Show me the (campaign) money!

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The Calexico Chronicle examined campaign finance disclosure forms filed with the Imperial County Electoral Division for the Imperial Irrigation District, the Imperial County Board of Supervisors and the Imperial County District Attorney for the June 7 primary.

The Chronicle used this information to create a searchable database so the information could be easily sorted and analyzed, giving voters a better understanding of how campaign funds are raised and spent. (At the bottom of the page you will find the Excel file and instructions on how to use it.)

The Form 460, which candidates must submit by April 28, can be quite revealing, but that information is only as good as the details it contains. For example, acting IID Division 1 Alex Cardenas disclosed cash contributions totaling $25,659 of over $100 but did not disclose where $1,809 of that amount came from. IID Division 3 candidate Don Campbell spent significantly more than he raised, raising the question of where that funding came from.

Some of the campaign disclosure forms contained simple arithmetic errors. Some contained missing or incomplete information. And some candidates didn’t submit campaign disclosure forms. It is not clear whether candidates will be held responsible for late submissions or for submitting misleading or incomplete information; that is the job of the Fair Political Practices Commission.

Candidates running for seats on the Imperial Irrigation District board of directors have collectively raised more than $198,000 and spent $110,311 on advertising, donations and meet-and-greets, according to campaign submissions and expense forms submitted May 24 at the Registrar of Voters were deposited.

The Imperial Irrigation District is the most powerful agency in Imperial County. It provides water and electricity to virtually all of Imperial County and powers part of the Coachella Valley. It holds the largest claim to water from the Colorado River, which is the lifeblood of Imperial Valley’s $2 billion agribusiness.

The Valley’s powerful ag community has contributed significant amounts of money to the coffers of Andrew Arevalo and Karin Eugenio, to Division 1 Director Alex Cardenas and Division 5 Director Norma Sierra Galindo, respectively, and Gina Dockstader, one of four Depose candidates running for the Division 3 seat. Jim Hanks has served as the Division 3 seat since 2006 and is not seeking re-election. Arevalo, Dockstader and Eugenio have received confirmations from the Imperial County Farm Bureau.

Karin Eugenio received the largest single donation, a $10,000 donation from Horizon Farms LLC, which happens to be owned by John Hawk, who is running for the County Board of Supervisors, District 5.

Gina Dockstader is the only IID candidate to receive funding from a geothermal or lithium mining company. She received two donations from Controlled Thermal Resources of $4,900 each.

Joong S. Kim is the only candidate in the running for District 1 of the County Board of Supervisors to provide his campaign funding disclosures, but his form did not specify where most of his $2,154 funding came from. According to his Form 460, Kim spent $990, mostly on filing fees.

Hawk is the only candidate to seek a seat on the County Board of Supervisors and receive confirmation from the Imperial County Farm Bureau. Hawk has raised $17,573 and spent $5,726 so far.

Hawk’s opponent in the District 5 race, Carlos Zaragoza, appears to be largely self-financing. Of the $6,680 he raised, he contributed $6,380. Zaragoza spent $3,205.

All four candidates running for the district attorney seat have filed disclosures regarding campaign finance.

Jason Amavisca has raised and spent the most money to date, mostly from fellow attorneys. Amavisca raised $36,199.27 and spent $33,269.65.

Outgoing District Attorney Gilbert Otero has donated $500 to Mario Vela’s campaign, whom he supported early on.

A number of candidates were still missing papers as of Wednesday morning, May 5. The Imperial County Electoral Roll failed to receive Forms 460 from:

Ramon CastroImperial Irrigation District Division 3

Jesus Edward Escobar, Imperial County Board of Directors, District 1

Briant Jesus Fabela LunaImperial County District 1 Board of Supervisors

Ray CastilloImperial County Board of Supervisors, District 5

(Clarification: Some adjustments have been made to the print version of this story due to some minor miscalculations.)


BY NUMBERS

Imperial Irrigation District

$198,292.09: Total combined campaign contributions raised by IID candidates

$110,311.20: Total combined campaign spending by IID candidates

Candidates advertise and spend the most: Gina Dockstadler

Dockstader has raised $89,021.55 and spent $35,067

Contestant who raises the least: Don Campbell

Campbell raised $299

department 1 Incumbent Alex Cardenas increased $33,075.86 and spent $26,263.59

department 1 Challenger Andrew Arevalo raised $35,424 and spent $17,126.48

department 3 Candidate Don Campbell raised $299 and spent $7,958

department 3 Approached candidate Gina Dockstader $89,021.55 and spent $35,067

department 3 Approached candidate Maria Nava-Froelich $3,750 and spent $3,659

department 5 Incumbent Norma Sierra Galindo increased $10,965.68 and spent $4,458.01

See also

department 5 Challenger Karin Eugenio raised $25,756 and spent $15,779.12

supervisory board

$26,406.98:Total combined campaign donations raised by Board of Directors candidates

$9,921.59: Total combined election campaign spending for board members

Candidates advertise and spend the most: John Hawk

Hawk raised $17,572.98 and spent $5,725.98

District Attorney

$758th42.89:Total combined campaign contributions collected from DA candidates

$67,923.42: Total combined campaign spending by DA candidates

Candidates advertise and spend the most: Jason Amavisca

Amavisca raised $36,199.27 and spent $33,269.65

sign

Jerry Gauna Put up posters for two IID nominees, one board nominee, and one district attorney nominee for overall $21,290. Gauna put up signs for Alex Cardenas, Gina Dockstader, John Hawk and Edgard Garcia.

Ag financing

Most of the campaign donations from farmers and farms went to Gina Dockstadler, Andrew Arevalo and Karen Eugenio for the imperial irrigation district; John Hawk for the district board; and George Marquez for the District Attorney.


Form 460s in detail

The Microsoft Excel spreadsheet is easily searchable and sortable.

The Donations sheet or tab shows all campaign contributions disclosed by candidates. Sorting column A (Donors) shows which candidates donors have directed their money to and how much.

The expense sheet or shows all campaign expenses disclosed by candidates. Column A (Recipient) sort shows what candidates spent their money on and how much.

The remaining sheets show the campaign income and expenses of their respective candidates.

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