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January City of Houston campaign finance reports

In addition to state and federal officeholders/candidates, January 15 was also the deadline for City of Houston folks to file their campaign finance reports as well. As there are no elections coming up any time soon, I will not be going into obsessive levels of detail about them, but here are some highlights:

– Annise Parker had $66,249.27 in the bank as of 12/31, after raising $448,973.52 and spending $804,587.59 in December. Gene Locke maintained $82,853.40 after raising $520,810.76 and spending $757,361.19.

– Some people who filed reports are now running for other offices. Bill White, for example. As it happens, his account showed no money and no activity. I didn’t go looking, but my recollection is that he had already transferred his funds to his Senate campaign.

– As for the others who are now seeking greener pastures: Jarvis Johnson had $18,960.51 in his account. I did not see any transfer to his Congressional campaign, but he filed for that after December 31, so if he does move some money around, we’ll have to look for it elsewhere. Similarly, Roy Morales made no transfers to his Congressional account, either, but he only had $305.02 on hand, so it’s not like it matters. Finally, former Council Member Gordon Quan transferred $6,205.79 to his campaign for Harris County Judge. He had a few other small expenditures in there, and that should basically close out his city account.

– Al Hoang still hasn’t figured out how to submit a proper campaign finance report. It’s still done cumulatively instead of from the date of the previous report. The same questionable entries are still there. The Chron had a brief story about CM Hoang’s updated finance report yesterday:

Among the problems first raised by a blogger, who also questioned Hoang’s most recent report, was a lack of information about donors who gave Hoang contributions totaling more than $100,000. In his previous reports, there were no dates, occupations or employers listed for the donors, as required by city ordinance. In the latest report, posted last week, that information is included for all but a few donors.

Hoang acknowledged that several donations incorrectly listed as expenditures will be corrected in an amended report. He said his campaign treasurer is planning to meet with a campaign finance expert to ensure his future reports are in compliance.

This is too generous to Hoang. Yes, there are now dates listed for his campaign contributions, but that information is still meaningless. Only four dates are given, with all donations being listed for one of them – 57 donations on October 1, 216 donations on October 25, 82 donations on December 5, and 38 donations on January 7. These aren’t the actual dates those contributions were made, they’re the dates the last four reports were due. In addition, his cash on hand is given as zero, of which I am dubious. Slampo, who is the blogger referenced in the story but certainly not the only one that’s been pointing out Hoang’s amateurish finance reports, found a few more flaws with this one as well. This is ridiculous. Al Hoang is an elected official now. There are no excuses for not doing a better job.

– Hoang may claim no cash on hand, but he’s alone in that distinction. Here are the cash on hand figures for all current members of city government not listed above:

Ronald Green – $17,307.49

Stephen Costello – $1,700.00, plus $15,000 outstanding loan
Sue Lovell – $77,909.30
Melissa Noriega – $30,455.32, plus $15,000 outstanding loan
C.O. Bradford – $7,818.79
Jolanda Jones – $16,015.44

Brenda Stardig – $10,446.67
Anne Clutterbuck – $119,277.23
Wanda Adams – $11,013.48
Mike Sullivan – $801.60, plus $10,000 outstanding loan
Oliver Pennington – $17,459.49
Ed Gonzalez – $8,966.67
James Rodriguez – $52,974.00

Clutterbuck and Lovell are in their final terms, barring any dispensation from the term limits review crew, while Rodriguez can run for re-election one more time. They have enough cash on hand to merit keeping an eye on for whatever future plans they may have. Everyone else, I expect, will be busy replenishing the coffers.

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