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Lisa Gray alerts us to the latest bright idea from Austin.

Like all of Texas’ big cities, we have regulations that ban digital billboards – both because they’re painfully ugly and because they’re designed to take drivers’ eyes off the road.

But now our freedom from those distracting eyesores is in danger. A pair of bills in the Texas Legislature would allow digital billboards to weasel their way into those cities.

And the sneak attack is disguised, of all things, as a safety measure.

The bills look harmless at first: Both House Bill 1765 and Senate Bill 971 describe an “emergency public safety messaging network” that would notify drivers of evacuation plans, Amber alerts and such – never mind that the Texas Department of Transportation already has a network of less-distracting emergency signs to do just that. Or that notice-worthy emergencies exist only about 1 percent of the time.

What would those digital billboards display during the other 99 percent?

“Commercial digital messages,” the legislation explains, deep on page 4. And the private contractor would pocket 95 percent of the resulting ad revenue, leaving the state and city to split the crumbs.

Under the bill, the approval of just one executive – an area’s “emergency management director,” usually either a city mayor or county judge – would be all that’s needed to make an end run around local sign codes and building ordinances, state billboard law and even the Lady Bird Johnson Highway Beautification Act.

Here’s HB1765 and SB971. The good news is that so far neither of these bills has come up for a vote in committee. The bad news is that the Senate has already shown that it’s happy to meddle in the affairs of cities, so there’s no reason why they couldn’t pass. These bills seem like silly little attempts to generate a few pennies for the state rather than perform a necessary or useful function. Like Lisa, I hope they go nowhere, but as always it’s never a bad idea to let your elected officials know how you feel about these things.

Saturday video break: Let’s have a little talk about tweetle beetles

I give you Dr. Seuss’ “Fox in Socks”, read by someone who can read it a lot faster than I can:

She goes so fast I can’t really swear that she’s actually reading what’s on the pages in question. The loud reactions from the audience don’t help, either. It’s still pretty damned impressive. Those of you of a certain age may be reminded of this classic commercial:

You think maybe she could be his daughter?

You can’t say that about cheeseburgers!

Local TV stations are not lovin’ an anti-McDonald’s ad.

The advertisement from Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, titled “Consequences,” displays a doctor and a weeping woman standing over a corpse clutching a cheeseburger in its right hand.

The 30-second spot ends with a picture of the McDonald’s logo, the words “I was lovin’ it,” a parody of the company’s “I’m lovin’ it” slogan, and the voiceover, “High cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart attacks. Tonight, make it vegetarian.”

[…]

Susan Levin, director of nutrition of education for the Washington, D.C., nonprofit, said all four of Houston’s major network affiliates turned down “Consequences,” which she said has aired in Chicago and Washington and was rejected by stations in Miami. The group was prepared to pay $5,000 to air the ad locally.

Houston was selected for the campaign, the group said, because of its market size, its reputation as having one of the nation’s highest obesity rates and because it has 149 McDonald’s outlets, more than any city in the nation other than New York.

Houston was the only Texas city in which the group attempted to place the advertisement.

“We don’t know why it wasn’t allowed to be aired,” Levin said. “If it’s because they are afraid of their own financial interests that might be tied to McDonald’s, we couldn’t have predicted that. There is nothing about the content of the ad that is outlandish.”

Here’s the ad in question:

The group’s YouTube channel is here, but I had to find a copy of that video elsewhere to embed it. Personally, I think it’s a little over the top, but no more or less “appropriate” than any other ad, so I don’t see why it was denied. Of course, I find ads for diamonds to be offensive, so maybe I’m not the best measuring stick. Be that as it may, as is so often the case they’re likely to get a lot more publicity from being turned down than they’d have ever gotten from running the ad, so I suppose in the end everyone got what they wanted. What do you think?

More on Latino turnout

Greg adds in his opinion on the Latino turnout question, and as usual it’s worth your time to read in full. Two things for me to comment on. First:

If there is a one point that I’ve been reluctant to air publicly, it’s this: The two worst classes of people to talk to about Hispanic outreach are 1) Hispanic politicians, and 2) Hispanic political consultants. While there is certainly insight to be gained from both, neither has much of an idea of how to make the dream of massive electoral turnout among Hispanics happen.

