Campaign contributions |

Campaign contributions

Candidates debate money's role in Steamboat politics

Brandon Gee

Candidates' monetary contributions through Oct. 11 for the Nov. 6 election; Source: Steamboat Springs City Clerk's Office

— At-large contender Cari Hermacinski is the top fundraiser among candidates for Steamboat Springs City Council, compiling a total of $5,350 from a variety of sources.

The first deadline to report campaign finances to Steamboat Springs City Clerk Julie Jordan was Oct. 16.

City Council President Susan Dellinger raised less money than any other City Council candidate, with $550 – including $500 from herself. Finance reports list contributions and expenses up to Oct. 11.

“I think that people want to see change, and I think that’s clear in the number and diversity of people who are supporting me,” Hermacinski said. Her largest campaign contribution, $1,100, came from her parents, Joe and Donna Russo of Steamboat Springs.

While Hermacinski is encouraged by her campaign balance sheet, history shows big spending is no guarantee of Election Day success in Steamboat. Of the top three fundraisers at this point in the 2005 campaign, Kevin Kaminski was the only one to win a seat on City Council. Kaminski resigned his District 3 seat last year when he moved out of the district.

In 2005, lead fundraiser Bud Romberg had $6,538 at the end of the first reporting period, but eventually lost the at-large race to Towny Anderson, who is now defending that seat against Hermacinski. This year, Romberg has contributed $50 each to the campaigns of Hermacinski and District 2 candidate Paul Hughes, who raised $3,575. Hughes’ opponent, Meg Bentley, raised $3,054.

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Anderson, facing the top fundraiser for the second election in a row, said he is not concerned by the prospect.

“I’m flattered,” Anderson quipped.

He reported $4,370 in campaign contributions, 69 percent of which came from two donations: $2,000 from Edward and Elizabeth Weihman of Steamboat and $1,000 from Albert Dowden of Steamboat.

While most contributions made to the 10 candidates for the five open City Council seats came from locals, two candidates’ reports stand out for out-of-town contributions. Jon Quinn, whose $4,650 raised is second only to Hermacinski, received nine of his 13 contributions from the Washington, D.C., area where he grew up. Quinn is running for a four-year District 3 seat against Councilwoman Karen Post, who raised $3,125.

Quinn’s list of contributors includes some well-known Washington figures: his father Jack Quinn, former White House Counsel to President Bill Clinton; Linda Daschle, wife of former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle; former U.S. Rep. Marty Russo, D-Illinois; and Rob Liberatore, a veteran automobile industry lobbyist for Daimler.

“It’s mostly just family friends and relatives excited that I’m running,” said Quinn, who noted that he doesn’t want his family’s political history to influence how he’s perceived in Steamboat. “It’s certainly not something that defines my character.”

Seven of Walter Magill’s 11 contributions – constituting $2,275 of $3,125 raised – are also from outside Colorado, mostly from relatives. Magill is running for a two-year District 3 seat against Vince Arroyo, who raised $1,592.

Money’s power

City Council candidates differ in their assessment of the importance of money to their campaigns.

“I hope it’s not very important because I’m not spending much,” Dellinger said. “I don’t do a lot of fundraising. It’s hard for me to ask people for money. I don’t want to get into that. I want to run because I feel I’m being responsive to the community. I want to be responsive, not bought.”

Dellinger’s opponent for a District 1 seat, Scott Myller, has a similar attitude.

“I : decided if I can’t win with a modest campaign, maybe I shouldn’t have the position,” said Myller, who raised $1,516.

Hermacinski said money can be more important to candidates who, like herself, are challenging incumbents. She said incumbents are well known by nature of their positions, and money allows newcomers to become well known through advertising.

Anderson, who said he’d like to think money isn’t important to council races, said the amount of money being spent this year underscores how important of an election it is.

“There’s clearly an interest that doesn’t think it’s being served well,” Anderson said. He later said that interest is a development community upset with incumbents who passed legislation requiring affordable housing.


Candidates aren’t the only sources of fundraising for this November’s election. The Citizens for a Community Recreation Center committee is campaigning on behalf of Referendums 2B and 2C, which, if passed, would use increased property taxes to fund a $34 million recreation center at Ski Town Fields.

The committee has raised $11,585 thus far.

“I think there’s just a lot of people who have shown an interest,” said committee organizer Brad Piske.

Piske said the group ultimately hopes to raise $15,000 to $20,000. Piske said running a campaign is, unfortunately, very expensive.

“It’s kind of a shame,” Piske said. “You work on a campaign for two years, and you end up putting up really simplistic yard signs. It’s kind of ludicrous.”

