Indian Wells candidates demand $ 72,000 in donations and loans

The six Indian Wells city council candidates collectively declared $ 72,477 in contributions, but more than half of those funds come from personal loans each made to their campaign.

Most are spending their money on direct mail during a pandemic that has kept them from showing up by walking through neighborhoods and knocking on doors.

Incumbent Kimberly Muzik, former board member Doug Hanson, Donna Griffith, Kathy Strong, Greg Sanders and written candidate Ralph Laks are vying for three seats in the November 3 election.

Hanson said the highest winnings as of Oct. 17 at $ 26,827.80, but $ 10,000 of that amount is money he loaned to his campaign, the statement said.

Hanson got a spot on the ballot when he successfully challenged the time limits set by measure J before the court. Voters approved the ballot measure in March, limiting elected officials to two four-year terms. A Riverside County Superior Court judge ruled in Hanson’s favor that the measure could not be applied retroactively.

Hanson, a businessman and former restaurant owner, served on the board from 2008 to 2016, when he was overthrown by Muzik who is running for a second term.

Current board members Ty Peabody and Ted Mertens are completing their terms this year.

Hanson’s biggest contributors, at $ 2,000 each, are Gerald O’Shaughnessy, an entrepreneur who lives in Wichita, Kan .; and Philip Anschutz, owner of Denver-based Anschutz Entertainment Group; and Claudette Pais, resident of Rancho Mirage. Hanson also declared himself a donor, donating $ 2,000 to his campaign, on top of the $ 10,000 he loaned himself.

Local developer Nachhattar Chandi contributed $ 1,500 to Hanson’s campaign. He also received donations of $ 1,000 from Wichita, Kan. Based real estate agent Nestor Weigand, Lakeside resident Janet Ottonello, Sherman Oaks resident Cynthia Frawley and Dennis Pope, resident of Indian Wells.

Non-cash contributions include campaign materials and mailings valued at $ 313 from Peabody and campaign props valued at $ 90. Hanson says he helped himself.

Sanders said the second largest amount in contributions at $ 20,900, of which all but $ 200 came from a personal loan to his campaign. The $ 100 donations were in cash from Larry Spicer, a resident of Indian Wells, and an additional $ 100 in non-cash contributions from Larry Bonifide.

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With the exception of a $ 1,000 contribution from Indian Wells resident Kathryn Ann Mason, Griffith, a businesswoman, has received donations ranging from $ 100 to $ 250 from donations from people living in Indian Wells and outside.

Current Indian Wells mayor, Pro Tem Dana Reed, also contributed $ 250 to his campaign.

Contributions to Strong, a travel writer who has worked in the local tourism industry, come primarily from Indian Wells and other valley residents and range from $ 100 to $ 300. The largest contribution to his campaign, $ 1,000, comes from Joel Douglas of Palm Desert, an independent producer.

Muzik, a businesswoman, has received donations of about half a dozen, mostly from residents of Indian Wells, ranging from $ 100 to $ 500. Reed and Peabody are among its backers, contributing $ 250 and $ 300 respectively. The largest contribution to his campaign, $ 500, comes from resident Thomas Davis.

A breakdown of the total funds raised by each candidate and the money remaining as of October 17:

  • Doug Hanson: $ 26,827.80 including $ 10,000 that he loaned to his campaign and $ 403 in non-monetary contributions; $ 10,138.11 remaining.
  • Greg Sanders: $ 20,900 of which $ 20,700 he lent his campaign; $ 1,437.05 remaining.
  • Kathy Strong: $ 11,319 in contributions, including $ 7,549 in personal loans to his campaign; $ 1,239.60 remaining.
  • Donna Griffith: $ 9,982.28 including $ 4,000 that she lent to her campaign and $ 674.28 in non-monetary donations; $ 1,712.89 remaining.
  • Kimberly Muzik: $ 3,448 including $ 1,700 that she loaned for her campaign; $ 66.28 remaining.
  • Ralph Laks: No campaign statement has been filed and he has not filed a form indicating that he will not raise or spend more than $ 2,000, Deputy Clerk Angelica Avila said.
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