Final campaign finance report shows consistency among top Boulder City Council candidates

·3 min read

Dec. 4—Campaign contributions remained steady throughout the 2021 municipal election cycle in Boulder.

Reports filed by the official candidate committees by the Thursday evening deadline indicated consistency among eight of the Boulder City Council candidates, while two candidates raised and spent far less.

Although Lauren Folkerts, Matt Benjamin, Tara Winer, Nicole Speer and Mark Wallach ultimately were elected, those five candidates as well as Dan Williams, Michael Christy and Steve Rosenblum all spent between $20,000 and $22,000, according to the final campaign finance report, which was due Thursday.

Candidates Jacques Decalo and David Takahashi raised and spent the least. Decalo reported raising $1,370 and spending $1,201. Takahashi reported raising and spending $8,167.

The eight top-spending candidates all raised similar amounts as well, and all eight qualified for and accepted matching funds from the city. Each committee received between $10,000 and $12,500 in contributions and between $10,000 and $11,000 in matching funds, according to information available in the final campaign finance report.

To obtain matching funds from the taxpayer-funded program, which is intended to limit big spending in local races, candidates first must qualify. To do so, they can count no more than $25 of any contribution toward the qualifying amount, which is $2,173 in 2021, Elections Administrator Dianne Marshall previously told the Camera.

Upon qualification, Boulder matches 100% of all monetary contributions up to $10,866, which is 50% of the expenditure limit.

Contributions must be monetary, which excludes in-kind contributions or loans, and must come from a natural person. Candidates also agree not to spend more than $4,346 of their personal money to fund the campaign.

Candidate expenditures, expenditures by the candidate's official campaign committee and any coordinated expenditures with others all apply toward the expenditure limit, according to city election documents.

The consistency among the top eight candidates also represents a consistency among the various political factions as well, considering four candidates were backed by PLAN-Boulder County and Forward Boulder and the other four were backed by The Coalition.

Likewise, campaign contributions were not necessarily an indicator of success for resident-initiated ballot measures.

For example, Bedrooms Are For People, a failed ballot measure that would have relaxed the city's occupancy limits, outraised the opposition group NO on Bedroom$. Bedrooms raised $30,762, while its opposition raised $17,832.

Similarly, the opposition to the Humane Clothing Act, a successful measure that will ban the manufacture and sale of new fur products, outraised the supporters. NO on 301: A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing, the formal opposition group, raised $2,328, while The Humane Clothing Act Committee reported raising $140.

However, proponents and opponents of Let the Voters Decide on CU South, a failed ballot measure that would have required a vote on the CU South annexation agreement, raised and spent similarly.

Protect Our Neighbors, the opposition group, both spent and raised $18,185, while the proponents Save CU South raised $16,855 and spent $12,646.

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