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A dive into campaign finance

by PRESS STAFF REPORT
| November 5, 2023 2:00 AM

More than 11,300 people have donated over $8.7 million to 350 Idaho candidates and 143 political action committees since Jan. 1 as of Friday afternoon.

Nearly 250 candidates and 92 PACs spent close to $3.9 million on 2,595 vendors, according to the Idaho Secretary of State's campaign finance website.

Donations to candidates this election cycle were reported to be more than $3.1 million while donations to PACs were reported to be $5.6 million. Candidates alone have spent $1.2 million and PACs have expended nearly $2.7 million.

The team at the Coeur d'Alene Press has reviewed campaign finance data for local candidates in the largest cities and school districts since Jan. 1. As Election Day is Tuesday, here is the breakdown of the ebb and flow of campaign funding and spending this year.

City of Post Falls

Randy Westlund, a candidate for Post Falls City Council Seat 5, tops the list for contributions in Post Falls races at $7,415 from seven donors, including $4,200 in loans from himself. Westlund's largest other contributions are $120 from the Racketeer Cigar and Whiskey Lounge and $100 from Tyson Creek, LLC. He has expenditures of $3,460 to 17 vendors, with the greatest spending to pens.com with $1,098.

James Steffensen, vying for Seat 1, has received $3,200 in contributions with no expenditures reported. He received contributions of $1,000 each from three donors: JMC Idaho, Inc. DBA Riverbend Commerce Park; Copper Basin Construction and Rudeen Management. 

Samantha Steigleder, also a candidate for Seat 1, has raised $2,546, including $1,240.55 in loans to herself and a $500 loan from Alan Neal. She reported $2,170 in expenditures including. $600.82 to Republican Signs. Other large donations include $100 from Brent Regan; $100 from Tyson Creek and $100 from Robert Steigleder.

Incumbent Joe Malloy for Council Seat 3 showed $759.74 on hand with expenditures of $70 since Jan. 1. 

City of Coeur d'Alene

Dan Gookin, Seat 3 incumbent, has received $20,261 from 110 donors. That includes $3,211.80 from himself. He has received donations of $1,000 each from the Boise Firefighters PAC, Coeur d’Alene Police Officers Association and Firefighters Local 710.

Gookin's expenditures total $14,730, including $6,814.53 with Direct Mail Ent. and $1,868.75 on Lamar Advertising.

Dan English, Seat 5 incumbent, has received $11,790 from 65 donors, including $1,400 from himself. Top donors are Boise Firefighters PAC, Coeur d’Alene Police Officers Association and Firefighters Local 710, at $1,000 each.
English's expenditures total $10,756, with top expenses of $8,399 on Range NW Inc. for marketing.

Christie Wood, Seat 1 incumbent, has received $16,145 from 72 donors, including a $3,000 donation from herself. Contributions of $1,000 came from the Boise Firefighters PAC, Coeur d’Alene Police Officers Association, Firefighters Local 710 and Joe Hazel.

Wood's expenditures total $7,611. Her top three expenditures are $1,868,75 on Lamar Advertising; $1,650 on Granier Marketing and $1,500 on Minute Press.

Robert Knutson, Seat 5, challenger, has received $5,139 from six donors, including $1,564.24 from himself. 

Donations of $1,000 came from Kathleen Herfurth, John Wieser and Ronald McGhie.
Knutson's expenditures total $4,990, including $2,378.83 with VistaPrint and $840 with The Coeur d’Alene Press.

Clark Albritton, Seat 3 challenger, has received $11,780 from 20 donors, including $8,000 from himself. Donations of $1,000 came from Joan Albritton and Spartacus Coins Bullion Collectible.

Albritton's expenses total $3,374, including $3,173.18 to McShane, LLC, for media strategy/political consulting.

Brian Winkler, Seat 1 challenger, has received $7,099 from 22 donors, including $1,000 from himself. Donations of $1,000 came from Donna Miller and Larry Boyd.

Winkler's expenditures total $2,206. His highest expenses are $1,013.48.18 on Republican Signs and $968.76 on Progressive Printing.

