Candidates in Indiana are required to file campaign finance reports at various times of the year. One of them, the “pre-election” report was filed on or before October 20, 2022. I went ahead and compiled the reports for the West Lafayette School Board candidates. Before I offer any commentary, I’ll go ahead and remind everyone that I’ve already recommended that West Lafayette voters would be well-served voting for Karen Springer, Rachel Witt, and George Lyle for the reasons I articulated an in an earlier blog post.
It’s public record, but I’ve redacted the street addresses and phone numbers for the individuals involved who show up on the reports. Some observations:
- Rachel Witt did not have to file a CFA-4 because her receipts and expenditures were less than $500 — a limitation she imposed on herself at the beginning of the campaign. She had posted a summary of expenditures which I went ahead and included for completeness. She made “Proud of our WL Schools” signs (in the hopes they could serve a non-campaign function in the future) and cut up other old signs and painted them (she’s an artist!) with “Rachel Witt” sign toppers.
- Laurence Wang is the “big” spender (in the context of this race) with expenditures of $3,047.78. The problem is that his report is opaque. I think he maybe didn’t understand the form? As written, it looks like he’s paying himself and no one else which I’m pretty sure is not the case. Unless he’s making campaign signs in his garage, he’d be paying third party vendors who he does not list in his report. The donations and debts also don’t line up with the expenditures. On the income side, he has $400 in donations and $1,189.37 owed to himself (for $1,589.37) but $3,047.78 in spending. It’s the kind of thing that could result in audit findings!
- Karen Springer has spent $2,156.66 on signs, campaign flyers, web design, and web hosting. I’m not sure if I neglected to copy a page or if there were no receipts or debts submitted. If it’s the latter, that would be an error. My presumption is that this is self-funded. If that’s the case, I think candidates are either supposed to list themselves as donating to their campaign or as their campaign being indebted to themselves individually. Also, you’ll see Sumy Designs as the web designer. Long-time readers of this blog will recognize that name from the bottom of my page – my wife is a web designer and also a supporter of Karen, Rachel, and George. (Members of the community will perhaps recognize the name as being splattered on marching band t-shirts and GLRSA soccer teams which Sumy Designs has also supported over the years.)
Station break/[Baseball announcer voice]: This blog post is brought to you by Sumy Designs. Sumy Designs, creators of great web sites since 2006. And now, back to our blog post.
- Dacia Mumford has raised and spent $1,416.64. She lists her donors anonymously as 36 local residents who have contributed $40 or less. (Contributions of less than $100 need not be disclosed). Her sign expenditures (as well as those of Angie Janes) would be less than other candidates because they presumably would have already had signs on hand from their 2020 campaign efforts.
- Angie Janes lists $1,352 in contributions and receipts: $733 in itemized receipts and $619 in un-itemized receipts; along with $733 in debts owed by the committee. The debts say “personal loan from candidate.” Given the specific number, I assume the $733 debt is the same thing as the contribution.The expenditures list $589 in itemized expenses (Angie and Dacia use the same sign vendor and printing company – AGE Graphics out of Little Hocking, Ohio and GotPrint out of Burbank, California) and $149 in un-itemized expenses, leaving $614 cash on hand and that $733 debt.
- George Lyle lists $2,853 in donations and $2,318.48 in expenditures, leaving cash on hand in the amount of $535.27. He lists his small dollar donors (you’ll notice my wife as an in-kind donor of web design services and a $50 contributor) and larger donors alike. His big expenditure was signs, not having them on hand prior to the election, with that expense coming in at $1,647.80.
Given the nature of Indiana’s campaign finance reporting, I think that’s the last peak we’ll get into the candidates’ receipts and expenditures until after the election.