Albuquerque voters will decide the nation’s first-ever municipal abortion ban in 23 days. The measure finance committees active in this election, and the city council runoff, filed campaign finance reports on Friday. These MFCs have nearly two hundred thousand dollars available to spend on the Nov. 19 election.
MFCs function like political action committees. They have to list their donors and report their spending to the city clerk, once they raise or spend $250.00 or more within the city supporting or opposing a candidate or ballot issue.
Any MFC that receives $31,126.32 or more from a single person or organization has to add that donor’s name to the existing MFC name. City election laws place no restrictions on how much money MFCs can raise or spend.
Several MFCs that focused on the Oct. 8 election did not file reports on Friday and have likely ceased their operations. At least two MFCs reported on Friday they had fully or nearly zeroed out account.
Democratic Party City Action Fund Finances as of October 25, 2013:
- Contributions: $10,910.86
- Expenditures: $10,000.00
- Cash on hand: $910.86
- In-kind contributions: $0.00
In the month and a half since its earlier report, the Democratic Party City Action Fund MFC received four contributions from people totaling $700.
The MFC last reported an expenditure on Aug. 1.
The MFC has not received any in-kind contributions.
The MFC has $910.86 available to spend. Director of Communications and Rapid Response David Harwell at the Democratic Party of New Mexico told the Mid-Heights Messenger they will spend this money helping Diane Gibson win the runoff for city council and defeating the proposed abortion limits.
The Democratic Party of Bernalillo County sent out a fund-raising pitch for Diane Gibson last week. The DPBC website says they closed their “DPNM Headquarters to save money” that they “feel can be better used supporting local candidates.” DPBC did not respond to an inquiry about whether they “raised or spent at least $250 for Gibson.”
Frank Ruvolo, chairman of the Republican Party of Bernalillo County, said his fundraising appeal earlier this month to help Janice Arnold-Jones had netted only $25. “It appears we do not meet the $250 requirement and that our e-mail list is so small and our people are so poor, we might spend years trying to get up to $250.”
Jamie Dickerman, communications director for the Republican Party of New Mexico, said RPNM has sent out a press release promoting Arnold-Jones. She described the donate button the RPNM website as “unrelated.” RPNM has not made “financial contributions of this kind” and does not need to register as an MFC and file reports with the city clerk.
Duke City Rising/American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees Finances as of October 25, 2013:
- Contributions: $79,200.00
- Expenditures: $67,180.20
- Cash on hand: $12,019.80
- In-kind contributions: $6,321.40
The Duke City Rising/American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees MFC did not receive any contributions in the last week and a half. Most of the funds they raised before came from local unions. The MFC opposed Republican candidates in the Oct. 8 election.
The MFC had one expenditure since Oct 15. It paid $1,099.43 to ProgressNow New Mexico for services.
The MFC listed in-kind contributions on reports over the last month and a half. These contributions from ProgressNow New Mexico for email blasts and mailer production totaled $6,321.40. The MFC did not report any in-kind contributions on Oct. 25.
Cash on hand at the MFC now totals $12,019.80. Chairperson/Treasurer Brian Morris of Duke City Rising told the Messenger the MFC will spend these funds on the Nov. 19 election.
Protect ABQ Women & Children Finances as of October 25, 2013:
- Contributions: $63,869.00
- Expenditures: $40,510.22
- Cash on hand: $23,358.78
- In-kind contributions: $7,385.00
The Protect ABQ Women & Children MFC favors the proposed abortion limits for Albuquerque. The MFC encourages people to vote for the abortion question during the Nov. 19 special election.
The MFC raised $48,310 in the last two and a half weeks.
The MFC received 2 in-kind contributions totaling $1,236 since Oct. 7.
Most of the MFC’s funding has come from relatively few people.
Albert Brown, a technologist at Sandia Corp., gave $45,500.00 in direct and in-kind contributions totaling $7,385. Bill Parras, an acquisition program analyst at the U.S. Department of Energy office in Albuquerque, contributed $5,030. Dennis Vigil, a broadcast engineer at KRQE, donated $5,000.
The MFC spent $39,843.58 since Oct. 7. It paid Red Tag Strategies, owned by local political operative Adam Feldman, $30,427.83 to design and send over 45,000 postcards and mailers. FLS Connect, a political firm in Minnesota, received $3,000 to conduct a town hall by phone. Amy Sanchez, a local campaign consultant, got $1,500 for “consulting and data reduction.”
The MFC has $23,358.78 in the bank for the weeks remaining before the election.