In discussing Kuff’s blog post from earlier this month on the topic with him a while back, I made the point that one reason you never hear the alleged master plans for ginning up turnout being talked about is because too often, there’s a golden goose at stake. In other words, there are groups and individuals out there that will promise you massive increases in turnout among Hispanics. And for a small (or large) sum, they’ll promise to put it into action. With their people, with their plan, with their supervision, and often … with little accountability. If the candidate wins, then no questions are asked. If the candidate loses, you just move on down the line and pitch the next moneybag candidate. This isn’t solely the case in Hispanic politics, mind you. It’s predominant among a number of base-partisan communities of all colors and all stripes.

One reason why I suggested that we begin thinking about this problem by thinking about raising money address it is because I think to some extent the question of Latino voting needs to be removed from individual candidates and campaigns in favor of a more holistic and ongoing approach. I don’t know how much the Democratic community as a whole learns about what works and what doesn’t from one campaign to the next, I don’t know how much of what does get learned gets transmitted from one campaign to another, and I don’t know how much of what gets learned is worth learning. Wouldn’t it be nice to institutionalize that? Tell me if you think I’m off base here.

I doubt that I’ll ever get too deeply into the retelling of events from the last campaign I worked on, but one move that I think served our opponent well was that he hired consumer marketers as part of their Hispanic outreach. For Dems, that type of move doesn’t fully substitute for the need to knock on doors and make phone calls. But I do think it’s a wiser move than relying on the conventional, in-house political wisdom of what moves Hispanic voters.

One point I’ll throw into the mix for now: the concept of where Hispanic voters are is something that tends to get oversimplified and this often skews the understanding of what issues, values, and language motivate them as well as what network of people they surround themselves with. In other words, East End or Northside activists probably aren’t your best bet to talk the talk to the more numerous number of Hispanic voters that live in the suburbs.

I’ll be introducing some research over the week to make this point more fully. For now, here’s three maps to compare and contrast some 2000 Census data for Harris County on where high-density concentrations of Hispanic population live and where the more diffuse populations are. They show census tracts where the Hispanic population represents 65% of the total population, 35% of the population, and 25% of the population. My point, boiled down to it’s core, is this: We do a great job as a part of speaking to those areas where we are at 65% and a not-so-good job to those where we are at 25% and 35%. And the scary part of that premise is that there are more Hispanics that live in the more diffuse areas than there are that live in the concentrated areas.

I made the point that Latinos are on average younger than us non-Latinos, and as such they don’t necessarily consume news and media the same way us old fogeys do. NewsTaco enhances that observation:

Latinos are the fastest growing digital technology user group in the country. It hasn’t taken long for someone to begin picking Latino on line behavior apart; proven markets with a potential for growth will do that. ComScore is the latest someone to do it. Here’s what comScore, that calls itself “a global leader in measuring the digital world and the preferred source of digital marketing intelligence,” has to say about Latino on line activity in a recent website post: “Hispanic consumers are more receptive to online advertising than non-Hispanic internet users.”

In other words, Latinos click and read on line advertisements more than others – what marketers call click rates. Or as RICG.com puts it, “Whereas 31 percent of Hispanic Americans enjoy watching online advertisements, only 19 percent of the broader consumer audience agreed with that statement. Hispanics were also more likely to base their purchase decisions on digital marketing initiatives (30 percent compared to 15 percent) and remember advertised products when shopping (35 percent compared to 22 percent).”

Seems to me we could learn something from that.

Metro takes a step forward on advertising

For its 2011 fiscal year budget, Metro is taking a tentative step forward on allowing ads to be placed on its buses.

Metro is considering placing ads on buses to generate revenue (page 37). George Greanias, president and chief executive officer, told me that this idea is merely being explored and no revenue from this source is projected in the budget.

Metro already places free, public service messages, such as for the Houston Zoo, on some of its trains.

