Loose Lips

Money for the Home Stretch

If you were holding off on giving to your preferred D.C. Council candidate, today's the last chance to do so and have your donation show up on the all-important March 10 campaign finance report.

Why are these reports important? Because the election is three weeks away, and it's only now that most people are even starting to come close to paying attention to the council races. Candidates with little cash on hand at this point are at an obvious disadvantage.

LL's most interested in finding out how much money Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry has raised. After his first campaign finance report came out in January showing a measly $12,000 raised, LL asked Barry about his weak haul. Barry said it was all part of his master plan and he would be flush with cash by today's report. We know he's been fundraising, but we don't know how successful that fundraising's been. On the campaign in general, Barry complained to LL last week that he's a "victim of success" because so many people believe he'll coast to an easy re-election. (LL is also curious to see how his campaign reports the cash donations Barry received at his 76th birthday party last week at Player's Lounge. Barry's fedora was passed around, and his supporters stuffed cash in it.)

Some campaigns have already filed their reports. Highlights:

Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans continues to raise money despite the fact that he's running unopposed. He raised $24,000 this cycle (including a $500 in-kind contribution from one of superlobbyist David Wilmot's LLCs) bringing his total haul to nearly $340,000. Not that Evans has been keeping that money under a mattress—he has only $88,000 cash on hand, which means he's spent more than a quarter-million dollars on a race with no challenger.

Ward 7 challenger Tom Brown only has $1,300 in the bank at the moment for the home stretch. Kevin Chavous The Younger, who is also trying to knock off incumbent Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander, has nearly $9,000.

Ward 8 challenger Sandra Seegars has a typo in the report that lists her current cash on hand at more than $900,000. Wouldn't it be interesting to see what a million dollar campaign against Barry would look like?

LL will have more on the money totals when all the reports are filed.

Photo by Darrow Mongomery

  • Pete

    How and why does one spend a quarter million dollars on a ward level councilmember race that is unopposed?

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