The Coast News Group
Old - DO NOT USE - The Coast NewsRancho Santa Fe

Encinitas candidates file campaign expense reports

ENCINITAS — Encinitas Council candidate Catherine Blakespear outraised her sole competitor, Julie Graboi, seven to one during the first half of the year, according to campaign expense reports filed this week.

Blakespear raised $22,750 between Jan. 1 and June 30, according to her campaign statements. Graboi reported receiving $3,148 during the same time period.

“I think I am a strong candidate and people believe in me and are willing to invest money to support a vision of Encinitas I support,” Blakespear said. “I feel very fortunate people have been so generous.”

Blakespear, an attorney, was her biggest campaign donor, contributing $5,253 to her own cause. The most she received from any other donor was $250, the maximum allowed by the city, from multiple sources.

Blakespear said she felt her fundraising demonstrates her seriousness as a candidate.

“If you take it seriously, you have to raise money,” she said. “I think it is naïve to overlook that part. I want to win. I am not raising money because it is fun or easy, I am raising money because I want to win.

“I think raising $22,000 in the first half of the year is a great start and shows that I have momentum,” said Blakespear, who also reported spending $5,000 during the first half of the year, including $800 on consulting services from Simon Mayeski, a San Diego activist and member of Common Cause, who is serving as Blakespear’s campaign treasurer.

Mayeski has served as treasurer on other campaigns before, including San Diego City Council candidate John Hartley.

Both Blakespear and Graboi received contributions from local politicians. Blakespear got $250 from council members Teresa Barth and Lisa Shaffer; Graboi received $250 from Oceanside Councilwoman Esther Sanchez.

Sanchez, reached Friday, said Graboi’s passion for the community has impressed her.

“I have gotten to know her over the past couple of months, and I am so impressed with her passion for representing the best interest of the community of Encinitas,” Sanchez said. “I believe she resonates with the community.”

Graboi’s biggest campaign expense to date was $405 to the city of San Diego for a venue rental.

Graboi said the gap between Blakespear and her fundraising is due to the fact that Blakespear has been at it longer – Graboi just entered the race in May.

“This has been a long-term goal of hers, it wasn’t something I was planning on doing until I became inspired in the end,” Graboi said.

Graboi said the current filings don’t include her most recent fundraising efforts, which have considerably increased her warchest, she said.

“We do have more funds now,” she said, adding that money is not a guarantee of campaign success. “In our local election history, even recently, the people who have the most money don’t necessarily win.”

In the race for mayor, Kristin Gaspar reported $7,997 in contributions — $2,997 from various donors and a $5,000 loan from herself.

Tony Kranz filed a state campaign formation form, which stated he had not raised $1,000 at the time of filing. He said he wasn’t required to report fundraising because he formed his committee after the reporting period ended June 30 but plans on amending the form at the time he raises more than $1,000.

Alex Fidel reported contributing $28 to his own campaign.


Alex Fidel August 2, 2014 at 3:16 pm

I appreciate your response, Catherine. I voluntarily put up a $250 limit before even knowing the city had a cap when I announced on April 20th, 2013.

I assume your response in the second paragraph is to Encinitas4Real. If I may offer a unique viewpoint, as I am someone who never thinks in terms of black & white, because to me that is divide & conquer (such as the false left/right paradigm), it doesn’t matter to me where the money comes from, but what the intention of such a donation is, though I do prefer local and not outside the U.S. For example, if someone from Connecticut who really digs Nikola Tesla and thinks Tesla’s earth-shattering ‘free energy’ research should at the very least be explored freely by the scientific community even in one small town, then I believe that donation should be welcomed. Energy is the root of all war (i.e. natural gas reserves in Gaza or oil in Iraq) and to break that paradigm would save so many countless lives and our environment. I think that person’s contribution should be accepted because it is purely selfless out of the want to bolster a positive, peaceful solution that would smash the current global geopolitical paradigm that groups like Occupy Wall St. and Anonymous are taking on. Conversely, if the outsider money came from Monsanto for the sole purpose of preventing the labeling of GMO foods and the banning of GMO seeds at the local level (which is a local issue and should be done at the local level, as you and I share similar views on local agriculture), then I would view that as bad outsider contributions, because it has mal intent and would be used to further separate our elected officials from the will of the people. Monsanto may have their eyes on this race because I take the stance of banning GMO seeds and allowing residents to use the GMO law I will propose to sue Monsanto for property & environmental damages, whether from cross-pollination or RoundUp pesticide chemicals in our groundwater.

I think it is reasonable for the candidate to spend their own funds as they see fit to be able to get their message out there, and I don’t hold it against you at all for doing that. Unfortunately, as a young person, who like most people my age, are victims of the economic pyramid scheme we live under, which benefits a handful of wealthy banking families at the expense of the many. I have a much bigger hill to climb and every cent counts for me.

I also do not have a major political party backing me. I am an independent, and I’m seeking the unity of the alternative parties, so far I have the Libertarian Party as well as Cindy Sheehan, this year’s Peace & Freedom Party gubernatorial candidate. I think the two-party system is rotten to the core and are responsible for the massive surveillance state as well as the horrific war crimes being committed on a daily basis, which is why I would turn down the endorsement of either the Republican Party or Democrats, but I do not expect their endorsement. I too am proud to run a truly grassroots campaign.

