Candidates from contested races have spent just more than $82,000 ahead of the June Primary, financial documents submitted to the county revealed one day after the filing April 26 deadline.
The race for Calaveras County sheriff was the most lucrative, while those vying for the District 5 seat on the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors have been the most frugal.
Incumbents Rebecca Callen, running unchallenged for the auditor-controller position, and Leslie Davis, assessor, submitted documentation reporting that neither candidate intends to spend or receive more than $2,000 in their campaigns.
District 5 Supervisor Clyde Clapp, the incumbent, has not submitted any information stating how much he received or if he intended to collect or spend more than $2,000 before the April 26 deadline.
Greg Gustafson, a contractor running for the District 5 supervisor seat, did not file financial documentation or information stating whether his campaign will collect or spend more than $2,000.
Robin Glanville, assistant county clerk-recorder, said each candidate should have filed financial documentation by the deadline if they did not submit information stating they do not intend to spend or receive $2,000 during a calendar year.
Jay Wierenga, communications director for the Fair Political Practices Commission, said there is no way to audit each candidate running for office, so the agency generally relies on third parties to report fraudulent filings or delayed documents to state officials. Generally, he said, candidates are required to fill out financial records correctly as if they were doing their taxes.
Local filing clerks are the first line of defense if a candidate fails to submit financial data by the deadline.
In the event of a complaint, the agency investigates the merits before conducting an investigation. Sometimes, a quick phone call to the candidate could fix the problem. Others could face fines.
“Our first priority is to gain compliance with the law rather than to punish people,” Wierenga said. “We think the public is better served by having the information and having compliance, but enforcement and penalties are there to help get there.”
Penalties can range anywhere from a warning letter to a $5,000 fine. The commission works to resolve the case before each election, but does not dismiss cases if they are not resolved by the primary election.
“We do obviously try to take care of things as much as possible before an election so the public has the information," said Wierenga. "You cannot just end and investigation on an arbitrary deadline.”
Any local district attorney can prosecute candidates for any suspected criminal behavior.
Wierenga said candidates are required to, on their forms, report where campaign contributions came from. The documentation covers whether the candidate spent their own finances or if others spent money on someone else’s behalf.
Limitations on how much money any candidate can spend or receive are imposed by local jurisdictions, Wierenga said.
Glanville said the county does not have spending limitations.
The California Primary is scheduled for June 5. The top two candidates from races that do not obtain a majority of votes go to a runoff in November.
Candidates for the sheriff post spent close to $36,000 since April of 2017.
Sheriff Rick DiBasilio, who was appointed by county supervisors in 2016 after his predecessor, Gary Kuntz, died unexpectedly in 2015, spent $17,401 of the nearly $23,000 in cash contributions made to his campaign since this time last year. DiBasilio spent $6,289 on advertisements, $2,187 for a fundraiser at Ironstone Vineyards and $1,495 to file with the county.
He was given $2,350 by Sutton Enterprises, the company that owns the Carson Hill Rock Quarry; $1,500 from Mike and Sylvia Peterson of Valley Springs; and $1,000 donations from Jeff German, self-employed, of Hathaway Pines, Tom Herd, self-employed, of San Andreas, Donna Abel, of Valley Springs, and a company called Two Eight Eight Joint Ventures out of San Jose.
The sheriff received $7,785 in nonmonetary contributions. He got $3,618 in election signs from Amber Sutton, a secretary with Sutton Enterprises, $3,612 in food for a fundraiser at Ironstone Vineyards and $430 from Candace Keesey for earrings, a throw rug and alcohol.
Challenger Gary Stevens, a district attorney investigator in Amador County, spent close to $17,000 of the $18,500 he received for his campaign this year. He took out a $5,050 loan late last year.
The investigator spent $6,684 on banners, buttons and signs, $1,145 for a dinner event at the Pickle Patch in San Andreas, $1,716 for campaign materials for events and $1,025 for a booth at the Calaveras County Fair.
Stevens received $1,340 from Sherri Pebley of Pebley Trucking, of Mokelumne Hill; $1,000 from Reginald McCoy, a physician from Morgan Hill; and $1,000 from Katherine McCoy, a chief nurse with Mark Twain Medical Center.
Ann Radford, a candidate for the District 4 supervisor seat in 2016 and current Mark Twain Health Care District board member, gave Stevens’ campaign $480 and John Cox, who helped current District 4 Supervisor Dennis Mills craft the “Silent Poison” environmental report regarding cannabis, donated $60. Anti-cannabis activists gave Stevens about $600.
Stevens received $6,276 in nonmonetary contributions. Many were donated auction items.