Respect ABQ Women/Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains/ACLU-NM Foundation Finances as of October 25, 2013:
- Contributions: $200,188.87
- Expenditures: $89,391.21
- Cash on hand: $110,797.66
- In-kind contributions: $105,859.41
The Respect ABQ Women/Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains/ACLU-NM Foundation MFC raised $89,450 since Oct. 15. Most of the MFC’s funds came from high dollar contributions.
The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico Foundation donated $50,000.00. Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains added $25,000 to the $68,715 it had already contributed. Santa Fe residents David (former Oklahoma Energy Secretary) and Pam Fleischaker (former columnist at the Oklahoma Gazette) gave $2,500.
The MFC spent $48,710.50 in the last week and a half. It paid Grassroots Campaigns Inc, from Denver, $26,250 to run its door-to-door canvassing program. San Francisco firm Terris, Barnes & Walters received $14,635 to design and distribute over 12,000 mail pieces. ProgressNow New Mexico got $3,500 for staff support.
The MFC received in-kind contributions totaling $43,738.34 since its Oct. 15 report. ACLU-NM donated staff support, an office and supplies worth $12,375.72. Feminist Majority Foundation, a Virginia non-profit, donated staff support and lodging valued at $11,365.99. Planned Parenthood Federation of America provided similar services that amounted to $7,077.72.
The MFC has $110,797.66 available to spend between now and Nov. 19.
A few more MFCs filed paperwork with the city clerk over the last few days.
ABQ Deserves Better, which favors abortion restrictions, reported on Friday $1,150 in regular and in-kind contributions from Sarah Wilson, a business owner in Tijeras, for thousands of cards, flyers and letters.
ABQ Voters for Late Term Abortion Ban reported $20,195 in contributions. Stephen Imbarrato, a local Catholic father at Project Defending Life, gave $10,500. Robert Awerkamp, founder of a Kansas firm that sells shower supplies, Kimberly Lang, a former spouse of Albuquerque Journal publisher T. H. Lang, and Belleza Med Spa, a local laser removal firm, donated $1,000 each.
The MFC has spent $7,369.12. It paid for printing with $3,150 to Father Imbarrato and $3,149.63 to Screen Images, a local firm. It has $12,325.88 available to spend on getting its message out and voters to the polls.
Susan B. Anthony List ABQ, organizing locally under the national anti-abortion organization, received contributions worth $44,675. Mary Grace Sundy, an Ecumenical & Interreligious Affairs Commission member at the Archdiocese of St. Louis, and George Suter, a former president of an Illinois food product company, each donated $10,000.
Donna Hetland, a retired nurse in Texas, gave $6,000. Dan Liotti, CEO of Midwest Mole in Indiana, contributed $2,500. The MFC got $2,400 each from Mary Jo and Thomas Matthews, a Seattle couple that reportedly donated the most money to an unsuccessful referendum campaign to overturn the same-sex marriage law in Washington state.
The national organization gave the MFC an in-kind contribution for lodging worth $3,000. The MFC paid $5,000 for consulting, lodging and travel to the sometimes Rio Rancho resident Andresen Blom, who recently became the senior strategist of the Center for Civic Virtue. Dialing Services, LLC, of Roswell, got $1,878.59 for robocalls.
The MFC has $32,663.45 available to spend on the election.
Social networking websites offer another measure of how much influence these MFCs and political parties have.
Duke City Rising has three likes on Facebook.
Protect ABQ Women & Children has 1,755 likes on Facebook and 7,713 followers on Twitter. ABQ Deserves Better has 216 likes on Facebook and 21 followers on Twitter. ABQ Voters for Late Term Abortion Ban has 412 likes on Facebook and 330 followers on Twitter.
Each of these groups has started contacting residents and will increase their efforts over the next few weeks.
DPBC volunteers spent this weekend “canvassing, making phone calls, labeling, painting signs, or cooking for other volunteers.” They based their operations at Gibson’s home.
“Walk & Call for Janice” runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week, at 12000 Constitution Avenue Northeast.
Tara Shaver, chairperson of ABQ Voters For Late-Term Abortion Ban, told the Messenger these groups will likely hold a press conference on Wednesday.
Prospects for Passing
An Albuquerque Journal poll last month found 54% of respondents “support the Albuquerque ballot measure to ban most abortions after twenty weeks of pregnancy.”
ACLU-NM has indicated, on more than one occasion, they will challenge the abortion ordinance in court if it passes.