Oct 102012

With less than a month before the first round of voting in the District B City Council election, Eric Strachan has led the fundraising race but Dana Kaplan has the most cash left, as the impact of a marijuana charge against LaToya Cantrell’s husband on the race remains unclear.


Eric Strachan

With $70,264 in outright contributions, Strachan’s fundraising totals topped the list of the four District B candidates in the reporting period up to Sept. 27, according to his report. Strachan listed 217 individual donors, and those giving the maximum $2,500 include Bollinger Shipyards, Mark L. Schulingkamp of the M.G. Maher shipping company, Amy Schulingkamp, Burnside Plantation LLC (which includes Kevin Kelly, owner of Port Cargo Service LLC, as a member) and Lynes “Poco” Sloss, president of Bellwether Technology who has served on numerous city boards. Keith Hardie of Maple Area Residents, Inc., donated $2,000, and the list also includes numerous members of the Coliseum Square Association, which Strachan’s parents helped found in the 1970s.

Strachan has spent approximately $40,000, with major expenses being more than $7,000 on Special Services Consulting LLC, more than $8,000 on staff members Cole Halpern and Kyle Shepherd, $2,500 on Teddlie Stuart Media Consulting and nearly $5,000 to Print All in Belle Chasse for yard signs and other materials.

By Sept. 27, the end of the reporting period, Strachan was left with $30,157.23 on hand.

Dana Kaplan

Kaplan raised $55,516 in contributions during the same period from 272 individuals, and when combined with more than $5,000 in donated goods and services and nearly $15,000 in loans from herself, her family and others, actually had the most total receipts of any candidate at $75,450.75, according to her report. Her $2,500 donors were developer Pres Kabacoff, attorney Stephen Rosenfield, and Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Inc. of New York City. Other contributions include $1,500 from Gretna contractor Creek Services, $1,500 from the Plumbers and Steamfitters Union in Metairie, $1,000 from local contractor Bryan Gibbs and $250 from former mayoral candidate James Perry.

Kaplan spent $36,695.11, with major expenses including $7,500 in fundraising consulting from Gulf Coast Resources, $6,250 to campaign manager Lelia Gowland, $5,100 to ACA Realty in rent for campaign headquarters, $4,000 for consulting from Ourso Beychok Inc., and more than $2,300 to Mele Printing of Covington.

Kaplan ended the period with $33,372.86 in cash on hand, and wrote in an email Wednesday morning that she is pleased with the report.

“I’m excited to enter this final month of the campaign with such broad support,” Kaplan wrote.

LaToya Cantrell

Cantrell’s fundraising lagged considerably behind Strachan’s and Kaplan’s, totaling $31,970 during the period from 51 donors, according to her report. Her $2,500 contributions come from Douglas Ahlers, director of the Harvard Kennedy School Broadmoor Project, Boulderado LLC, a Nevada corporation with the same address as Ahlers, Liberty Bank, Robert Reily, Reily Foods and Mary Zervigon. Among her other contributions are $500 from Walter Isaacson, the former CNN chairman and Time managing editor.

Her major expenditures include campaign consulting from Cygnet Inc. ($9,436), Win Partners LLC ($5,000), Mario Zervigon ($5,000), GCR ($2,000) and David Winkler-Schmit ($1,020).

Cantrell ended the period with $6,898.78.

“Much of our campaign contributions come in small amounts from working class people who have either benefited from LaToya’s work and dedication, or recognize what she has accomplished,” the Cantrell campaign said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. “She doesn’t come from a rich background, so our campaign is a grassroots one, and frankly, we like it that way.”

Marlon “Buck” Horton

Marlon “Buck” Horton reported spending $1,123 on suits, transportation and printing during the period, according to his report. His report lists an equal amount of donations to the same vendors, but Horton said in an interview Wednesday that he actually made those purchases out of pocket, and that he had been instructed to list them that way on the campaign finance form. Horton said he doesn’t plan to do any fundraising or advertising, because his name is already well known.

“In my district, more people know me than know them,” Horton said of the other candidates. “I already have established a following. I don’t want your money; I want your vote.”

