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Campaigns note contributors

Many council hopefuls’ donations fall below reporting threshold

With one week until the primary, Spokane city races are mostly low-budget affairs, with half the candidates for City Council planning to spend so little they don’t have to make regular reports.

Incumbent Nancy McLaughlin has raised the most, about $30,200, in an effort to retain her northwest Spokane council seat. That’s nearly twice what any other candidate has raised and more than three times the amount raised by fellow Councilman Mike Allen, who is seeking to hold on to the south Spokane seat to which he was appointed last year.

At least two of the candidates acknowledged recently they failed to comply with various aspects of the state’s public disclosure laws and will be changing ads and billboards to correct the problems.

Allen said Monday he was informing the state Public Disclosure Commission that his billboards inadvertently violated a rule that requires the explanation of who paid for the ad to be at least one-tenth the size of the largest type on the billboard. The rule is designed to make it clear whether a candidate or an independent group paid for an ad and give contact information.

“I missed the 10 percent rule,” Allen said. “It’s amazing how much stuff is out there. If I make it through (the primary) I’m going to hire a campaign manager.”

Having a campaign manager didn’t keep his opponent Jon Snyder from violating a rule on ads in his magazine Out There Monthly and other publications. Snyder campaign manager Lorna Walsh acknowledged recently the ads don’t have any explanation that the campaign paid for them.

“It’s a basic screw-up, but it was an honest mistake,” Walsh said. “I take full responsibility for it.”

Snyder leads in contributions for the south side District 2 race, with contributions of about $17,000; Allen has about $8,200, and Kristina Sabestinas, a former aide to Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, has nearly $6,000. Three other candidates, David Elton, Steve Eugster and Greg Ridgley, are running low-budget campaigns that don’t require them to file regular reports.

McLaughlin has about four times the contributions of community activist Karen Kearney, who reported about $7,400. The four other candidates in the District 3 race – Barbara Lampert, Vic Noder, Christopher Stevens and John Waite – are running low-budget campaigns.

Northeast Spokane’s District 1 seat isn’t on the primary because it has only two candidates. Amber Waldref has raised $17,500 and Mike Fagan has raised about $3,800.