I’ve discussed this before, and I am firmly of the opinion that Metro should sell ads on its buses and light rail cars and any other place it can. I’d support them lobbying the city to amend its existing ordinance against placing ads on city-owned rights of way so that ads on bus shelters would be allowed. As someone who grew up in a place where these kinds of ads were ubiquitous, I really don’t see the problem. Maybe it won’t be much money, but it will be more than zero. Hair Balls has more.

Metro finance update

What’s going on with Metro these days?

Although leaders of the region’s transit agency are confident that they will secure $900 million in federal funding to build more light rail lines in Houston, they have begun discussing fare increases and advertising on buses as ways to pay for rail if they do not get the money.

“We are looking at the mathematics of a fare increase to help with completion of the lines,” Metropolitan Transit Authority board chairman Gilbert Garcia said during a visit with the Houston Chronicle’s editorial board Wednesday.

Acting Metro CEO George Greanias did not rule out a fare increase as part of the annual budget the board must adopt in September and said such a plan could emerge as early as next month.

No proposal is in the works, however, Greanias emphasized.

So this is basically a trial balloon. Look for the usual op-ed from Bill King any day now. Seriously, if you do have an opinion, now would be the time to express it to them.

The bit about ads on buses was interesting. Hair Balls makes it sound like that avenue has already been foreclosed.

About five years ago, Metro V-P George Smalley tells Hair Balls, the agency put out a request for bids for bus-shelter ads. The results showed the aforementioned “tens of millions” in revenue and savings over a 15-year period were possible. (The savings would come from bus-shelter maintenance being the responsibility of the winning bidder, not Metro.)

But there were problems: “The effort stalled, in part, because of an existing city ordinance prohibiting commercial advertising in city rights of way, which is where our shelters are located,” Smalley says.

Last year, the agency tried again, this time looking into advertising strictly on buses. Again, no go. “This was during the national economic collapse,” Smalley says. “I don’t recall the specific numbers in the bids, but the revenue potential was anemic and not deemed sufficient enough then to further pursue advertising on buses.”

He says there are no current studies, or plans to further request advertising bids, underway at Metro.

Well, there’s no proposal currently in the works to raise fares, either, so make of that what you will. I blogged about Metro’s previous attempt to do ads on buses, and I still don’t understand the reluctance about them. Heck, I think Metro shouldn’t limit itself to buses but should have ads on light rail cars, too. To my mind, this is basically free money. If school buses can have ads, why can’t Metro buses? Get with the program, I say.

According to the Examiner, there is some decent news for Metro and its financial situation.

[Greanias] called a decline in sales tax revenues a “far greater” concern than a possible change in federal funding or fare box revenues.

Earlier in the meeting, Board member Dwight Jefferson reported that tax revenues were down slightly compared to last year, but were still ahead of projections.

It would be nicer if they were up, but you take what you can get. Most of that story was about Metro modifying a questionable real estate contract with McDade Smith Gould Johnston Mason + Co. For the full details of that, read this Examiner story from a couple of weeks ago. That ought to save Metro a few bucks down the line, but even if it doesn’t, it was the right thing to do. Hair Balls has more.

Spending on voter outreach: The Mayorals

I didn’t take a look at the Mayoral candidates’ expenditures on voter outreach in the 30 days out reports, as this exercise is rather time consuming, but I figured I’d have a look at the 8 day reports, just to see what we’ve got going into the home stretch.

Candidate Amount Purpose ============================================================ Annise Parker 9,365.91 Research (Celinda Lake) Annise Parker 500.00 Phone bank Annise Parker 175,000.00 Media buy (Rindy Miller) Annise Parker 75,000.00 Media buy (Rindy Miller) Annise Parker 60,000.00 Media buy (Rindy Miller) Annise Parker 3,000.00 Phone bank Annise Parker 5,000.00 Ad (Tx Conservative Review) Annise Parker 60,000.00 Media buy (Rindy Miller) Annise Parker 1,750.00 Phone bank Annise Parker 3,000.00 Phone bank Annise Parker 780.30 Ad (KCOH) Annise Parker 1,789.25 Ad (KROI & KMQJ) Annise Parker 40,000.00 Media buy (Rindy Miller)