The marijuana controversy
While Cantrell has asked for privacy for her family relating to her husband’s charge of marijuana possession after a rolled joint allegedly fell out of his pocket in court, one opponent has criticized her husband for not resigning his position as a city attorney, and another is suggesting that LaToya Cantrell herself should drop out of the race.

Kaplan issued a statement Saturday insisting that Jason Cantrell resign immediately, citing the syndication of news articles about his arrest around the country “damaging the image of our city and state.”

“This story might have ended when my opponent, LaToya Cantrell, announced that her husband would be resigning,” Kaplan’s statement read. “It now appears that Mr. Cantrell has decided not to resign, and her statement was false. Now, the story will be revisited and repeated and the people, businesses and employees of the City of New Orleans will pay the price.”

Horton said that the marijuana charge itself is obviously not a major crime, but shows a disrespect to the court system. It has begun to dominate the campaign, he said — citing the taping of a recent debate that began with questions about it — and said Cantrell should drop out of the race, get the issue resolved and then make another bid for public office afterward.

“Everywhere we go, somebody is asking me about this,” Horton said. “This situation has become a distraction for all the candidates.”

Cantrell has said she would remain in the race, and the campaign issued a statement Wednesday afternoon criticizing the ongoing attention to the charge.

“It’s sad to see a campaign using that situation for a cheap political stunt; that’s just politicizing an issue that now resides between her husband and his employer,” the statement reads. “We think the people of District B are focused on the candidates’ records of accomplishment, not distractions like this.”

The Strachan campaign did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Other campaign news and events
The final month of the campaign brings a flurry of activity, including most immediately a candidates’ social hosted by the Irish Channel Neighborhood Association at 7 p.m. Thursday at 715 Washington Ave.

Other recent news and events include:

Cantrell was honored last week as a “recovery hero” by the Dominican Friars, Province of St. Martin de Porres (Southern Dominicans), for her work in Broadmoor helping the city recover. She also plans to participate in a candidates’ forum Friday morning at New Zion Baptist Church, 2319 Third Street, and attend the Hollygrove Neighbors Association Meeting at noon Saturday at St. Peter AME Church, 3424 Eagle Street.

Horton said he is devoting much of his energy right now to the upcoming play about his life story, Definition of Bounce, based on the book of the same name he wrote with Alison Fensterstock. The play will be staged at the Joy Theatre on Canal Street at 7 p.m. Oct. 25.

Kaplan won the endorsement of the Independent Women’s Organization on Tuesday evening. She will be the next candidate featured in the Handsome Willy’s DJ series Friday night.

Strachan recently held a campaign fundraiser at The Saint bar in the Lower Garden District featuring DJ Jubilee and Al ‘Carnival Time’ Johnson.

[Note: This article was first published at 2:08 p.m. Wednesday and updated at 3:32 p.m. with the Cantrell campaign’s responses.]

  25 Responses to “More than $100,000 spent so far in race for District B seat”

  1. $5100 for rent on a campaign headquarters? That seems like some funny business to me.

    • sounds like she is helping a local business in her district to me . I think she moved in in July so it seems pretty reasonable to me.

  2. I think it’s worth noting that half of Dana Kaplan’s campaign contributions came from out of state.

    New York, Washington DC, California, etc.

    She’s not from here, and neither is her campaign money.

    • “Kaplan raised $55,516 in contributions during the same period from 272 individuals” -sounds like some of the money is from here.

      • Ummm not by my count, just tallied the Kaplan doner list and its 131 nola address donors to 141 out of town address doners, well over 50% from out of town. She’s DEF not from here & it shows. She also lied on her facebook and said that she’s raised the most money so far – when clearly (according to the published reports) she hasn’t. Personal loans to yourself isn’t money raised by doners, it’s personal loans to yourself.

        • I hear ya, but the wording is misleading- it says “$15,000 in loans from herself, her family and others,” which signifies that they were all loans, not that they all came from her.

