13 September 2005

Municipal election expenses

There's a curious story in this week's Spindy on municipal election expenses in St. John's.

Ron Ellsworth claims to have spent only $18, 000 so far and plans to spend no more than $20, 000.

As someone who has worked on a few political campaigns, I'd challenge Ellsworth to open his election campaign books and those of his company.

Ellsworth has likely spent more than $18,000 on signage alone, if one applies the federal or provincial election expenses regulations. His glossy brochures would surely have set him back the better part of $5,000 including some modest charges for design work. He has a bunch of other printed material too. Now that he has started radio spots, we can add another $3,000 or more to the tally of $18k Ellsworth was willing to admit to the Spindy.

And the busback signage that started to crop up recently?

That's just a sign Ellsworth is spending bags of cash and has run out of places to put up his signs.

Another municipal high-flyer is John Dicks in Ward One. Dicks is spending heavily to unseat Art Puddister.

We'll only know how much he spent if he gets elected.

That's thanks to the Third World election system that we have in St. John's.

Count on having it a while longer since our own low-rent Fidel is going back as mayor largely unopposed.