I have yet to decide who I am going to vote for in the council race. Local issues to me are a given, opposing density bonus projects that are part of the Federal Reserve’s housing bubble, opposing sales tax increase, firing the City Attorney & Manager, etc. But I’m looking for more than that. I need to know a candidates’ position on civil liberties, drug policy (coming out of high school I can tell you that the war on drugs is a complete failure, ruins lives permanently, and fails to get people off of drugs), GMO policy, allowing for freedom of currency locally to shake off the influence of the private central bank over our lives, and more. These are all issues that people my age are passionate about. If we’re lucky to get a minimum wage job, we still get robbed by the income tax and the inflation tax, which all benefits the shareholders of the Federal Reserve (Rockefeller, Morgan, etc.). These are all very important issues to me that can be taken on locally via our 10th amendment powers. If any of us get elected, we take an oath to uphold the Constitution/Bill of Rights. I intend on upholding all 10 amendments, using the 9th & 10th to secure the rights of the people that have been systematically eroded over the past century.

Everyone is an individual, we cannot expect everyone to be the same, and I don’t expect to find 100% of myself in the city council candidate I would end up voting for, but basic issues like opposing warantless surveillance, indefinite detention of anyone without due process, police brutality, environmentalism, and recognizing the plight of unemployed youth are a great place to start, because I am all about finding the common ground. There’s actually a group called The Common Ground Movement, based on 3 principles I think everyone can agree on: 1. No more wars of aggression, 2. End the surveillance state & militarization of the police, 3. Hold the corrupt political & financial systems accountable. If world peace is the question, then the only answer is unity. I look forward to open dialogue in the coming campaign season. :) I appreciate that you are open and accessible.

Catherine S. Blakespear August 2, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Thank you for your idealism Alex. I also wish it was possible to run a successful campaign based solely on ideas and dedication to the democratic process. For the record, I am grateful that the City of Encinitas caps donations at $250 per person because it virtually ensures that Big Money won’t buy an election here. There is no limit on what the candidate can donate to his or her own campaign but everyone else is limited to $250 per candidate.

It’s an unfair and untrue statement to imply that Big Money or Out-of-Town Developers are funding my campaign. When I decided to run this spring I contacted a large group of people in various social and professional groups that I’ve been involved in for the last 38 years. I then held a campaign launch party on Cinco de Mayo that about 180 people attended. My donors are an eclectic assortment of former law school classmates, parents of my kid’s friends, teammates from adult athletic teams I’ve played on, my law clients, long-time family friends, neighbors, folks who heard me speak and liked what I said, and friends who want to support me because they believe in me. In this group there are teachers and stay-at-home parents, and there are also real estate agents and architects (the latter frequently lumped together in the category of “developers”). Some live out of town; most live here. The vast majority of my donors I personally know and have a relationship with. This grass roots support indicates to me that I’m a strong, viable candidate with a reasonable, solution-oriented approach who many folks think would be a good policy-maker. I gave myself $5,000 to get started because I wanted to print a flier, and order a banner and hold a launch party. None of that would be possible without giving or loaning myself the start up costs.

Thank you Alex for taking the time to respond to this article. I hope you’ll vote for me for City Council!

Alex Fidel August 2, 2014 at 9:29 am

Great article about Big Money’s influence in politics. I must be the only candidate who caps donations at $250 per individual. I’m one of those who think elections should be about ideas, not money.

$28 is priceless compared to the potential for ‘free energy’ technology research, suing TEPCO Fukushima for radiation damage on the West Coast, halting additional housing development (including state mandated density bonus projects) financed by the Federal Reserve’s easy money policies, restoring our God-given civil liberties, reforming government pensions & cutting taxes, and seeing little kids with epilepsy have no more seizures from using medicinal cannabis oil (see CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta documentary “Weed”), because the next seizure could be fatal and hemp is a really really good plant for detoxing our environment from corporate pillaging. :)

I’m not investing in a potential job, because unlike the council’s talk of raising the mayoral pay, I will cut my salary by 90% and turn down the entire pension and benefits, because I hope to take on the global economic pyramid scheme led by private central bankers that caused the 2008 crash, that has left 70%+ of willing-and-able-to-work people my age range unemployed, moving back in with their parents after being independent, with a home mortgage worth of college debt while not being able to get a minimum wage job for a declining dollar to be able to pay off. We’ve got a problem, Houston. Young people are feeling it right now, but soon there will be a monetary collapse that will be very indiscriminate in choosing its victims, paving the way for economic terrorists at the IMF and World Bank (read Confessions of an Economic Hitman) to keep the gravy train of the banking cartel going. We have to grow our economy by backing it up with a resource, not just the house-of-cards retail consumption industrial complex. By allowing for organic (ban GMO seeds) farms instead of paving concrete over fertile soil to build more banks, strip malls, and new housing, our economy can be fortified by a natural resource, lowering the cost of organic food and giving young people jobs in fields of fruits, vegetables, and hemp. There’s nothing to lose by taking example from Canada’s First Nations indigenous tribes by living more in tune with the land rather than paving over it with concrete. They also fight the power pretty well up there against things like Keystone XL and further colonization of their lands, which we can learn from since We The People need to rise up peacefully and take the power back.

Encinitas4Real August 2, 2014 at 7:29 am

It will be interesting to see where the donors come from. Which candidate has the most out of town and developer donors.

Catherine S. Blakespear August 1, 2014 at 7:02 pm

Thanks Aaron for the nicely written and reported story. Just to be clear, Simon Mayeski is my campaign treasurer. His fees are extremely reasonable, at $800 on a total raised by my campaign of $22,750. I’m very judicious about how I spend campaign funds.

Aaron Burgin August 1, 2014 at 10:50 pm

Gotcha, just added this information to the online version, which will appear in print next Friday!

Comments are closed.