Pat Garrahan, a political science instructor at Calaveras High School running for sheriff, spent $5,323 of the $13,217 he had collected by the deadline, $6,000 of which came via loans made this year. The instructor spent more than $4,000 on campaign materials, $800 on a fundraiser at Renegade Winery in Mokelumne Hill, and made $100 donations to the Calaveras Grad Night Foundation, the West Calaveras Rotary Club and the Calaveras County Friends of the Library. He gave $8 to Stripe Inc., a San Francisco-based technology company that allows for payments over the internet.
More than $6,298 of the contributions Garrahan received were unidentified as contributions of less than $100. Mark Bolger, a cannabis farmer of Rimrock Farms in Mountain Ranch, gave a $522 food donation. Kathryn Garrahan loaned Pat Garrahan $6,000.
District 3 supervisor
Candidates from the District 3 supervisor’s race spent over $23,000 through April 26, according to election forms filed with the Calaveras County Elections Department.
Merita Callaway, a community volunteer who previously served as a county supervisor for 22 years before she lost her seat four years ago, spent $6,600 of the of the $19,438 she received this year for her campaign. A large amount of her payments, $3,145, was for signs with Gateway Press in Murphys. She spent nearly $2,000 on advertisements.
A bulk of the contributions, under $6,400, were from private, retired voters. Callaway was also given nearly $2,000 from five local real estate agents, $250 from Susan Hauer, owner of the Ace Hardware in Arnold, and $275 from Kris Fichtner-Garcia, owner of Lunch Lady Catering.
Callaway received $6,666 in nonmonetary contributions. She got $3,479 from the Black Bear Inn in Arnold for food and use of venue space for a fundraiser; $345 for goods from Ace Hardware in Arnold; nearly $500 in signs and trays from the Outhouse Collection in Arnold; and almost $400 in wine from three wineries.
Incumbent Michael Oliveira, who defeated Callaway in 2014, spent about $4,979 of the $10,625 in cash contributions he has received thus far this year. He spent $3,500 on signs, computer software, brochures and other campaign paraphernalia, and another $1,100 on advertisements.
Oliveira received $5,000 from Good Earth Farm LLC., a Galt-based organic vegetable farm; $1,000 from Rob and Alice Montgomery, of Arnold; and $1,000 from Mark Unterbach, of Brentwood. Oliveira took out $2,500 in loans in January.
Ed Langan, a retired businessman, spent $5,150 of the $6,175 he received from January through April 27. A significant portion of his expenditures went toward campaign materials and print ads, $1,825 and $2,422 payments, respectively. Langan also took out $4,100 in loans in his name.
District 5 supervisor
Candidates in the District 5 supervisorial race have spent $8,368.
Ben Stopper, a water treatment operator for the Calaveras County Water District, spent $5,959 of the $5,100 he received in cash donations and a $3,500 loan he took out. He spent $1,125 on a fundraiser at the Pickle Patch Deli; about $3,200 on campaign materials; almost $900 on literature like the state voter guide and Budget Watchdogs Newsletter; and made $100 donations to the Calaveras Friends of the Library and the West Calaveras Rotary Club.
Stopper received $1,000 from the Laborers International Union of North America Local 73 out of Stockton, and $250 from Kathryn Garrahan.
Bruce Giudici, a nonprofit fiscal officer for the Amador-Tuolumne Community Action Agency, spent $2,409 of the $2,938 he raised this year for his campaign. He spent $846 on filing fees with the county; $611 on yards signs and banners; $380 on advertisements; and $94 on a campaign kickoff fundraiser at Round Table Pizza in Valley Springs.
Guidici contributed $611 to his own campaign and received $500 from the Calaveras County Democratic Central Committee and $850 from four retired residents from Valley Springs, Mokelumne Hill and Orangeville. He received $500 worth of postcards from Roberta Morris in Valley Springs.
Candidate for county assessor, Tim Muetterties, a business owner and Realtor, has spent $12,198 of the $13,231 he raised that was made up by a $5,500 loan. He spent $3,073 on food services, supplies and event space for fundraisers; $4,196 for signs and print materials; and $1,800 for online advertisements.
Muetterties received close to $3,000 from private retired individuals from Mountain Ranch to Burlingame and Concord, and about $1,000 from real estate agents mostly from within the county. Another $900 was collected from unidentified contributions of less than $100 each. He received a $3,000 nonmonetary contribution from a recycled grocery bags advertising campaign. Robert Montgomery, a retired engineer, paid $700 for a room rental at the county fair for the Muetterties campaign.
Leslie Davis, the incumbent, did not file financial information with the county by April 27.
Barbara Yook, the unchallenged incumbent in the race for the county district attorney position, spent close to $2,200 and took out a $5,000 loan. She later paid back $2,400 of the loan. A significant chunk of her expenditures went to filing fees with the county, valued at $1,966.
Adjusted at 12:30 p.m. to correct a quote from Jay Wierenga.