Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Citizens for Change, Revisited

Reading Frank Ruggiero's account of the handful of disagreeable property owners standing in the way of the "Howard Street Project" (they refuse to grant easements or right-of-ways for sidewalks, etc.), we began to wonder how many of them were big supporters of "Citizens for Change" in the last town election.

To find that out, we went to the campaign finance report form that Citizens for Change filed with the State Board of Elections in January (though it has been mis-dated Jan. 2007).

For those who've been wanting to know, Citizens for Change says it raised a total in cash of $45,426.12 and spent $42.772.65 in last fall's Boone town elections, doubling several times over the amount spent by the eventual winners (Stephen Phillips alone excepted). This total in cash does not count what Phil Templeton individually spent on multiple newspaper ads (many of them full-page), though he was also a big donor to Citizens for Change.

You can go to the PDF file linked above and view the individuals who gave anywhere from $100 to $4,000 to this PAC. Two of them, at least, are noted obstructionists to the Howard Street redevelopment plan. New town council member Stephen Phillips, the sole Citizens for Change candidate who won, says in the Ruggiero article that he has been having private meetings with these owners, and he defends their version of civic-mindedness in halting the redevelopment of Howard Street.

The big disbursements of the PAC went to High Country Media, Aisling Broadcasting, Charter Media, Precision Printing, High Country Press, the U.S. Postal Service, Best Image Signs, and the Lenoir News Topic for printing the little newspaper that got handed out and mailed. Among the many other smaller expenditures was $194 to the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce for membership dues and mailing labels.

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