$1m spent by candidates

| 10/07/2013

money-bags-cash.jpg(CNS): According to the submissions from the 46 candidates in the May general elections who complied with the law and submitted their accounts to the Elections Office by the 28 June deadline, they collectively spent close to $1 million on their respective campaigns. The PPM, which fielded 15 candidates, ran up a bill of $336,808, averaging $22,454 per candidate, well under the $30,000 limit per head for party members, and the UDP spent a more modest $225,326.37, an average of $18,777 per candidate. However, while both parties had a shortfall between the money they spent and the money they raised, the PPM came closest to raising the full revenue of its campaign, with just a $18,456 gap, compared to a difference in revenue raised and cash spent by the UDP of $39,224.

The spending by independent candidates, who were allowed to spend up to $35,000 each, varied greatly, with the losing candidate in North Side, Joey Ebanks, spending the least at only $5,119.02, while Bo Miller exceeded his spending allocation with an election campaign bill of over $35,568.

Ten candidates failed to reveal their expenses at all, but the new supervisor of elections said there were no sanctions in the law regarding candidates who do not submit returns if they do not win. All of the candidates who were returned submitted their expenses but none of the ten who missed the submission deadline were returned.

Supervisor of Elections Wesley Howell told CNS that the Elections office is writing to Miller, who ran in George Town, to clarify his expenses to see if there was an error in his accounts that led to him to exceed the legal limit on any an individual campaign.

The results, which were published by the Elections Office this week, also reveal some interesting differences in the amounts of money some candidates managed to raise for their campaigns and the ones which were left to pick up the costly bill themselves, despite not gaining a set in the LA.

Ebanks, who spent the lowest amount, submitted that he raise no money at all and therefore used his own finances to fund his controversial campaign, which was conducted online and on the airwaves of Vibe FM. Meanwhile, his opponent, who swept to victory in the district of North Side with over 75% of the vote, spent $29,143.06 from the $29,500 he raised.

The lowest spend by a candidate who was actually returned was Juliana O’Connor Connolly, who ran to return to office in the district of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. She spent considerably less than her two PNA colleagues in Bodden Town, Mark Scotland and Dwayne Seymore, who both spent just under $25,000 each, and her West Bay colleagues, Cline Glidden and Rolston anglin, who spent almost $29,000 each. O'Connor-Connolly, who joined the PPM after the elections and was appointed Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, laid out just $14,223.30 on her campaign, having raised some $14,195.00. Given that she now holds one of the top earning posts in government, O’Connor-Connolly achieved one of the best results for her campaign investment.

Shortfalls between revenue raised and money spent was common for several independents, including most of the C4C candidates. Jackie Haynes, who failed to win a seat in the capital, raised only $2,342.86 but spent $22,476.96, leaving her out of pocket more than $20k. Her colleague, Jude Scott, spent $25,342.76 on his campaign but received only $2,342.86 in revenue, leaving him with a personal bill of some $22,000. C4C candidate Sharon Roulstone managed to raise $9,194.29, but having spent almost $23k, she too faces a significant tab.

Meanwhile, Mervin Smith and Tara Rivers in West Bay both spent $24,399.49 each on their joint campaign, but having only raised $2,342, the bill for Smith is likely to be considerably more painful, since he failed to gain a seat. Both Winston Connolly and Roy McTaggart also had shortfalls in their revenue versus their expenditure, but having won their seats, the $19,000 shortfall for Connolly and the $10,000 for McTaggart, who raised the most money of all the C4C candidates, may feel like money well spent.

One of the most unusual expense returns was that of Stefan Baraud, who raised the most revenue of any candidate — a whopping $60,718.16 — but spent $34,375.52.

The campaign expense period only covers the eight weeks following Nomination Day, however, and expenses incurred before that date are not included in the expenses submitted.

Of the ten candidates who failed to submit their expenses, Matthew Leslie, who ran an almost entirely web-based campaign in George town, told CNS that he estimated having spent about $28,000. He said he had missed the submission deadline due to ill-health and intended to send in his expense account as soon as possible.

The other nine candidates who failed to reveal how much they raised and how much they spent were independents Frank McField in George Town, David Bodden and Maxine Moore in the Sister Islands, John McLean Jr in East End, Arnold Berry, Charles Clifford and Vincent Frederick in Bodden Town and both the independent candidates in West Bay, Dwene Ebanks and Andrea Christian.

Addition: Charles Clifford contacted CNS on Thursday to say that he had submitted his returns but had missed the deadline. He said that he spent $18,233 and raised $14,800 in contributions.

See details from elections office below.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Its obvious the candidates spent as much of the money they could before nomination day so it was not recorded.

  2. Anonymous says:

    i have a question. What about C4C spending. Its fine that we talk about C4C candidates raising and spending money, but we all know that C4C spent more than both the UDP & PPM combined and all those candidates benifitted. Whats going to happen with them and the over spending.

  3. My little wort! says:

    The amount of candidates we had and their entourage was to make it an expensive election no doubt. Some won, some lost. Some waisted foulishney but others actually made money. One thing for sure money can help buy elections. Our we gonna get our money’s worth and change things. We sure hope so. Try and keep it simple yet efficient,let’s move forward “All of us !”.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Whats missed here is some of these candidates may have raised funds but they also probably spent their own money.

