Seif wins fundraising in a landslide

rpulley@lsjournal.comApril 4, 2014 

Candidates running for Lee’s Summit City Council raised most of their campaign war chests with modest contributions mostly in the $100 to $200 range.

A glance through campaign finance reports required by Missouri indicates modest fund-raising by municipal candidates just before the election, with the exception of Diane Seif who raised $14,615. There wasn’t a tide of money from organized special interests. Candidates found nearly all their support in local businesses and residents.

If money were the only factor in the April 8 election, Seif would easily best Joe Spallo in the District 3 race. Spallo filed an exemption to reporting campaign receipts and expenditures because he’s spending no more than $1,000.

According to the last report filed this week, Seif is outspending him 10 to 1.

But with Spallo’s long record of success in that district, winning multiple terms in office, that money might be necessary to make it a race.

In District 1, Diane Forte would also take down Robert Dye, who also filed an exemption. District 2 candidates Trish Carlyle, Tim Denker and Craig Faith have amounts that are more even.

The totals they raised according to 8-Day-Before Election Reports filed with the county or Missouri Ethics Commission were:

• Carlyle: $3,867

• Denker: $2,768

• Faith: $3,356

• Forte: $3,765

• Seif : $14,615

Only a few large donations or those by political committees were noteworthy.

Seif got a $2,000 donation from OCARE Funding LLC, which is one business belonging to Mike Atcheson, a successful Lee’s Summit entrepreneur. Seif and Atcheson have served together for many years on the Lee’s Summit Educational Foundation.

She got another $2,000 from W.C. Tingle, a Lee’s Summit company, owned by Chip Moxley. Councilman Ed Cockrell, who is leaving the office, donated to her campaign.

Public safety groups are backing Craig Faith, with The Lee’s Summit Police Officers Association PAC giving him $2,500 and The Firefighters for Progress contributing $662.

Forte received $500 from the Kansas City Association of Realtors, and many $100 to $200 contributions from well-known Lee’s Summit community leaders, such as Bud Hetzog, Will Coates, Bill Brown, Christine Bushyhead and council members Rob Binney and Ed Cockrell.

Candidates will have until May 9 after the election to file a complete record of their contributions and expenditures.

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