Parker reported a bit over $500K in spending on this form, after having reported $738K spent on the 30 days form. $410K of this spending, more than 80%, is on TV. I saw two media buys from Rindy Miller in the 30 days form, worth $500K; there may have been more, but that form was 414 pages long, and I just did a search on “Rindy” to spot-check it. I assume the “Research” entry is for her recent poll. Those radio buys are small compared to Locke and Brown, but since she’s not engaged in an authenticity contest as they are, perhaps they’ll have a greater effect. Parker was one of many candidates who placed an ad in Gary Polland’s Texas Conservative Review; my understanding is that this is for a printed document that will be mailed to some number of households. As all of the others I’ve seen so far with this expense have been Republicans, I presume Parker will tout her fiscal conservative credentials and leave it at that.

Candidate Amount Purpose ============================================================ Gene Locke 28.89 Ad (Facebook) Gene Locke 29.00 Ad (Facebook) Gene Locke 25,000.00 Media production (Dixon/Davis) Gene Locke 2,000.00 Media production (Ttweak) Gene Locke 225.75 Ad (Houston Forward Times) Gene Locke 677.25 Ad (Houston Forward Times) Gene Locke 1,102.50 Ad (Houston Defender) Gene Locke 29.00 Ad (Facebook) Gene Locke 29.00 Ad (Facebook) Gene Locke 20,319.00 Printing Gene Locke 2,281.68 Robocalls Gene Locke 6,000.00 Video production (Ttweak) Gene Locke 29.00 Ad (Facebook) Gene Locke 5,000.00 Ad (Tx Conservative Review) Gene Locke 4,300.00 Ad (Houston Style Magazine) Gene Locke 50,160.00 Field consulting/management Gene Locke 95,670.00 Field consulting/management Gene Locke 54,862.50 Media/cable (Adelante) Gene Locke 10,649.50 Media/radio (Adelante) Gene Locke 13,584.05 Media/radio (Adelante) Gene Locke 15,747.20 Media/radio (Adelante) Gene Locke 165,770.25 Media/TV (Adelante) Gene Locke 6,300.00 Media/newspaper (Adelante) Gene Locke 250.00 Ad (Linda Lorelle scholarship fund) Gene Locke 100.00 Ad (KEW Learning Academy) Gene Locke 29.00 Ad (Facebook) Gene Locke 29.00 Ad (Facebook) Gene Locke 1,500.00 Ad (The Houston Sun) Gene Locke 903.00 Ad (Houston Forward Times) Gene Locke 1,102.50 Ad (Houston Defender) Gene Locke 1,755.00 Ad (African-American News & Issues) Gene Locke 29.00 Ad (Facebook) Gene Locke 36,641.50 Media/cable (Adelante) Gene Locke 22,858.65 Media/radio (Adelante) Gene Locke 139,953.00 Media/TV (Adelante) Gene Locke 29.00 Ad (Facebook) Gene Locke 27,005.00 Door hangers Gene Locke 17,721.40 Printing Gene Locke 2,295.30 Robocalls Gene Locke 5,177.10 Research (Stanford Campaigns) Gene Locke 29.00 Ad (Facebook) Gene Locke 29.00 Ad (Facebook) Gene Locke 38,251.50 Media/cable (Adelante) Gene Locke 2,625.00 Media/radio (Adelante) Gene Locke 14,474.98 Media/radio (Adelante) Gene Locke 162,966.00 Media/TV (Adelante) Gene Locke 29.00 Ad (Facebook) Gene Locke 29.00 Ad (Facebook) Gene Locke 11,853.40 Printing Gene Locke 29.00 Ad (Facebook) Gene Locke 49.00 Ad (Involver.com) Gene Locke 29.00 Ad (Facebook) Gene Locke 17,799.00 Media production (Dixon/Davis) Gene Locke 2,749.80 Robocalls Gene Locke 34.37 Web ad (Domino's Pizza) Gene Locke 23,500.00 Polling Gene Locke 2,205.00 Ad (Houston Defender) Gene Locke 46,800.00 Media/radio (Adelante) Gene Locke 5,725.56 Door hangers Gene Locke 16,235.00 Door hangers Gene Locke 36,120.80 Printing Gene Locke 800.00 Ad (NAACP - Houston) Gene Locke 125.00 Ad (South Wesley AMEC)

