Candidates for the Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees and various interest groups have spent $108,519 so far on the campaign this year.
In 2010, at this point in the election, candidates and various political action committees had spent about $70,000 more, according to the Orange County Register. But that was with a recall of two then-current trustees, a related ballot measure and three seats up for grabs.
The financial figures are good through Sept. 30 and were filed with the Orange County Registrar of Voters. There are 11 candidates vying for four seats.
The two biggest money raisers and spenders are the teachers’ union PAC, known as Help Organize for Public Education, and a group that rallies for similar candidates and causes, Capistrano Unified Children First.
Children First has raised $36,537 and spent $32,485. It has a cash balance of $5,816.
HOPE has raised $73,228 this year and spent $26,097. It’s sitting on $67,805.
HOPE donated $10,000 to President Gary Pritchard, who gave nearly $6,000 in “non-monetary contributions” to candidates in other trustee areas, challengers Carole McCormick, Amy Hanacek and incumbent John Alpay. His filing papers don’t indicate what those are, and the other candidates don’t mention the donations on their forms.
The union, Capistrano Unified Education Association, . HOPE has also spent money on phone banks for its candidates and two statewide measures (for Prop. 30, against Prop. 32) and slate mailers for its candidates.
Children First has spent its money on voter guides and other mailers, media advertisements and signs.
This year, the Committee to Reform CUSD , which played a major role in the 2010 election, is not a factor. It’s spent $71 all year.
Meanwhile, candidate Steve Lang, who’s campaigning for the seat to represent San Clemente, has self-financed his efforts to the tune of $25,000.
Here are a few details from the various races:
Trustee Area No. 1, Dana Point, Capo Beach, parts of San Juan Capistrano
Hanacek has collected $3,691 in donations, which includes a $500 loan from herself. She has spent $2,750, mostly in slate mailers and media ads and had $941 cash on hand. Candidate Karin Schnell has raised $2,352, which includes a $1,000 loan to herself, and has spent $1,882. As of Oct. 1, she had $430 in her war chest.
There is no incumbent in this area.
Trustee Area No. 2, Ladera Ranch, Coto de Caza and parts of San Juan Capistrano
Two candidates, Michele Taylor-Bible and Don Franklin Richardson, did not have donations/expenditures more than $1,000. There is no incumbent in this area.
McCormick submitted an unsigned form. It shows $2,823 raised in donations and a $953 she lent herself. She had $493 on hand at September’s end.
Jim Reardon gave himself a $10,000 loan and raised another $1,200 in donations (his form has an addition error that says the total is $12,000, but he said he would send an amendment to correct). Of that, $500 came from the Family Action PAC. He’s spent $7,296, mostly on printing literature and advertising, and has a cash balance of $1,532.
Trustee Area No. 3, San Clemente
One candidate, Yolanda McNamara, did not have reportable donations and expenses.
Alpay reported taking in $17,758 in donations and a loan. Of that, $1,000 came from the Turkish Coalition PAC. He has spent $7,245, including paying himself back $5,000 for a previous loan, and had $5,935 in his war chest as of Sept. 30.
Of the $25,000 he has personally given himself, challenger Lang has spent $9.828 on printing flyers and advertising and had $15,987 on hand.
Trustee Area No. 5, Aliso Viejo
Pritchard has received $11,670 and has spent $15,029, with $716 on hand. Ironically, he’s spent some of his money to part of several Republican slate mailers, with names such as Save Prop. 13 and National Tax Limitation Committee.
Pritchard is a member of the Democratic Party of Orange County Central Committee and donated some of his own campaign funds, $1,650, for a Democrat fundraiser, according to his forms on file with the county.
With most of his money coming from the union, that means union money is paying to participate in mailers that urge a yes vote on Prop. 32, which would halt unions' ability to automatically deduct dues for political purposes. In an August letter, union reps said defeat of this measure was their most important goal of the election.
Challenger Bill Perkins has raised $5,233, including a $350 loan he gave himself. He’s spent $3,506, primarily on yard signs and a consultant, and had $1,727 leftover.