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Issue Date: December 2005 Issue

And Another Thing

Erick Trickey

You need to raise a million dollars (at least) to be mayor of Cleveland — that’s the rule of thumb around town. It looks like mayor-elect Frank Jackson came pretty close. He spent $756,000 between January and Oct. 19, and had $89,000 on hand three weeks before the election, according to his campaign finance reports.

Jackson ran Jane Campbell out of office even though she outspent him by a 3-to-2 margin. Campbell had spent $1,187,000 by mid-October, and had almost twice as much left to spend ($160,000) on Oct. 19.

The mayor started 2005 with a huge advantage: a $500,000 war chest. Jackson had just $37,000. By early fall, he mortgaged his house to loan his own campaign $98,000. But between Sept. 15 and Oct. 19, when Jackson emerged as the front-runner, he raised more than Campbell ($227,000 vs. $193,000).

Lots of big contributors hedged their bets. County commissioner Peter Lawson Jones and others at his law firm, Roetzel and Andress, gave Campbell a total of $2,750 on Sept. 13 — then gave Jackson $3,250 on Sept. 22. (Jones endorsed Jackson a week later.) Forest City Enterprises co-chairmen Sam Miller and Albert Ratner and their families and employees showered Jackson with 38 $1,000 donations in February and April — but gave Campbell 20 $1,000 donations in July and August just to be safe.

The candidates’ biggest expenses: political consultants, one major poll each and small advertising campaigns. Jackson bought ads in the East Side News and on gospel and urban radio stations, while Campbell advertised on the “Czech Voice of Cleveland” show on WERE 1300 AM and in the high school football publication Gridiron Gazette.

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