A recreation center opposition committee, No 2B 2C, did not report any funds raised through Oct. 11. Committee organizer John Mertz said No 2B 2C did not start fundraising until after Oct. 11. He said the committee now has as about half the money Piske’s committee reported.

“We got a little nervous,” Mertz said of the amount of money the Citizens for a Community Recreation Center committee has raised. “We’re trying to hit it hard and fast.”

Candidates and committees will file finance reports again shortly before the Nov. 6 election, and submit a final report in December.

At a glance

Monetary contributions through Oct. 11 for the Nov. 6 election

Steamboat Springs City Council

District 1

– Susan Dellinger

Susan Dellinger, $500; Susan Saari, $50; Total, $550

– Scott Myller

Paula Cooper Black, $200; Scott Myller, $500; Coleen Perkins, $100; Kathy Connell, $50; Dennis Bredel, $50; Loan, $615.96; Total, $1,515.96

District 2

– Meg Page Bentley

Tom Traynor, $50; Sureva Towler, $100; Susie Raymond $1,000; Bob and Nancy Working, $50; Steve Downs, $100; Paula Dransfield, $50; Alan Querido, $50; Bob Snow, $100; Bill Sutherland, $100; Solomon Suwalsky, $200; Gigi Walker, $50; G.W. Smith, $50; J. Montana, $50; Nancy Young, $50; Betse Grassby, $25; Cindy Wither, $25; Dale Morris, $100; Dan Tyler, $100; Sheri Steiner, $50; Kate Marsters, $50; Dave Ferguson, $100; Maggie Berglund, $40; Marcia Johnson, $50; Kathy Page, $150; Loan, $358; Other, $6; Total, $3,054

– Paul Hughes

Rick Dowden, $500; Gilbert W. Lang, $500; G.H. Romberg, $50; Joanne Marion, $100; Randall Reed, $250; Laurie Buelow, $50; Joseph M. McNasby, $100; Paula Cooper Black, $200; Thomas B. Fox, $100; Ulrich J. Salzgeber, $100; Karl B. Gills, $50; Pat and Kathy O’Rourke, $100; Charles and Ann Marie Schultz, $100; Irlan W. Neas, $25; Thomas Valicenti, $100; David C. Howell, $75; Susan and Douglas Allen, $50; Wendy and Jon Wade, $250; Dennis Bredel, $50; Nancy Terry, $25; Ed and Cheryl Trousil, $500; Eugenia Snyder, $150; Alvin and Ann Skiles, $25; Carol Booth Fox, $25; Winchester Dermody, $100; Total, $3,575

District 3 (two years)

– Vincent C. Arroyo

Tim Hancock, $150; Barbara Leroy, $100; Mike Para, $150; Neal O’Keefe, $100; Stacy Childs, $500; Andy Leroy, $100; Tom Caughey, $50; Vincent C. Arroyo, $441.82; Total, $1,591.82

– Walter Magill

Tami and Scott Havener, $50; Dennis and Margaret Bredel, $50; John B. Magill, $500; Kathleen Magill, $500; Gaetano and Susan Vicinelli, $1,000; Stephen and Kajal Vicinelli, $100; John Soileau, $500; Paula Cooper Black, $250; Preston and Judith Plumb, $50; Sarah and John Magill, $25; Tom and Mary Magill, $100; Total, $3,125

District 3 (four years)

– Karen Post

Rosemary Post, $500; Susan Sonnenschein, $100; Linda Brookstein, $100; Jennifer Wilson, $750; Ken Solomon, $850; Dave Glanz, $250; Jane Harris, $200; Luetta Loerber, $100; Betse Grassby, $75; Rick Erb, $100; Andy Post, $100; Carol Atha, $150; Anne DeGroff, $50; Kay Clagett, $50; Lirva Bean, $100; Arianthe Stettner, $50; Henry Laughlin, $500; Charles Hamlin, $250; Gary Gurney, $50; John Sant’Ambrogio, $50; Dennis Swenson, $100; Susan Sonrenschein, $100; Total, $3,125

– Jon Quinn

Paula Cooper Black, $200; Clay Ogden, $100; John Soileau, $500; Ellen McCarthy, $100; John Quinn, $1,000; Susanna Quinn, $100; Marty Russo, $1,000; Linda Daschle, $200; Jim and Sandy Fitzpatrick, $100; Rob Liberatore, $500; James Gorelick, $100; Michael Feldman, $500; Jon and Wendy Wade, $250; Total, $4,650


– Towny Anderson

Ann Barbier, $20; Edward and Elizabeth Weihman, $2,000; John Spezia and Diane Brower, $100; Linda Carlton, $200; Gigi Walker, $50; Gerald Crawford, $500; Trenia Sanford, $25; Camille Bunn, $100; Albert Dowden, $1,000; William Moser, $100; Martha Drake Young, $25; Pam Duckworth, $50; Michael Vanvliet, $100; Carl Steidtmann and Kathleen Cline, $100; Total, $4,370

