter, The B.C. Federation of Labour and the Maple Ridge Teachers’ Association all chipped in a combined $2,350 to Clarkson’s successful re-election campaign.
Trustee Susan Carr also relied on labour groups to fund her $2,000 re-election campaign.
Trustee Kathy Marshall spent $2,156.31 of her own money to fund her successful campaign, while trustee Dave Rempel’s campaign cost $1,357.44.
Cherie Delainey’s unsuccessful campaign cost $829.50, and included a $500 donation from the B.C. Government Employees’ Union. Mary Flavelle spent $324.80 on her unsuccessful campaign.