Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The most expensive school board race in Joplin history

It does not take long to read through the contributors to Jeff Koch's second campaign for Joplin R-8 Board of Education.

There are none.

Koch, who has been running on a platform of fiscal responsibility, was only $16 above the $1,000 level which requires candidates to file disclosure forms...and the money, which was used on signs and cards, came out of his own pocket.

As a challenger to a spending mentality he has criticized, Koch wants to show you can get quality without spending a fortune.

Koch faces two opponents in a race for two three-year seats- incumbent board president Anne Sharp and former Joplin Police Chief Lane Roberts. Since Gov. Jay Nixon appointed Roberts to be the next head of the Department of Public Safety, he will not serve if elected and he is not spending any money on the campaign. In fact, he returned a $1,750 contribution from the Joplin Progress Committee.

Despite his lack of expenditures, at this moment, Koch has spent more on his campaign than the other two candidates combined- of course, that is only because at the end of the day the Jasper County County Clerk's office had still not received Anne Sharp's eight-days-before-election disclosure report, which was due Monday.

Considering that Sharp put inserts in the Sunday Joplin Globe, including one I saw 30 miles away from Joplin, and that she hired a public relations firm to do a controversial video utilizing district teachers without their consent, it is almost a certainty that she will have spent far more than Koch.

Even without knowing how much money is being spent by Anne Sharp's campaign, it is safe to say that the spending for the one-year unexpired term on the R-8 Board of Education dwarfs previous board races.

As noted Monday in the Turner Report, Bright Futures USA Chairman Nancy Good has received more than $10,000 during her campaign, including $3,500 from the Joplin Progress Committee and more than $5,000 from Missouri REALTORS, which was used to finance a mass mailing.

Jennifer Martucci is matching Good dollar for dollar.

It appears Martucci may be attempting to show that she can handle larger amounts of money more responsibly than her opponent. While Good is a member of the Joplin Progress Committee and is heavily financed by people connected with the Citizens Advisory Recovery Team (CART), Bright Futures USA and the Joplin Progress Committee, with their unflagging support of C. J. Huff and earlier of Wallace-Bajjali, Martucci's contributors include some who leveled criticism of Wallace-Bajjali from the start, particularly Joplin City Council members Ben Rosenberg and Bill Scearce.

In her financial disclosure document, Martucci reported receiving $10,379.50 during her campaign, including a $3,000 loan from her husband, lawyer Patrick Martucci.

Other contributors mentioned on her report include the following:

William Scearce, Design Benefits, Joplin, $100
Charles Sticklen, lawyer, Joplin, $100
Benjamin D. Rosenberg, DDS, Joplin, $100
Scott Vorhees, lawyer, Joplin, $3,300
Roger Johnson, lawyer, Joplin, $1,000

Martucci is using a large amount of that money to finance television advertising, spending $2,623 with KSN and $2,116.50 with KOAM, according to the report.

Another $610.80 went to AMI for radio advertising, with $1,266.90 going to Datagraphics for printing.and $609.08 to the Lettershop for postage.

Left behind in the spending is the third candidate, Melinda Campbell.

Campbell has raised $3,119.60, a figure which would have put her near the top in the spending in past elections. During the past four and a half weeks, she has received $1,070 in contributions including the following:

Lynn Royle, retired, Joplin, $100
Mitchell Stinnett, Joplin, Mercy Hospital administrator $300
Rikki Smith, Crosslines Charities, $25
Betty Duckworth, retired, Joplin, $25
David Bennett, Tri-State Engineering, Joplin, $100
Chris Martin, Allgeier Martin and Associates, Joplin, $25
Amy Bass, Empire District Electric Company, $20
John Roberson, retired, Joplin, $20
Roper Honda, Joplin, $680
Kirk Harryman, teacher, Joplin School District, $250
Charles Sticklen, Jr., attorney, Joplin, $100
Brent Baker, Empire District Electric Company, Joplin, $50
Barbara Cox, retired, Joplin, $50

Campbell has spent $1,431,57 with Datagraphics printing for yard signs and banners.