– Cari Hermacinski

John Kerst, $50; Joe and Donna Russo, $1,100; Eric Meyer, $250; Mary and Christopher Hahn, $100; G.H. and J.W. Romberg, $50; Katherine Meyer, $50; Dell Gehrett, $500; Matthew and April Cail, $100; Matthew Newman, $50; Paula Cooper Black, $200; Jane Howell, $50; Karl and Mary Gills, $75; Allen and Catherine Belshaw, $100; John Soileau, $500; Ruth and Daryl Dombrowski, $100; David Nagel, $100; Joan Conroy, $50; Katie and Joe Armstrong, $50; Frederick and Sandra Jones, $25; Matthew and Elizabeth Larock, $250; Lori and Mark Elliott, $50; Brian Olsen, $100; Sheila Fountain, $50; Shelley Orrell, $100; Kareh and Dominick Riggio, $50; Wendy and Jon Wade, $250; William and Kristie Wheeler, $100; Andreas and Lisa Sauerbrey, $200; Dennis and Margaret Bredel, $50; Ronald and Sharron Roundtree, $200; Allan White, $50; Robin and Heather Craigen, $200; Kenneth and Judith Riskind, $50; Daniel and Jill Brabec, $150; Total, $5,350

Issues committees

– Citizens for a Community Recreation Center

Michelle Caragol, $200; Michelle Caragol, $60; Andy and Karen Cohen, $75; Lisa Brown, $40; Tom and Debbie Wilson, $75; Rick and Lynn Hodges, $75; Jason and Stacey Sear, $75; Cheryl and David Thorp, $75; Tony and Gillian Fraioli, $40; Michael and Stephanie Loomis, $75; Bob and Kim Noel, $75; Michelle Diehl, $40; Joy Rasmussen, $40; Josh and Karin Kagan, $75; Stephen Malacinski, $40; Maria Wright, $40; Tom and Julie Ernst, $75; Anne Barounos, $40; John and Donna Weinman, $75; Marc and Missy Fraioli, $150; Paul and Mitzi Franklin, $150; Brad Piske and Leslie Ahlmeyer, $150; Matt and JoEllen Heydon, $75; Maggie Smith, $40; Jeff and Andrea Kortas, $150; Keith and Kristin Wilson, $75; Winn and Elizabeth Park, $75; Jeff and Shannon Lukens, $150; Matt and JoEllen Heydon, $60; David and Cheryl Thorp, $30; Stephen and Bridget Ross, $60; Jeff and Andrea Kortas, $60; Anders and Kami Brockway, $30; Michelle Diehl, $60; Mark and Cari Hermacinski, $30; Maggie Smith and Irv Edelman, $75; Marc and Missy Fraioli, $90; Jeanette Symons, $60; Dave and Jill Ruppel, $30; Nancy Brodie, $75; Wes and Dano Richey, $60; Winn and Elizabeth Park, $45; Paul and Mitzi Franklin, $60; Skip and Mary Dierdorff, $30; Nick and Deb Rose, $75; Sandi and Scott Eivine, $60; Judy Zetzman, $60; David Fix, $45; Tom and Theresa Lichtenfels, $75; Ron Smith, $45; Preston and Patricia Davies, $30; Chris Paoli, $60; Brad Piske and Leslie Ahlmeyer, $90; Steven and Margaret Firestone, $50; Sue and Dan Birch, $20; Henry Shafer, $1,000; Paul and Mitzi Franklin, $100; Jennifer Jessen, $100; Theresa Lichtenfels, $100; Tom Lichtenfels, $100; Marc Fraioli, $500; Dave and Jodi Terranova, $100; Christopher Paoli, $500; Tim Travis, $50; Margaret Smith, $1,000; Jeff and Andrea Kortas, $560; Jason Sear, $1,000; Bill and Kristie Wheeler, $200; Lynn and Richard Hodges, $75; David Thorp, $30; Michelle Diehl, $60; Steven and Bridget Ross, $60; Kami and David Brockway, $45; Nancy Brodie, $500; Nick and Tracey Metzler, $100; Jim and Mary Darcy, $100; Mary Jo Weidel, $200; Brent Pearsen and Dave Hill, $500; Scott and Sherrie Ford, $100; Jeff and Ann Coon, $100; Michelle Caragol, $250; Cheryl Thorp, $150; Brian and Lori Harrington, $100; Other, $135; Total, $11,585

Source: Steamboat Springs

City Clerk’s Office

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