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Campaign disclosure statements show Pennino led Lodi candidates

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Posted: Tuesday, February 4, 2003 10:00 pm

Former Lodi mayor Phil Pennino, who lost his bid for a fourth four-year term on the Lodi City Council in the Nov. 5 election, raised $28,540, more than anyone else in the eight-candidate field, according to campaign disclosure statements that were due Friday.

John Beckman was second with $24,215 in his war chest, Larry Hansen was third with $17,111.95 and Mayor Susan Hitchcock was fourth with $13,359. Hitchcock, Hansen and Beckman won seats in the November election.

Completing the field were JoAnne Mounce with $14,547, Don Lindsay with $2,223 and David O'Connor with $555. An eighth candidate, Brian Bader, didn't form a campaign committee.

During the most recent filing period, Pennino received $500 apiece from the Fritz Grupe development company in Stockton; Bill and Carol Meehleis of Lodi, who make modular structures; and Bob Zamora of Lodi, who owns auto dealerships.

Other leading contributors include $400 from Lodi grape growers Stanton and Caroline Lange; $350 from Tom and Barbara Doucette, developers from Woodbridge; $250 apiece from Bryon Weisz and Wayne Weisz, owners of Cen-Cal Fire Systems in Lodi, Plumber and Pipefitters Local 422 of Stockton, Lodi developer Dennis Bennett and Kent Steinwert of Farmers & Merchants Bank.

Several others made $100 and $200 contributions to Pennino's campaign.

Beckman's largest contributions since Oct. 20 were $500 from Lockeford insurance broker Peter Bregman and $200 apiece from Bob Marty, a biological environmentalist from Lockeford, and John Kautz, a self-employed farmer from Lodi.

Hansen, Lodi's retired police chief, received $1,000 from the Police Officers Association of Lodi, $250 from Bennett and $200 from Farmers & Merchants Bank. Hansen also loaned $1,000 from his pocket into the campaign.

Hitchcock's top contributions in the most recent filing period were $250 each from Shared Network of Lodi, land-use attorney Michael Hakeem, Neal Reed of Touch of Mesquite in Lodi and Waste Management Western Group and Waste Management Affiliated Entities of Sacramento.

Mounce's top contributions were $789.75 from Betty Gates of Lodi and $100 each from Anthony Canton of Lodi; BIPAC, pro-business organization from Stockton; Rod Zeigenhagel, a registered nurse from Turlock Hospital and the Electrical Union Political Action Committee from Pleasanton.

Lindsay loaned his campaign $1,696.32, and O'Connor didn't receive any contributions in the final filing period.

The eight Galt City Council candidates combined to raise almost $16,000 in contributions and loans, but their campaigns were largely supplemented by money raised by a host of campaign committees representing both major political factions in Galt.

Among individual candidates, challenger Rob Sealey amassed the largest war chest with $6,762, almost $6,200 of it out of his own pocket.

His largest contributors during the final two filing periods - Oct. 20 through Dec. 31 - were the Sacramento Area Firefighters Local 522 and retired Air Force Col. William Scharton of Antelope, each contributing $99.99, according to campaign disclosure statements.

Contributors to Sealey's campaign during previous filing periods last year include $99.99 apiece from Harold Hagen and Jerry Stribling of Galt, $99 each from Ath Iqbal of San Jose, Jorge Navarro of Modesto and Tony Pascual of Galt and $35 from Judy Alvarez, a nurse from Madera.

Despite spending about $4,000 more than any of his opponents, Sealey lost his bid for his seat on Nov. 5, placing fourth out of eight candidates. Mayor Darryl Clare and challengers Randy Shelton and Tom Malson were elected.

Clare received $3,936 in contributions and personal loans, Shelton $1,974, Malson $1,610.84, Teresa Pearson $1,064 and former Mayor Bob Kraude $636. Incumbent Dan Pillsbury and challenger Jonathan Rotondo each filed a statement saying they raised less than $100.

Campaign spending in Galt is considerably lower than it is in Lodi because Galt's campaign contribution ordinance prohibits any contributions by any individual or organization of more than $100 to any candidate.

The city ordinance, however, allows candidates to spend as much of their own money as they wish.

Seven organizations - three of them affiliated with the Galt District Chamber of Commerce - also poured money into the City Council race and on both sides of Measure R, the growth-control measure defeated by voters in the November.

The three chamber groups are Businesses United for Good Government, Galt Economic Development Task Force and "Vote for Galt - No on Measure R."

Rex Albright, the chamber's chief executive officer, said that the first committee, also known as BUGG, was intended to be the only chamber group raising and spending money since it is an official political action committee. However, the economic task force had $3,000 its board of directors wanted to spend on the campaign, so that group made a contribution to BUGG, the chamber's political action committee, Albright said.

The third committee was formed, he said, after the chamber learned from the Fair Political Practices Commission that BUGG could not legally conduct a campaign for or against a ballot measure. Since BUGG opposed Measure R, it had to form another committee, spawning "Vote Galt - No on Measure R," which has no one on the committee, Albright said.

The No on Measure R committee spent almost $19,000 in its successful effort to defeat Measure R. However, it has an $11,000 deficit to a Stockton organization called Strategic Research, which provided yard signs, letterhead, voter ID calls, phone banks and mailers.

BUGG will eventually pay the bill because the Measure R opposition committee has been disbanded, Albright said. BUGG plans a spring fundraiser to help pay off the debt.

There were three committees formed to support Measure R. One was the Tim Raboy Committee for Residential Growth Management, with all $1,300 coming from Raboy's pocket. He returned $244 to himself after the election.

The Galt Chamber of Citizens, which is not affiliated with the chamber of commerce, raised $1,350 in support of Measure R. Contributions during the last filing period included $99.99 from Stribling Brothers of Galt and $99 each from Galt City Councilman Rick Stancil, Sherry Daley, Tom Heuer, Gail Hall, Clare Lanzone, Richard Rubinstein and George Waegell.

Alexandria Loring of Galt also contributed $30 to Raboy's Measure R campaign.

A one-woman organization called Save Our Town spent $609, all of it from Galt resident JoAnn Walters. More than $400 was spent on a controversial newspaper advertisement attacking Clare. The remainder was in support of Sealey, Kraude and Measure R.

Two other committees submitted financial statements to the city clerk's office. The Galt Committee to Reform the City Council, headed by Dick Smith, raised $2,334.20 in its opposition to Measure R and Kraude's candidacy. In the last reporting period, the group received $99 each from Galt residents Herman LaVine, Craig Morris and Debby Packard.

Morris also formed his own group, the Galt Council Reform Committee, spending $882 of his own money supporting Clare, Shelton and Malson and opposing Measure R.

Among individual candidates, Clare's largest contributors were $99.99 from BUGG, $99.99 from Sacramento Area Firefighters Local 522, $99 from former City Councilman Orvell Fletcher and $95 each from David Leatherby Jr. of Sacramento, Jeffrey Rovegno of Roseville, Steve Pease, a broker for Galt's industrial park, and Barnum & Celillo Electric, an electrical contractor from Sacramento.

Shelton received $99.99 from the firefighters union and $99 from the Galt Police Officers Association. Shelton also contributed more than $1,300 to his campaign on Dec. 31.

Malson's latest contributors were BUGG with $99.99 from BUGG and $59.20 from his wife, Grace Malson. He also loaned his campaign $522.85.

Pearson spent $1,064.80 of her own money, while Kraude loaned himself $800. However, Kraude paid himself back $363.75.

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