Chesterton Tribune

Last minute donors revealed in county annual campaign reports

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Wednesday was the deadline for candidates to file their campaign finance reports for the 2010 elections with the county Voters Registration Office. A handful of candidates reported activity on expenditures and contributions for the reporting period of Oct. 9 thorough Dec. 31.

In the hotly contested Center County Commissioner race both candidates reported totals over $100,000 in contributions and expenditures. In the most recent report Democrat Robert Harper and Republican Nancy Adams disclosed supporters who backed their campaigns in the final days before the election.

Winner Adams received help from over 30 individual donors during the reporting period. Her biggest backer was Task Force Tips President Stewart McMillan at $2,500, doubling what he gave earlier in the year. Dean White of Merrillville gave Adams $2,000.

Both men were also the top backers in a 2009 campaign that supported the creation of a Regional Transportation District, which ultimately was voted down by residents in Porter, LaPorte, and St. Joseph counties. Harper was a strong opponent of the legislation and led the “Stop the RTA” campaign.

Also revealed in Adams report for the period, the Friends of Ed Soliday committee gave $3,500. She also received help from Chesterton business Trout Glass and Mirror Inc. which contributed $250.

As reported earlier, Adams’ biggest support came from the Duneland GOP group which gave $9,230.

In the latest report, Harper gathered more than $1500 from individual donations other than himself. Harper’s biggest individual donors during the period were Stephen Melvick of Valparaiso and Anthony Levenda with $500 each.

County Redevelopment Com-mission Director and Porter resident John Shepherd gave $200. Northshore Health Centers in Portage provided $1,000 for the campaign as the largest corporate donor during Harper’s reporting period.

The Committee for Fairness in Porter County Politics formed by Harper’s sons raised a total of $5,829 beginning Oct. 22.

Harold Harper gave $5,829 in direct and in-kind donations. Janice and Daniel Wilson of Portage also gave $1,000 to the committee. Donating $1,000 each were two law firms, Sarkinsan & Fleming and Rhame & Elwood.

In other county races, newly elected Republican County Council member Jim Polarek’s campaign reports $1,000 came from the Friends of Ed Soliday campaign and another $1,640 from Adams’ campaign.

Democrat Council member Jeremy Rivas received support during the period from the Porter County Builders Association with $500 and an additional $400 from Bricklayers Local #4 in Anderson, Ind. Rivas ran unopposed in the general election after defeating incumbent Rita Stevenson in the primary.

The Committee to Elect John Miller received $400 from the Valparaiso Republicans.

Newly elected Porter County Clerk Karen Martin picked up $300 from the Duneland GOP group.

Both county auditor candidates Democrat Vicki Urbanik and Republican Robert Wichlinsk filed their reports for the period.

Winner Winchlinski collected $500 from Michael Simpson of Valparaiso during the reporting period. Soliday’s campaign gave $300 and the Committee to Elect Jon Snyder gave $200.

Urbanik showed she received $500 from State Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Ogden Dunes, in days prior to the election.

Tallian’s own campaign was funded significantly from payout by the Indiana Democrat Party, which made four additional payments totaling to $26,700 her report said.

In Duneland School races, a report from the Committee to Reelect John Marshall to the Duneland School Board was filed. Individuals contributing $100 or more after Oct. 9 include Charles Ray Jr. and Bernadette Raffin with $200 donations. Nirmal Murugavel, Timothy Harris, Megan Musgrave, May Carol Puntillo, and Jerry Phelps all gave $100 for Marshall.

Marshall was unsuccessful in keeping his seat as it went to former educator and state representative Ralph Ayers.


Posted 1/21/2011