Sep 262017

Seth Bloom speaks at a candidates’ forum Sept. 12. (Sabree Hill,

In the race to build a war chest for the six-way race for the open District B seat on the New Orleans City Council, former School Board member Seth Bloom has amassed a clear lead over his rivals.

Bloom raised nearly $210,000 in new contributions for his City Council bid, and already had nearly $36,000 in the bank left over from his previous runs for the School Board. Even after spending nearly $120,000, Bloom still had $122,000 left to fund the final month of the campaign — close to ten times what all the other District B candidates had on hand combined.

Jay H. Banks, Bloom’s closest competitor in terms of spending, raised only $13,225 and provided $20,000 in loans to himself. After spending nearly $24,000, Banks had less than $10,000 by Sept. 14, when the campaign-finance reports were filed.

Timothy David Ray, the next highest in fundraising totals, garnered more than $21,000 in contributions and spent more than $16,000, leaving himself more than $5,000 in cash on hand moving forward.

Catherine Love raised $5,000 and loaned herself $11,000 more. She spent almost all of that, leaving $630 to start from in the final weeks of the race.

Graphic by Source: Louisiana Board of Ethics.

Firms that gave the $2,500 maximum to Bloom:

  • Brian Gibbs and Brian Gibbs Development ($2,500 each)
  • K M Limited Partnership and Park Investments Ltd, two firms owned by Metairie developer Lewis Frank ($2,500 each)
  • St. Charles Parish District Attorney Joel Chaisson II gave $2,500 through his campaign fund and $1,000 through JCJR Enterprises, a company he owns.
  • Euphrosine Properties Inc., a company owned by Barry Kern
  • Crescent Bank
  • David Briggs Enterprises of Mandeville
  • Helis Oil & Gas Company, which drew attention for its fracking bid on the Northshore
  • Hospitality Enterprises, Warren Reuther’s tourism and development company
  • The Jones Walker law firm
  • Pontchartrain Capital LLC, owned by investment banker Mike Hammer
  • Ryan Gootee General Contractors
  • Theodent, a toothpaste company with a Metairie address
  • Wisznia Company, registered to developer Marcel Wisznia

Individuals who gave the $2,500 maximum to Bloom are:

  • Gary and Nancy Chartrand of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. ($2,500 each)
  • Mark and Meredith Frisch of Atlantic Beach, Fla. ($2,500 each)
  • Gary Solomon Sr.
  • Developer Joseph Jaeger
  • Jeff Chartrand of San Francisco
  • Donald Bollinger
  • Jay Lapeyre
  • San Adkerson of Burgundy Street
  • Marc Behar of Garden Oaks Drive
  • Jonathan Buring of Lakeshore Drive
  • John Charpentier of St. Charles Avenue
  • James J. Coleman Jr.
  • John Kirkendoll, founder of the Penthouse Club
  • James Maurin
  • Robert Merrick
  • Roger Ogden
  • Janice Parmelee
  • Christopher Sarpy

Other noteworthy contributors the the Bloom campaign include:

  • Developer Darleen Jacobs Levy, $1,000
  • The Canlas Ellis law firm (where attorney Bob Ellis represents short-term rental clients), $1,000
  • Ronald Lamarque, known for his car commercials, $1,000
  • Joel Dondis of Sucre, $500
  • Kristen Koppel, wife of School Board member Woody Koppel, $250
  • A trio of companies with Bourbon Street addresses — the locations of Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club, Larry Flynt’s Barely Legal Club and the Cat’s Meow karaoke bar — all gave $333.33 each. Our Bar LLC, registered to Rick’s Cabaret president Robert Watters, also gave $1,000. Pat O’Brien’s also gave $1,000.

Campaign consultants for the Bloom campaign include Gulf Coast Resources, the Brylski Company, the Schultz Network, Leblanc & Schuster Public Relations, Market Research Insight polling firm, and campaign staffers Elizabeth Thomas, Mallory Messina, and Amy Yacorzinksi.

Ray records $2,500 donations from three people:

  • Deborah Chapman (his mother),
  • Janine Pugh and
  • Ronald J. Ray.

Most of Ray’s spending was on traditional advertising and campaign materials, and he lists Don Shaw as his campaign consultant.

Love had a $2,500 donation from Richard McCormack, comprising nearly half of her $5,240 fundraising total. Her biggest expense was the James Hartman consulting firm.

Banks does not record any contributions of the maximum $2,500.

  • Two people gave $2,000: attorney James Carter, and Randall Moore.
  • A company called Preservation Partners gave $1,500.
  • Donors giving Banks $1,000 include Michael Kearney, The Dong Corporation (registered to William Goldring), Gloria Bryant-Banks (his mother), Martin Mayer, Kelmer Steverson and Judith Woods.

Banks’ campaign management team is MG Consulting, and he spent $8,000 on polling.

None of Stumer’s campaign donations were greater than $200. He may have had the most colorful list of expenditures, however, patronizing the Prytania Theater (“supporting local business while campaigning”), haircuts at the Riverfront Barbershop, meals and drinks at Midway Pizza, Theo’s Pizza, the Holy Ground bar, Juan’s Flying Burrito, Parasol’s, Pho Noi Viet, Ruby Slipper, Slice Pizzeria, and multiple trips to Breaux Mart.

No report could be found at the Louisiana Board of Ethics for Eugene Ben.

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