Courtesy 19 Kids and Counting / Wikipedia
With pre-election fundraising reports now in, it’s time to see how much money candidates have raised for their City Council campaigns in Fayetteville.
State law requires any opposed municipal candidate who received or spent more than $500 to file official reports with the County Clerk’s office. As part of the requirements, each candidate must list all contributions over $50 and all expenditures over $100.
According to finance and expenditure reports filed this week with the Washington County Clerk’s office, Fayetteville candidates have raised more than $44,000, almost one-fourth of which came from Springdale residents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.
The Duggars, who are featured in the TV show “19 Kids and Counting,” have so far donated $10,000 toward the campaigns of the three most outspoken opponents to Fayetteville’s new Civil Rights Administration ordinance. The Duggars gave $2,000 to John La Tour, and $4,000 to both Joshua Crawford and Paul Phaenuef.
The new law would prohibit business owners and landlords from unjustly firing or evicting someone because of their sexual orientation, gender identity and other characteristics.
The ordinance was passed by the Fayetteville City Council on Aug. 20, but a group called Repeal 119 gathered enough signatures to put the new law to a Dec. 9 public vote.
La Tour, Crawford, and Phaneuf have all said they oppose the ordinance and were each listed as contacts on a press release for Repeal 119.
It’s not the first time the Duggars have come into Fayetteville in an apparent attempt to help repeal the new law.
Shortly before the council vote in August, Michelle Duggar narrated a robocall sent to Fayetteville residents that claimed the new civil rights law would affect the safety of women and children. In the call, Duggar echoed the claims of several local pastors who said protections based on gender identity could lead to men using women’s restrooms or showers, and that the ordinance would be “opening a door” for pedophiles and sexual predators who wish to abuse people.
The Duggars were the leading contributors in the City Council races, followed by the Rosemary Conrad Trust, which gave $2,000 to Robert Patton; and Lighthouse Baptist Church of Fayetteville, which gave a total of $1,331 to Crawford and Phaneuf.
Candidates have so far spent their money on advertising and campaign materials like yard signs, and direct mail post cards.
Campaign reports by ward
Paul Phaneuf, who is a vocal opponent of the civil rights ordinance, raised the most money in Ward 1, thanks to the $4,000 he received from the Duggars and $631 from Lighthouse Baptist. Phaneuf reported $6,081 in total contributions from 13 donors, but has only spent $913, according to paperwork filed Tuesday.
Incumbent Adella Gray, who voted for the civil rights ordinance, spent the most money in Ward 1, with $2,677 in expenditures. Gray reported $3,205 in total contributions, including $2,420 of her own money. She received $500 from the Fayetteville Firefighters Association; $350 from Ward 4 Alderwoman Rhonda Adams; $250 from the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce’s political action committee; and $100 from former Ward 3 Alderman Bobby Ferrell.
Sonia Davis Gutierrez, who said she supported the civil rights ordinance, raised and spent the least amount of money in Ward 1, with $1,805 in contributions and $1,204 in expenditures. Gutierrez’s top contributors were Stephen Smith and Fran Alexander, who gave $200 and $150 respectively.
Robert Patton, who called the civil right ordinance “a mess” and later stated on his website that he supports the new law, raised and spent the most money in Ward 2, with $5,483 in contributions and $6,628 in expenditures. Patton received $2,000 from the Rosemary Conrad Trust; $500 from Buffington Homes of Fayetteville; and $200 from local developer Mark Zweig. Patton reported spending $1,600 of his own money this year.
Joshua Crawford, who said he would’ve voted to repeal the civil rights ordinance, raised the second-highest amount of money in Ward 2. He reported $5,184 in total contributions, including the $4,000 he received from the Duggar family and $700 from Lighthouse Baptist. Crawford reported $4,540 in expenditures.
Incumbent Mark Kinion, who voted for the civil rights ordinance, has so far raised and spent the least in Ward 2, with $1,025 in contributions and $1,252 in expenditures. Kinion received $250 from the Chamber of Commerce’s political action committee; $200 from local property manager Cynthia Morris; and $100 from former Ward 3 Alderman Bobby Ferrell. He reported $1,300 in personal loans to his campaign.
John La Tour, who said he would work to repeal the civil rights ordinance, reported the most spending in Ward 4, at $17,395. That’s over $6,000 more than all five of the other candidates’ expenditures combined. La Tour reported contributions of $9,965, and noted a personal loan of $12,156 to his campaign. La Tour received $2,000 from the Duggar family; $1,000 from DFI Printing of Fayetteville; two $1,000 donations each from local physicians Ted Fish and Martha Fincher; and $400 from Sweetser Construction of Fayetteville.
Ray Boudreaux, who signed a petition seeking a vote to repeal the civil rights ordinance, raised the second-most money in Ward 4, at $4,825. He reported spending all his money, which included $2,825 of his own money; a $250 donation from Bob Nickel; and two $200 donations each from Robert Costrell and Dr. James E. McDonald.
Craig Honchell, who said on his website he would’ve voted against the civil rights ordinance, raised and spent the third-most money in Ward 4, with $3,400 in contributions and $3,077 in expenditures. Honchell spent $500 of his own money and received $500 donations from Fayetteville residents Bill Goforth, Charlie Goforth, Mark Marquess and Charlie Sloan.
Phillip McKnight, who said it was well within the rights of a councilman to introduce the civil rights ordinance, raised $1,965 and spent $1,896, according to his financial report. McKnight’s top donors were his neighbors Maxine and John Williams and Scott Busch, who each contributed $250. McKnight received nearly $900 from donors who each gave less than $50.
D’Andre Jones, who said he supported the civil rights ordinance, raised $1,352, including a $300 donation from Esther Parker. Jones, who has so far spent $1,068 of his funds, loaned his campaign $623. He also received a $355 loan from Fayetteville resident Lance Reed.
Robert Williams, who said the civil rights ordinance will make business owners nervous about operating in Fayetteville, did not report any monetary donations in his most recent finance report, but noted $471 spent this month on printed materials.
Final campaign contribution and expenditure reports are expected to be filed in late December or early January.
2014 pre-election campaign spending
|Ward 1 Candidates||Contributions||Expenditures|
|Sonia Savis Gutierrez||$1,805||$1,204|
|Ward 2 Candidates||Contributions||Expenditures|
|Ward 4 Candidates||Contributions||Expenditures|
|John La Tour||$9,965||$17,395|
Source: Washington County Clerk’s Office
Chapter 119, Civil Rights Ordinance
Fayetteville City Council members passed a controversial anti-discrimination ordinance at around 3:45 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20 after nearly 10 hours of public discussion and debate inside City Hall.
The ordinance prohibits business owners and landlords from unjustly firing or evicting someone because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic background, marital status or veteran status. It also creates a civil rights administrator position to receive and investigate complaints from residents who feel they are victims of those specific types of discrimination. Offenders could be fined up to $500 if it is determined they violated the ordinance.
The ordinance was approved 6-2 with council members Adella Gray, Sarah Marsh, Mark Kinion, Matthew Petty, Rhonda Adams and Alan Long voting in favor of the measure. Ward 3 aldermen Justin Tennant and Martin Schoppmeyer voted against the ordinance.
A group called Repeal 119 immediately began a petitioning campaign to stop the implementation of the ordinance, and eventually turned in enough signatures to put the new law on hold and force a Dec. 9 special election to decide the fate of the ordinance.