Clearly, Locke is leaving no stone unturned. Everything from Facebook to African-American newspapers (no doubt to boost his standing in the community) to TV and radio. Bear in mind that some of that money spent on TV was for ads that ran much earlier in the month; we knew about them before the 30 day reports came out, but the expenditure wasn’t listed in that report. As such, while Locke outspent Parker on TV in this report, she has spent more than him overall. Adelante, which I believe is campaign manager Christian Archer’s outfit, is big on field work/GOTV, which is how one can wind up buying nearly $50,000 worth of door hangers. There were many, many entries relating to paid field workers, which I skipped to maintain my sanity and stave off carpal tunnel syndrome for another day. Other candidates up and down the ballot have similar entries, though not nearly as many; Parker is a notable exception to this, as she’s putting her money into media and is relying on an extensive volunteer network for GOTV activities. We knew Locke was doing polls, even if we never get see any of them. Oh, and Ttweak, of course, are the folks that brought us Houston, It’s Worth It. I give Team Locke style points for hiring them in whatever capacity.

Candidate Amount Purpose ============================================================ Peter Brown 1,214.17 Printed materials Peter Brown 36,675.00 Media buy (Foston International) Peter Brown 43,601.00 Consulting (American Mail Direct) Peter Brown 251,027.00 Media buy (Buying Time, LLC) Peter Brown 888.99 Printed materials Peter Brown 1,742.82 Printed materials Peter Brown 75,120.00 Media buy (Buying Time, LLC) Peter Brown 5,800.00 Consulting (American Mail Direct) Peter Brown 82,225.00 Consulting (American Mail Direct) Peter Brown 449,527.00 Media buy (Buying Time, LLC) Peter Brown 9,949.43 Production (Buying Time, LLC) Peter Brown 27,438.89 Media buy (Foston International) Peter Brown 500.00 Text messaging service Peter Brown 59,213.00 Consulting (American Mail Direct) Peter Brown 449,682.00 Media buy (Buying Time, LLC) Peter Brown 9,125.99 Production (Buying Time, LLC) Peter Brown 42,338.00 Consulting (American Mail Direct) Peter Brown 2,553.00 Printed materials Peter Brown 5,000.00 Media buy (Neuman & Co) Peter Brown 126,485.92 Consulting (Neuman & Co) Peter Brown 4,558.60 Media buy (Foston International) Peter Brown 451,527.00 Media buy (Buying Time, LLC) Peter Brown 117,964.00 Consulting (American Mail Direct) Peter Brown 5,953.75 Printed materials

Behold the Peter Brown media empire. The man has a fortune at his disposal, and by God he used it. The disclosure form listed over $2.4 million in expenses, which is to say nearly five times what Parker spent and a bit less than double what Locke spent. Of that, as you can see, over $1.7 million was spent on media buys, which I presume all means television. I could be wrong – I don’t know what the difference is between Foston and Buying Time, though one possibility is “cable” versus “broadcast”, and another is “radio” versus “TV”. I’m guessing that the $5K and $126K expenditures to Neuman should be reversed, but since all of his direct mail expenditures – all $350K+ of it – were listed as “Consulting”, I could be wrong about that. And in the midst of all this airtime, it’s nice to know they didn’t forget about more modern forms of voter outreach. I’ll bet $500 buys a lot of text messages.