Roger Garlock, Seat 5 challenger, has received $4,205 from 19 donors, including his own contribution of $86.80. Andy Sims donated $1,000.

Garlock's expenditures of $1,516 included $700 on Republican Signs; $400 on Maudie’s Digital Marketing and $189.57 at Costco.

City of Hayden 

Alan Davis, who is running for mayor of Hayden, has received $9,164 from 17 donors. That amount includes $2,000 of Davis’ own money. The three top donors each contributed between $900 and $999 including Steve Meyer, John and Connie Young and Joy Richards. Davis has spent $4,465 to date on his campaign with $4,254 spent with International Minute Press for literature, brochures and printing.

Hayden mayoral candidate Luke Sommer has received $4,934 from 12 donors, including $3,000 of his own money. Ty McCamly was his largest donor, giving $250. Sommer has spent $4,485 so far and of that $2,121 with Republican Signs. Sommer also spent $1,000 with the Kootenai County Republican Women Federated on tickets. 

Hayden City Council seat 3 candidate Tom Shafer received $6,247 from 47 donors, including $1,490 from his personal finances. So far Brent Regan gave the most to Shafer’s campaign at $500, and Melanie Herman gave $300. Shafer spent $1,119 with Republican Signs, $1,000 for tickets with the KCRWF, and $530 with Bretzman LLC for preparation and production advertising. 

Roger Saterfiel has received $5,690 as of Friday. Saterfiel greatest contributions were $990 from John Young and $900 from Joy Richards. Alan Rock, Ronald McIntire, Timothy Komberec, Addison Saterfiel and Donald Smock each gave Saterfiel’s campaign $500. So far Saterfiel has spent $1,653 for the campaign based on the C-2 filings. Of the money he’s spent, the majority went to International Minute Press for yard signs at $1,424. 

Coeur d’Alene School District

The two seats up for grabs on the Coeur d’Alene School District board of trustees are among the spendiest school board races in Idaho.

In Zone 2, Jimmy McAndrew had received $17,523 in campaign contributions from 49 donors as of Friday. Nine donors, a mix of individuals and entities, provided $1,000 each: Rose Backs, Braden Tommerup, BLT Leasing Co., Riverstone Holdings, Rick Rasmussen, Ryan Nipp, Ada Rouse, Gary Schneidmiller and Joel Pearl.

McAndrew had reported $11,729 in expenditures on three vendors as of Friday. The campaign spent $7,500 at Blue Zone Marketing, a Coeur d’Alene-based digital marketing agency, as well as $3,683 at International Minute Press and $546 at printing company Allegra Marketing Print Mail.

Yasmin Harris received $6,567 from 18 donors, including $2,100 in donations from Yasmin Harris. The biggest donors so far are Andrew Murray and Ala Alem, who gave $1,000 each.

Harris’ campaign has reported expenditures of $3,581, the largest being $1,226 with yard sign maker Republican Signs, as well as $657 at Action Printers.

No donations or expenditures were reported for Mike Stavish, who is another challenger running in Zone 2.

Zone 3 incumbent Heather Tenbrink has reported donations of $5,295 from 31 donors, including $49 in donations from Heather Tenbrink. The three biggest donors — Steven Roberge, Jill Goetz and Melissa Tonczak — gave $50 each.

Tenbrink has reported spending $1,261 so far. The campaign’s largest expenses have been $78 for the website builder Wix, as well as $26 at Staples.

Matt Blatt, the Zone 3 challenger, has received $2,120 from 20 donors, including $250 donated by Matt Blatt. Blatt's three largest contributions were $250 each from Ilona Gilman; Lynn Blatt and Chad Reiling (in-kind).

Blatt’s campaign has reported spending $904, the largest expenditures being $250 with Republican Signs and $137 at ProPrint.

Lakeland School District 

Ramona Grissom, incumbent candidate for trustee Zone 2, received during this election cycle $775 in contributions from five donors and has spent $32.

