July 21, 2019

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The cost of doing political business

Mayoral candidates' audits reveal campaign priorities, strategies and supporters

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 8/7/2011 (2934 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

For a politician who says he doesn't like polls, Mayor Sam Katz sure spends a lot of money on them at campaign time.

Audited spending records reveal election-winner Katz spent 25 per cent of his 2010 campaign budget on polls while his closest competitor, former NDP MP and MLA Judy Wasylycia-Leis, didn't spend a single loonie gauging public opinion last year.

Mayoral candidates were allowed to spend up to $181,390 on their campaigns in 2010. The Katz campaign came within $434 of that ceiling, while the Wasylycia-Leis campaign wound up with $6,538 worth of wiggle room in terms of spending, according to audited campaign statements published by the city this week.

Real-estate agent Brad Gross, who finished a distant third, did not spend a dime on his campaign. Fourth-place finisher Rav Gill, also a real-estate agent, failed to file audited campaign expenses and faces prosecution.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 8/7/2011 (2934 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

For a politician who says he doesn't like polls, Mayor Sam Katz sure spends a lot of money on them at campaign time.

Audited spending records reveal election-winner Katz spent 25 per cent of his 2010 campaign budget on polls while his closest competitor, former NDP MP and MLA Judy Wasylycia-Leis, didn't spend a single loonie gauging public opinion last year.

Judy Wasylycia-Leis

Judy Wasylycia-Leis

Mayoral candidates were allowed to spend up to $181,390 on their campaigns in 2010. The Katz campaign came within $434 of that ceiling, while the Wasylycia-Leis campaign wound up with $6,538 worth of wiggle room in terms of spending, according to audited campaign statements published by the city this week.

Real-estate agent Brad Gross, who finished a distant third, did not spend a dime on his campaign. Fourth-place finisher Rav Gill, also a real-estate agent, failed to file audited campaign expenses and faces prosecution.

The chief campaign expense for both Katz and Wasylycia-Leis was advertising. She spent $99,078 while Katz spent $75,053 on the likes of billboards and radio ads. But their campaign-finance strategies differed widely after that.

Katz spent $45,655 on polling, his second-biggest spending priority, while Wasylycia-Leis made campaign signs her No. 2 priority, devoting $35,169 to the placards. Katz spent $18,140 on signs.

Even though both campaigns made extensive use of robo-calls, their telephone bills diverged widely. Telephones chewed up $13,488 worth of Wasylycia-Leis' campaign budget but only $346 worth of Katz's spending room.

The two campaigns also diverged on the salary front, as Katz paid his election staffers $17,540 while Wasylycia-Leis doled out only $2,000 to her paid staff.

Finally, the audited financial statements also reveal major differences in the source of campaign funds for the leading candidates. The list of Katz campaign donors is dominated by well-known names in Winnipeg's business community, while the names of NDP politicians jump off the list of Wasylycia-Leis donors.

bartley.kives@freepress.mb.ca

Mayor Sam Katz

Mayor Sam Katz

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