Candidate Amount Purpose ============================================================ Roy Morales 1,976.25 Radio ads (KSEV) Roy Morales 8,650.32 Mailer deposit Roy Morales 3,000.00 Mailer deposit Roy Morales 378.88 Printing Roy Morales 2,500.00 Ad (Tx Conservative Review) Roy Morales 1,000.00 Ad (Tx Conservative Review) Roy Morales 500.00 Mailer deposit Roy Morales 5,000.00 Mailer balance Roy Morales 1,500.00 Commercial purchase

Roy didn’t have much to spend, and what he did have he mostly spent on mail. Kind of piddly compared to what Brown spent, but then most things are. I’m not actually sure what Locke spent on mail, since all I saw were those “printing” charges, which could be many things. Parker didn’t spend anything on mail, but she’s been featured in several third party mailers I’ve received, including one from the HGLBT Political Caucus, one from Annie’s List, and one from the Houston Turnout Project. With friends like those, you can concentrate on other things. Oh, and let’s not forget the Texas Conservative Review, too. I bet it’ll chafe Roy to realize that Parker will have a bigger ad in Polland’s piece than he will. I’m just now realizing that neither Locke nor Brown had an expense for that, which strikes me as odd. Roy also got a $3000 in-kind donation for video production on his ad, and that $1500 commercial purchase, which I presume landed his ad somewhere, was an addendum to his original report. Anyone want to guess what show Roy’s ad interrupted was? Just a hunch here, but I’m thinking it was a one-off.

I’ve got similar reports in the works for the At Large and district Council races. Hope you found this useful.

Eight days out: What the Controller candidates are spending their money on

You may recall I looked at how the Controller candidates were spending their money after the 30 day reports came out, and I figured I’d do it again with the 8 day reports. Along the way, I found a little surprise. I’ll get to that in a minute. Here we go:

Candidate Amount Purpose ============================================================ Ronald Green 809.17 Printing Ronald Green 1,301.17 Printing Ronald Green 1,081.42 Door hangers Ronald Green 150.00 Ad (Riverside UMC) Ronald Green 16,573.30 Direct mail Ronald Green 16,573.30 Direct mail

Well, he’s sending mail. That’s something. And I even got one of his mailers yesterday. Progress! Anybody else get some mail from Green?

Candidate Amount Purpose ============================================================ MJ Khan 500.00 GOTV services MJ Khan 6,000.00 Radio ad production and buy MJ Khan 105,048.70 TV media buy MJ Khan 18,300.00 TV ad production MJ Khan 1,100.00 GOTV services MJ Khan 5,000.00 Ad (Tx Conservative Review) MJ Khan 10,000.00 Ad (HCRP) MJ Khan 214,473.00 TV & radio media buy MJ Khan 1,690.00 GOTV services MJ Khan 2,895.69 Printing of signs MJ Khan 2,500.00 Radio ad buy MJ Khan 2,000.00 Ad (Aubrey Taylor Communications)

Pretty decent media buy. Khan’s $300K will get him a fair amount of TV time, including in some places that don’t have very many voters. Note the $5K ad with the Texas Conservative Review, which you’ll see again and again, and the accompanying $10K ad with the Harris County GOP, which most Republican candidates bought at some level as well. Gotta give ’em credit for knowing how to make a buck when the opportunity presents itself.

Candidate Amount Purpose ============================================================ Pam Holm 10,000.00 Video shoot Pam Holm 10,063.82 Direct mail Pam Holm 3,750.00 GOTV field ops Pam Holm 125.00 Ad (South Wesley AMC) Pam Holm 5,000.00 Ad (Tx Conservative Review) Pam Holm 1,000.00 GOTV Pam Holm 10,000.00 Radio time Pam Holm 612.40 Ad (Houston Community Newspapers) Pam Holm 1,650.81 Yard Signs Pam Holm 1,914.94 Push cards and letterhead Pam Holm 14,641.00 Mailer Pam Holm 1,350.00 Push cards Pam Holm 5,000.00 Ad (HCRP) Pam Holm 50.00 Ad (Acres Homes Citizen Council) Pam Holm 1,500.00 Ad (Aubrey Taylor Communications) Pam Holm 487.13 T-shirts Pam Holm 1,850.00 Push cards Pam Holm 4,350.00 Ad (Aubrey Taylor Communications) Pam Holm 2,301.40 Signs Pam Holm 22,158.91 Direct Mail

