Campaign finance reports – Benicia City Council

Repost from the Vallejo Times-Herald
[Editor: The Benicia Independent endorses Kari Birdseye for City Council.  This report documents her fundraising success.  More is needed – learn about Kari and make a donation at  – R.S.]

Benicia City Council candidates raise funds

By John Glidden, October 1, 2018 at 3:05 pm

BENICIA — The three active City Council campaigns have had a spend-now mentality during the last three months as they spent a combined $31,735, nearly $6,000 more than what they took in, according to financial records submitted to the Benicia City Clerk’s Office last week.

Kari Birdseye, Christina Strawbridge, and Lionel Largaespada raised a combined $24,000 in cash contributions during the same three-month period from July 1 through Sept. 27, records show.

A political newcomer, Birdseye raised the most with $10,523 in cash contributions, her campaign reported. Interestingly, the campaign picked up several individual $500 donations. They included: Kathy Kerridge, Michael Keischnick, Mildred Brennan, Brian Mitchell, Kelly De witt, Tom Wilson, Jill Wilson, David Hackman, and Jeremy Hartgraves.

Other major donations include, $540 from Dirk Fulton, $300 from Benicia school board candidate Adrean Hayashi, with Jack Ruszel contributing $300, $350 coming from Ralph Dennis, and James Birdseye giving $550.

The United Democrats of Southern Solano County donated $500 to Birdseye’s campaign as well.

Almost half of the campaign’s $11,079 in expenses was spent on television advertisements and production costs. The majority of the expenses were also allocated for campaign literature, records show.

The campaign has about $3,100 in its coffers.

Former Benicia Councilwoman Christina Strawbridge received $6,900 in cash contributions during the same period.

Councilman Mark Hughes gave the campaign $250, records show. Hughes and Alan Schwartzman both decided not to seek re-election to the fiver person City Council this fall, paving the way for two new councilmembers.

Strawbridge received notable donations, including $500 from the UA Local 342 PAC fund, $500 from IBEW Local 180, $540 from the Tim Grayson for Assembly 2018, $330 from the International Association of Heating and Frost Insulators PAC, $330 from Tim Hamann, $330 from Jean Hamann, and $100 from Gary Heppell and attorney with the Vallejo-based Favaro, Lavezzo, Gill, Caretti, Heppell law firm.

Her campaign spent the most with $13,922 in expenditures since July 1. About $2,300 of that went to Mary Hand Mango Consulting, with $1,750 going to Mark Lampkin to help film a commercial. Another expense was $5,000 for a television advertisement.

According to her financial documents, Strawbridge’s campaign has nearly $6,000 in the bank.

Finally, the Lionel Largaespada for Benicia City Council 2018 campaign picked up $6,698 in cash. Hughes also donated $250 to the campaign, with additional notable contributions of $500 from Richard Bortolazzo, $500 from Sherri Bortolazzo, $540 from the Tim Grayson for Assembly 2018 campaign, $500 from IBEW Local 180 PAC, $500 from Bob Triggila, $540 from Ponder Environmental Services, $580 from the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulator and allied Workers Local 16, AFL-CIO PAC fund.

Largaespada’s campaign received $311 in non-monetary funds for a walk list which was paid for by the San Diego-based GROW Elect, a PAC which funds, endorses, and recruits Latino Republicans for public office.

The campaign had $6734 in expenses with a majority of the funds being spent on campaign literature, the same records show. About $10,354 was in the campaign’s coffers as of Sept. 27.

A fourth City Council candidate, William Emes doesn’t have a campaign committee so he wasn’t required to submit financial forms.

The election is Nov. 6.