Campaign Finance Reports Won’t Set Records

Written by Neil Farrell

Neil has been a journalist covering the Estero Bay Area for over 27 years. He’s won numerous journalism awards in several different categories over his career.

October 28, 2022

Morro Bay’s November City Council Election likely won’t set any records for fundraising or spending, but several candidates for the mayor and two council seats have gotten some decent support for their runs at office.

Mayor John Headding is running for a third, 2-year term. His first Form 406, dated Jan. 1 to June 30, 2022, starts off with $5,125 in his coffers. In the document covering July 1 to Sept. 24, Mayor Headding’s monetary contributions top $9,300, with contributions of $200 and more coming from Tim Daniels of Morro Bay for $1,000; Gail Davis of Morro Bay at $500; former Mayor Jamie Irons and wife Monica donated $500; local businessman Bill Luffee gave $350; Johnie Medina of Morro Bay gave $300; Dist. 3 County Supervisor Dawn Ortiz-Legg with $200; Rose’s Landing Owner Doug Redican and wife Susan donated $500; Mark Simonin of IBEW Local 639 (electrical workers union) gave $500; Bob and Carol Swain of Morro Bay at $200; John and Joyce Texeira with $200; and the biggest donor, Alla Weinstein of Castle Wind donated $2,000.

Among his biggest expenses are an ad buy in Morro Bay Life at over $1,000 and $1,500 to Rock Harbor Marketing for website and social media PR work.

It should be noted that all of these candidates received numerous donations of $100-$150 and some number of donations under $100 that don’t have to be itemized in the reports.

Mayoral challenger, Carla Wixom’s Form 460, dated Sept. 1 shows $1,000 donated by Barry Branin of Morro Bay and $1,000 from Richard Kelter of Morro Bay. She’s also gotten $1,000 from Elaine Giannini of Morro Bay. 

And in her latest filing, dated July 1 to Sept. 4, Wixom received a total of $9,579 for the period. 

Her biggest donors include Roger Ewing of Morro Bay at $250; $200 from Stephen Ryan of Morro Bay; Christina Metzger of Morro Bay with $250; Tammy Haas of Morro Bay with $200; Bernadette Pekarek of Cayucos at $200; Friends of Costanzo (the campaign fund for James Costanzo who ran unsuccessfully for Council at the June Primary), at $905; Dan Sedley of Morro Bay with $500; and Ron Bovasso of Morro Bay at $300.

Wixom’s biggest expenses so far have been $1,700 in newspaper ads from Estero Bay News; and $1,000 to Goofy Graphics of Morro Bay for yard signs.

In the City Council race for two open seats, Sarah Robinson raised a little over $2,200 from July 1 to Sept. 24. Robinson reports getting $200 from Richard Hawley of Cambria; $500 from Barry Branin and wife Vivian; $300 from former Councilwoman, Betty Winholtz; $250 from Dan Sedley; and $250 from Councilman Jeff Heller and wife Kerry (Heller declined to run for re-election).

Her biggest expenses have been $500 with Goofy Graphics for yard signs and $150 to ASAP Reprographics for brochures.

Robin Landrum’s financial documents show she’s raised nearly $2,400 as of Sept. 24. Her biggest donors have been Barry Branin at $500; Bernadette Pekarek at $500; Betty Winholtz at $300; Dan Sedley at $250; and Councilman Heller at $250.

She’s spent $260 at ASAP for flyers. 

Council hopeful Cyndee Edwards reported $6,500 in total money contributions plus loans of over $1,500 for a total cash supply of some $8,100.

Her biggest donors have been Jean Ryan of Morro Bay for $400; Ginny and Greg Palmer for $500; Monica and Jamie Irons of Morro Bay with $250; Lisa Marie Huey of Pismo Beach donated $1,000; Jacque Leonard at $250; Sheila Tranquill of Morro Bay at $250; Sharon Buffo of Los Osos at $200; Joan Pederson of Morro Bay at $200; former Councilwoman and current Executive Director of Pacific Wildlife Care, Christine Johnson gave $250.

Edwards donated $280 for her campaign kickoff party. She paid Bill Luffee of Promotion Plus, Inc., $1,000 for lawn signs and the City of Morro Bay charged her for $420. She’s also hired Rock Harbor Marketing for Internet work at $1,500.

Casey Cordes’ Form 460 shows he’s raised over $3,400 with his biggest contributors being Megan Cordes of Paso Robles giving $900; Diana Nevala at $200; Jeff Heller with $200; Glenn Silloway with $250; former Councilwoman Marlys McPherson at $250; and Edward Bischof at $200.

His only listed expenditure was $230 to Hay Printing of Morro Bay for campaign literature.

And the other Council hopeful, David Duringer, filed a Form 470, which declares that he will not receive or spend over $2,000.

As for other election issues and political groups the “Committee for Morro Bay Harbor Parcel Tax Measure B-22,” — a $120 per year property tax on all private property in town to support the City Harbor Department’s maintenance needs — has raised the most money of all, reporting monetary contributions of over $19,200; with non-monetary contributions of $1,500 for a total of over $21,800.

The group’s biggest donors are Jack and Nancy Brown at $250; Richard Caglia with $500; SEIU Local 629 — Nicole Bryant field rep — gave $500; Jarrell Carter of Los Angeles, $500; Tess Endersby of Cayucos with $250; Scott Engle of SLO at $250; Bob Fowler of Morro Bay with $250; Paul Gillen of Associated Pacific Constructors with $3,000; Morro Bay Firefighters, Assoc., at $500; Smith and Hannah Held of Cayucos with $500; Martin Lomelli at $250; Bill Luffee with five donations totaling $1,375; Morro Bay Police Officers Assoc., at $300; Rick Sacksteder with $500; Judy Whibley $3,000; Alla Weinstein at $1,000; Kevin Winfield at $250; and Rock Harbor Marketing has donated $1,500 in non-monetary Internet work.

And another political group in town, Citizens for Affordable Living or CAL filed a donations report that was full of zeros. The group, which is opposed to Measure B-22, reported no contributions from Jan. 1 to June 30 but does have over $500 on hand.

CAL was formed in 2018 to fight the City’s Prop. 218 vote on its Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) project. The effort fell short and the WRF is now almost completed. CAL has been active in recent months issuing Newsletters discussing current events in the city and four of its members drafted the ballot argument against the B-22 tax measure. 

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