Anonymous said...

Looks to me like Melinda Campbell is the fiscally responsible one. She has grass roots support without her husband and business partner trying to buy the election or in Goods case receiving money from non Joplin contributors ???.....Campbell receiving small contribution from many who believe in her ! That should tell you something ???

Koch previously had ran for the school board and lost so he already had signs from previous contributiors.....so what you need to look at is where did his money come from the last time he ran....when he lost...

Campbell seems to be the responsible one.....without husbands,business partners or special interest groups helping her to buy the elections.

Anonymous said...

It is simply reality that it takes money to get elected nowadays. Any serious candidate is willing to spend the money it takes to get elected, especially when so much is riding on the outcome of the election in terms of the direction our school district will take in the years to come. Are we going to continue on our current path of reckless spending and borrowing, continued decline in academics, losing more good teachers to nearby school districts, and a school board who refuses to listen to or care about public sentiment? Or are we going to vote in candidates who know what has derailed our school district from once being accredited with distinction -- an honor we have not held since 2008 -- and are willing to fix the problem even at the expense of spending thousands of dollars to get elected? Obviously, Martucci understands what is at stake for our district and is willing to spend money so we get the change that is needed. Martucci has earned the support of many more people than her husband -- I am referring to the writer at 9:43 who fails to mention that Martucci has been endorsed by the NEA. Whose endorsement has Campbell received? Maybe that is why she is refusing to spend her own money to get elected. A lot is at stake in this election for our schools. Martucci recognizes that and is willing to do what it takes to get elected. That is why she will get my vote on April 7th.

Anonymous said...

Maybe she isn't very good at raising money for her campaign.

Fiscally responsible or not, she demonstrated at the recent candidates forum that she is clueless. We have enough of that type on the BoE and don't need another one.

Anonymous said...

9:43, Campbell is running on being a local home-grown candidate so her contributions should be coming from friends and family in the community. Randy's point is that Koch doesn't have a war chest or outside contributions. As to Koch's failed bid last year, I thought he came in third in the voting, McGew actually lost. The question that everyone should be asking is why does the JPC want to keep CJ Huff and his puppet board in power? What's in it for the power brokers on the JPC? Get out your history books, if you still have any, look at the parallel to the CIA's support of Marcos, the Shah, and every other dictator during the 20th Century. Koch and Martucci are the only candidates representing the electorate.

Anonymous said...

It is a shame that our local newspaper does not do as good a job, or any job for that matter, at covering the finances connected to our school board race. This blog provides us with useful information. I appreciate the approach that Jeff Koch has used this year and used last year to financing his campaign, but you can also tell a lot about a candidate by the people who support him or her. Turner provides that context and it is important in a race that is so vital to the future direction of this school district. The people who support Nancy Good, as Turner has noted, are the ones who are connected with the power structure that has played games with taxpayers' money and pushed Wallace Bajjali on us. Most of Good's money is not from Joplin. Thank God Turner is here to let us know this important information because we sure as hell aren't finding out anything from the Globe.

Anonymous said...

9:43, so I looked at where Koch got his money last year as you suggested. He didn't take any money from anybody. The Joplin Progress Committee endorsed five candidates last election with Koch being one of them. He was the only one that didn't accept their money. Maybe this means he has no friends or maybe it means he has no agenda!

Anonymous said...

I have never looked at the Ethics Commission website until today. I searched for those in the R8 School Board election and only found Koch, Good and Campbell. Is there something I am missing Randy ? Thanks

Randy said...

Unfortunately, we have a system where people who are running for city council or local school board races can choose whether or not to file electronically. So for this election, Jeff Koch, Melinda Campbell, and Nancy Good are filing electronically, while Jennifer Martucci and Anne Sharp file their papers at the Jasper County Courthouse in Carthage. And at this point, it appears that Anne Sharp will be at least three days late filing her eight-days-before-election report.