          I don’t think being born in nola is the only important credential here, and I find her more honest and to have a more meaningful resume than the other candidates, that’s all. Plus she’s gotten some major endorsements- AFL-CIO and United Teachers? Not bad.

          • All true & good points Erin. I do have to wonder tho, what is she selling the ppl in DC? Favors? Is it all just a favor to her? Why would it behoove someone in DC to give her money. It’s be one thing if it was all just $5 & $10 paypals from elsewhere but it’s not. In fact her campaign has paid for multiple trips to Washington D.C. to raise money. That makes me thing that she’s getting a lot of it from ppl that are versed in the art of political contributions aka people that expect something for a contribution. And for the life of me, I can’t figure out what she’d be selling them on… Not nec. a red flag I know, just makes me wonder.

          • I guess I haven’t done as much research as you! 😉 But given her background, I doubt she is currying favors from corrupt people. She runs a non-profit!
            Could be that most of her professional networks are out-of-state? Worth asking. I for one am always happy to have out-of-state money brought to NOLA, as long as it doesn’t overrule local voices and concerns.

          • I’m curious where you get your info from or whether it is just made up.

        • that’s still three times as many local donors as latoya had, who is also not from here. dana had the most donors and the smallest average donation with a strong local base of support. she also qualified by petition, confirming that base of local support. why couldn’t the other candidates do the same?

          • am i the only one who thinks the signature thing was a huge political stunt? also – latoya has significant less money which means less donors which means less donors from new orleans. plain and simple.

            the finance reports are public record somewhere online. maybe louisiana.gov?

          • What do you mean by “huge political stunt”? It is one of two ways to qualify for the ballot by our own laws… the other is to pay money. She opted to get signatures instead of writing a check. Are you that jaded that you prefer politicians who can pay and stay out of the way?

        • Not being from here is a GOOD THING in my book. See Nagin, Morial, O. Thomas, Gill-Pratt, Jefferson, etc. etc. etc.

  3. I’ve been past DK’s campaign headquarters, and trust me, it’s nothing fancy. It’s a second floor of an old building on Claiborne. Not sure why it would cost that much, I guess it’s after 4+ months of campaigning. The others don’t list rent, so they probably have gotten some nice spots donated?

  4. Why hasn’t Head donated or endorsed Strachan? That’s what stands out to me the most

    • Cantrell and BOLD both had Stacy’s back in the At-Large race. She owes them the endorsement, it’s bought and paid for, but she surely owes Strachan for his allegiance, so she’d staying out of it. The fact that she’s not done her duty and supported the BOLD candidate is what stands out to me.

      • How Silly, Clark, Stacy owes Eric nothing.
        She simply doesn’t support Cantell for reasons you don’t know.

        • Hi Kris, I’m prone to posting silly things and correcting myself later, but it seems you and I are not so far in disagreement One would hope that Stacy at least owes Eric a debt of friendship. As for the reason’s I don’t know, there may be all sorts of interesting stories, but the association with BOLD is enough for me. Eric is sure to get my vote.

    • Stacy can’t endorse anyone b/c she’s planning on running for Mayor in the next cycle (not official, just a guess!). By endorsing, say, Eric now she’ll poss alienate her african american votes for mayor.

      She also can’t out right endorse Cantrell b/c she’d then be alienating the ‘uptown’ vote for her mayoral bid. However, she has shown major support for Latoya (and for others…) behind the scenes so maybe her tune will change after the primary when it’s just Latoya & another candidate.
      O, and lastly she can’t endorse Kaplan b/c that would be political suicide. Kaplan is openly picking a fight w/ the Mayor (and Latoya) and when that shoe finally falls, no one’s going to want to be caught under it w/ her.
      Just my opinion!

    • Stacy Head never offers endorsments to any candidate, she has never has or will. She stays out of that type of politics.
      However, Eric was her Chief of Staff, that tells you all you need to know.
      If you want to continue the progress created by Stacy, vote for Eric.

      • Absolutely false. She’s made plenty of endorsements. Her best known being for Cao. That is not the reason she has declined to support Eric.

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