Okay, something here is missing. We know Pam Holm is on the air – Martha asked around on Facebook and received confirmation from a couple of people that they have seen her ad several times, on CNN. Yet I cannot find a line item in her finance report that would correspond to a media buy of that magnitude. She only listed about $180K of spending in her report, which frankly wouldn’t buy that much TV time if that’s all it were being spent on. Stephen Costello’s report for his At Large #1 race showed $160K spent on a TV buy, and that’s the smallest one I’ve seen so far. Heck, just look at how much MJ Khan spent. She’s been on the air long enough that this should be accounted for in this report – it’s not in her 30 days out report – unlike the situation from earlier this month where Gene Locke announced his debut on TV after the reporting deadline for the 30 day reports. So I’m going to ask here: Where is Pam Holm’s spending on TV advertising documented? Maybe I’m missing something, and if so I hope someone will point me to it. But especially with Holm taking shots at Green about his tax lien, I think it’s fair to wonder why Holm has apparently filed an incomplete finance report.

UPDATE: Via Greg, here’s the purchase order for Holm’s ad buy. Martha has more.

Spending on voter outreach: The Controller candidates

We know that this has been, relatively speaking, a low-dollar, low-profile election. I’ve been curious as to what the candidates’ strategies for doing voter outreach have been. We’ll probably know more when we see the eight-days-out reports, but for now, I’ve been looking through the various campaign finance reports to see what spending they have reported so far on various communication methods. Here’s a look at what the candidates for Controller have been doing.

Candidate Amount Purpose ========================================================== MJ Khan 3,716.81 Printing, postage, bumper stickers MJ Khan 12,592.56 Printing of signs MJ Khan 4,486.85 Printing of signs and stickers MJ Khan 944.48 Printing of T-shirts MJ Khan 22,469.00 Polling services

The “Amount” and “Purpose” are taken directly from the reports. I’ve listed anything that seems oriented towards getting the “Vote for Me!” message out, excluding basic things like website maintenance and email services. Nobody in this race has skimped on yard signs. I’m glad to see that someone is polling citywide. I’d kill to see the questions and answers Khan got. Word I’ve heard is that Khan will be running ads on cable, which he should be able to afford. I’ll be interested in seeing that as well.

Candidate Amount Purpose ========================================================== Pam Holm 2,730.61 Yard signs Pam Holm 1,358.27 T-shirts Pam Holm 1,547.34 Mailing/printing Pam Holm 2,600.00 Signs Pam Holm 477.38 Koozies Pam Holm 2,520.33 Signs Pam Holm 8,358.00 Advertising (Stan and Lou Advertising) Pam Holm 2,774.85 Automated phone calls Pam Holm 662.06 Radio production costs Pam Holm 2,380.73 Signs Pam Holm 2,900.00 Door hangers (*) Pam Holm 26,367.15 Direct mail Pam Holm 1,487.00 Automated phone calls Pam Holm 10,000.00 Radio ads

Holm is the big spender here, which is no surprise. I saw two $2900 entries for door hangers, one of which listed the recipient and one which didn’t; I don’t know if this was a duplicate entry or not. We’ll know in about three weeks how much Holm spent on her TV ad. Oh, and I totally want a “Pam Holm for Controller” koozie. Surely someone with the campaign can set me up.

Candidate Amount Purpose ========================================================== Ronald Green 1,930.91 Printing Ronald Green 753.79 Printing Ronald Green 1,107.72 Printing Ronald Green 1,091.71 Printing Ronald Green 275.00 Advertising (Jewish Herald Voice) Ronald Green 1,930.91 Printing Ronald Green 343.15 Printing Ronald Green 866.00 Printing Ronald Green 100.00 Advertising (St Peter The Apostle Catholic Church) Ronald Green 197.29 Printing Ronald Green 622.98 Printing Ronald Green 161.89 Advertising (Facebook) Ronald Green 200.66 Printing Ronald Green 411.97 Printing

He may not be able to afford radio or TV, but Ronald Green has the Facebook market locked up. That’s actually a pretty decent investment if you don’t have that much money to spend. I have no idea what all those printing costs are for – my guess is the ones in four figures are yard signs, but I’m not sure about the others. Who knew that churches took advertising?

Next up, the At Large Council races.