  5. Anonymass says:

    So, how would you have us choose MLAs? By pulling straws?

    Or are you suggesting lower spending limits, given that campaigns around the world get around those limits regularly? (In Cayman a trick is to pre-pay for stuff before nomination day, for example.)

    Or, perhaps we give the election to the candidate that raises the most money for Social Services? At least then we know they'd really account for everything spent. 🙂

  6. anonymous says:

    My God people shut up!  You are a disgrace to Cayman. When since have your dependency on hand out been so obvious? I cannot believe that you all made the UDP brainwashed you to be so bitter. Money has always been spent on campaigns, but you all are so bitter that you cannot get anymore hand outs, go work, do something and earn your pay. Stop expecting hand outs from the Politicans. Go clean someone yard, paint someone house, go fishing, go clean someone's car, go bake something and sell it, go clean someone house, go clean some guttering, cistern (if any still exists), go work in a supermarket, go run a taxi, go do something and earn your own money, but stop condemning anyone that is making a living by making laws for the country. I cannot believe this is Cayman, the Islands that McKeeva turned into a Welfare State and by developing this Nation Building concept of receiving handouts! My Caymanians were always known to be a hard working group of people and this one man has changed them!! smh in disgust!

  7. Anonymous says:

    I think I will try this politics thing next time around. It matters not if I win a seat or lose the vote …… I still win. At least for these jockers it is. For an investment of $18 to $25 Thousand, if I win, I get a job, guranteed for 4 years, that will pay me back my investment in two months. If I lose, then, if I am as smart about my campeign as Stefan, for an investment of $34,000 I can get a return of $60,000 and laugh all the way to the bank. I AM IN! Stephan……call me……we need to talk.

  8. anon. says:

    I have faith that those recently elected have sorted their labor issues with their many foreign workers.

  9. anonymous says:

    wondering if pick up trucks, top ups,andcelll phones in Georgetown were included in expenses….and 8K payouts to certain individuals….I assume they are included in expenses?

  10. Anonymous says:

    And people are hungry. What a waste!

    • anon. says:

      This is a wicked community. Many in the House have judgements against them throught the years….labor offences, assaults(several) over the years, bad credit, etc. We all need to quit being such hypocrites. No one is perfect. Why do we get such pleasure out of pointing fingers? I really know that their is not a single "upstanding family" on the island that doesn"t have mild to serious transgressions or mistakes…..Why do we always want to judge eveyone and pretend we are perfect? Come on, folks! Many have gone to jail locally and overseas, debts were paid, Some are giving back to the community, somewhat, so let's not beat up on others to make us feel more pure and sanctimonial.

    • Anonymous says:

      Some of this money was spent on sandwiches.  So not a waste.

    • Disgusted! says:

      Really?  Very shallow veiw you have in my opinion.  With the exception of items purchased abroad, all that money was pumped directly into our economy.  I know for a fact, every single T-shirt, flier and banner for the C4C endorsed candidates were purchased and produced right here in Cayman.  That meand all the money went to keeping people right here employed.  The stages, food and drink that all the candidates used, all of that was paid to local people, the ad space on radio and TV… That Million dollars was a welcome injection to many businesses and service providers.   Oh, I get it now.  It is a waste because you didn't get a handout.  You think the million should have been given away.  Come on, turn on your brain for just a moment.

  11. Caymanian Culture says:

    Wow. Interesting numbers there.  I still think the Baraud campaign was the best organized and even though not a personal supporter, I thought Mr. Stefan ran a very dignified election and should be commended for his effort.  Clearly, his fundraising showed local support and after seeing the slow action of the recent winners to acto on any of their platforms, I now would vote for Stefan next time.

    • J Salasi I. -111? says:

      Bull crap what does he do with what wasn’t spent.

      • Anonymous says:

        I have a hard time believing that some of these candidates expense reports are accurate. Particularly Stefan's. But I suppose if he paid for the personalised water bottles, larger than life cut outs, the entire background of the compass' webpage on the weeks leading up to election and the weekly hour long tv "interviews"….plus t-shirts and all that other stuff that I'm sure I'm forgetting about BEFORE nomination day then I can see how he would've managed to stay within the legal limits…

        • Anonymous says:

          Agreed. And what about Joey who had a daily slot on Vibe. Either this was a political contribution from Vibe I.e. a donation or an out of pocket expense. Either way I think his is grossly under reported.

  12. Anonymous says:

    So Stefan pocketed $26,000 if he only spend about $34,000 of the $60,000? I hope he donates that to charity.

  13. sickntired says:

    Who the hell cares this money should have been spent on ppl that have needs.  Lights and water bills to pay, children to feed, elderly parents to take care of.  They should all be ashamed of themselves spending so much money on a campaign.  The sad part is more than this was spent, this is just all they want us to know about.  What a joke this place is.

    • Anonymous says:

      How about you only have the kids you can afford to care for and let others spend their hard earned monies on whatever they please? Society does not owe you a favor simply because of your ability to have sex, next time, please act responsibly.