Cherish Hansen, challenging Grissom in Zone 2, received $2,050 in contributions. The largest contributions are $1,000 from Northwest Specialty Hospital and $1,000 from Lakeland Immediate Care. Her expenditures total $961, which went to one vendor, International Minute Press. 

Randi Bain, incumbent trustee candidate in Zone 1, received $489 from five donors. The largest contribution was $150 from Anita Dupzyk. Her expenditures through Friday totaled $174.

Sheila Holfeltz, who is running for trustee in Zone 3, received $2,300 from four donors. The largest donations, at $1,000 each, were from Northwest Specialty Hospital and Lakeland Immediate Care. Holfeltz has spent $1,701, with most of that going to International Minute Press. 

Michelle Thompson, the incumbent in Zone 3, received $1,598 in contributions, with the largest amounts being $500 from Nate dePutter and $499 from Jaqueline Myers. She has spent $461 with Vistaprint. 

Political action committees

Between May 17 — the day after the May election — and Nov. 3, the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee reported $5,161 in donations. The central committee’s largest single donor, Peter Gambee, gave $1,000 during that window, while Lady-Jean Ramsey donated $500.

The KCRCC has spent $70,320 as of Oct 18, the most recent date for which reporting data is available. Of those expenditures, $20,866 went to McShane LLC, a political consulting firm based in Las Vegas.

In October, the central committee reported $19,802 in expenditures for advertising in a publication called The People’s Pen.

Campaign finance disclosure forms indicate the ads were in support of 19 candidates for local office, all of whom the KCRCC endorsed ahead of the election: Brian Winkler, Clark Albritton, Roger Garlock, Yasmin Harris, Matt Blatt, Samantha Steigleder, Joe Malloy, Randy Westlund, Mike Hill, Larry Sanders, Brandi Bain, Ramona Grissom, Michelle Thompson, Jonathon Verkist, Tommy LaPonsey, Luke Sommer, Thomas Shafer, Justin Rupinski and Susan Jean Supp.

The central committee also reported $14,228 in printing and posting expenditures with ProPrint.

Citizens to Elect Qualified and Experienced Candidates, a nonpartisan political action committee, reported $14,118 in donations from 55 donors between May 17 and Oct. 30, the most recent date for which data is available.

The largest donor during that window, Judy Meyer, donated $3,000. John Young donated $2,822, while Joy Richards donated $1,000.

The group has reported $10,902 in expenditures, including $3,809 to Sunnybrook Strategies for broadcast advertising. Campaign finance disclosure forms indicate the ads were Facebook posts in support of the group’s recommended slate of candidates: Christie Wood, Dan Gookin, Dan English, Alan Davis, Roger Saterfiel, Jimmy McAndrew, Heather Tenbrink, Randi Bain, Cherish Hansen, Sheila Holfeltz and Pam Houser.

The other largest expenditures by Citizens to Elect Qualified and Experienced Candidates are $2,600 at Staples and $2,430 for print advertising via Hagadone Media.

North Idaho Republicans received $1,750 from four donors during this election cycle. Three donors gave $500 each: Molly Cyr, Lonne Jordahl and Steve and Marie Widmyer.

The political action committee reported $2,251 in expenditures as of Nov. 1, including $2,056 with Gem State Public Affairs for broadcast advertising.

Ads paid for by North Idaho Republicans were in support of 14 local candidates, according to campaign finance disclosure forms: Christie Wood, Dan Gookin, Alan Davis, Roger Saterfiel, John Lamb, James Steffensen, Joe Malloy, Joe Bodman, Jimmy McAndrew, Heather Tenbrink, Randi Bain, Cherish Hansen, Sheila Holfeltz and Pam Houser.

For city and school district candidates not included, there was no record of reporting available via the Idaho Secretary of State’s campaign finance portal. 

Bill Buley, Devin Weeks, Kaye Thornbrugh, Josa Snow and Maureen Dolan contributed to this report.

This story has been updated to correct the amounts contributed by Matt Blatt's largest donors.

This story has been updated to correct the status of candidates Jimmy McAndrew and Yasmin Harris. The original story erroneously reported McAndrew is an incumbent and Harris is a challenger.