At last week's East Charlotte candidate forum, one question the neighborhood group asked of all City Council candidates was whether they had received a campaign donation from REBIC, the Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition, a powerful lobby of developers and real estate executives. (Technically the campaign donation is from its PAC known by SPAACE.)
Libertarian Travis Wheat, Democrat Darrin Rankin's wife (who was representing him) and Republicans Matthew Ridenhour and Jaye Rao reported no REBIC donations as of last week. Democrats Patrick Cannon and David Howard and Republicans Edwin Peacock III and Tariq Scott Bokhari all reported receiving a total of $1,000.
Despite the lack of REBIC money, Rankin's campaign spending reports show campaign contributions from uber-developer John Crosland ($1,000), uber-lobbyist Bailey Patrick Jr. ($100), developer Howard Bissell III (son of Howard "Smokey" Bissell).
Incumbent Democrat Susan Burgess bragged last week at the forum that she had never gotten a REBIC donation, which she attributed to her positions on environmental and other issues. But a close look at her campaign reports shows generous developer money flowing her way. Here's a sampling (all are developers unless otherwise noted): Clay Grubb $1,000, David Miller $1,000, Stoney Sellars $1,000, construction magnate Luther Cochrane $750, Smokey Bissell $500, real estate lawyer Collin Brown $500, John Crosland $500, Afshin Ghazi $500, David Haggard $500, Fred Klein $500, Al Levine $500, Daniel Levine $500, Todd Mansfield of Crosland $500, Pat Rodgers of Rodgers Builders $500, real estate lawyer Jeff Brown $400, lawyer Bailey Patrick $200, John Collett $250, Jim Dulin $250, David Furman $250, Peter Pappas $250, "unknown" with Childress Klein gave $250, Ned Curran $150.
Update, 3:55 p.m. Tuesday 10/20: Burgess has added a reply in the comments below. Also, be aware other City Council candidates also get developer money. This is NOT a complete list of any candidate's donors, but just for starters:
- Edwin Peacock III: $1,000 from John Crosland, $450 from Ghazi, and $1,000 each from Al and Daniel Levine.
- Patrick Cannon $1,000 from Crosland, $500 from Clay Grubb, $400 from Stoney Sellars.
- Tariq Bokhari reports $500 from Crosland, and $150 from lawyer Bailey Patrick.
- David Howard: $1,000 from Crosland.
- Andy Dulin (District 6): $500 from Crosland, plus $1,000 each from the Levines.
- Warren Cooksey (District 7): $250 from Crosland, $500 from Joel Randolph (in Sept. 2008).
Read all the donation reports for yourself: Here's a link. Be aware that the final reports aren't due until after the election. And it's sometimes instructive to see who chips in with donations after it's clear who'll be in office. Next campaign finance report due Oct. 26. Then nothing more is due until Jan. 29. It's remarkably handy for keeping the voting public from learning who might have tossed in a big bundle right before election day.