Here comes Heidi! Duane’s crew better open wallets wider, finance reports show

Duane Strawser has collected $14,200 in campaign contributions from January 1, 2016 to April 23, while his opponent Heidi Hall has collected much more — $24,703 at last count, campaign finance reports reviewed by Sierra Foothills Report show.

Duane’s cash balance stands at $6,859 compared with $8,070 for Heidi. Duane has 31 contributions listed compared with 102 listed for Hall, the records show.

This comes as local progressives have launched an aggressive voter registration campaign in the western county — an area long tilted to the right.

It’s clear from analyzing the campaign finance reports that both candidates have strong grassroots support; it’s just that Heidi has more. The finance reports also confirm what I’ve said all along: there is a strong “anyone but Heidi” vibe in this race, because she’s a visible Democrat seeking public office in a part of the county where Tea Party co-founder Mark Mecker got his start.

Duane — actually a Democrat who has switched to “decline to state” in this race, as YubaNet first reported — has won some token contributions from locals who have supported staunch conservatives in the past. Examples include Joanne Rebane, wife of hard-right political activist George Rebane ($100). (In a blog post this weekend, George is whining about Heidi — again; instead, he ought to disclose his family’s contribution to her opponent.)

In addition to the Rebanes, hard-right and CABPRO supporter Norm Sauer, who writes rightwing screeds for The Union seemingly monthly, gave $100 to Duane.

Keoni Allen of the Nevada County Contractors PAC gave $100, the report shows. Insurance broker Anthony Halaby gave $200, lawyer Craig Diamond (who once defended The Union’s ex-publisher Jeff Ackerman in a well-known local case) gave $250 and insurance broker Mike Bratton gave $500. These local businessmen (Allen, Diamond and Bratton’s offices are in Grass Valley) typically support staunch conservatives in local races.

The records also show the Americans for Good Government PAC (whose supporters include local tea party activists) raised $3,697 for Duane in a “fun raiser event,” as previously reported. The money is listed as “non-monetary” on the campaign finance report.

Duane also received $1,000 from a local climate change denier, Frank Pinney of Grass Valley, as reported.

Among Duane’s expenses, Full Spectrum Marketing Services, whose owner is Andy Burton (also an “editorial board member” of The Union), received the largest chunk of money: $1,340 for “printing services.” Andy and Duane are friends and have worked together to promote the Amgen Tour of California when it came here.

Heidi’s contributors

On Heidi’s side, her contributors include local grassroots Democrats such as Carole Chapman ($175), Kimberly D’Urso ($200), Shawn Garvey ($100), Elisa Parker ($100), Audrey Smith ($225) and others.

The contingent opposed to Measure W (AKA the local marijuana initiative) gave some money to Heidi, but it is not excessive. Examples include Stephen Munkelt ($25o), lawyer Heather Burke ($250) and Patricia Smith ($500).

The environmental, anti-global warming and organic contingent (important issues in our region) is showing support for Heidi. Progressive Michael Funk, CEO of United Natural Foods, gave $500 to Heidi; Roger Hicks, a longtime board member of SYRCL, gave $100 (through an intermediary Democracy.com); and Steve Frisch of the Sierra Business Council gave $400. (Frisch’s donation was received through an intermediary, NationBuilder, as was the case with some others).

Local artist Judith Lowry-Crowl gave $1,000, as previously reported. The Nevada County Democratic Women’s Club donated $1,500.

This is interesting: Nevada City Council member Evans Phelps gave Heidi ‘s campaign $500; she gave Duane, who sits on the council with her, half as much: $250.

Heidi’s biggest expense was Green Dog Campaigns of San Rafael for $9,233. “Dotty E. LeMieux founded GreenDog Campaigns in 1998, since then she has successfully run campaigns for State, County and local office. These have included campaigns for local school boards, special districts, town and city council offices and county supervisor,” according to the website.

Local Jim Hurley, who is a seasoned local election analyst, received $343. Jim pours over the local election precincts and is highly knowledgeable about this task.

This is going to be an interesting race! It looks like the “anything but Heidi” contingent better open its wallet wider ASAP, including the hard-right activists who are pulling Duane further right. The campaign finance reports are Duane and Heidi.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

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