Latest Collier campaign finance reports tie business allegiances to candidates

— While other Collier County Commission candidates have raised tens of thousands of dollars for their campaigns, Russell Kish hasn't raised one cent.

But he's OK with that.

"My problem with campaign donations is they are really an IOU for the candidate to pay back in some manner. The donations cause politicians to do what is best for the contributors before they do what is right for the constituents," said Kish, running with no party affiliation in District 1 against GOP incumbent Donna Fiala and Republican challenger Steve Cosgrove.

Collier County candidates have filed their first quarterly campaign reports for 2012, detailing the money their campaigns received. Donations from individuals make up the bulk of the fundraising, but businesses are lining up behind candidates as well.

Vulcan Materials Co., which owns Florida Rock, contributed $500 each to the campaigns of incumbent commissioners — Fiala, District 5 Commissioner Jim Coletta and District 3 Commissioner Tom Henning.

Collier officials have been talking in recent years about making it easier to mine after officials expressed concern that currently permitted rock mines were running out of rock. Although a county study concluded there's plenty of rock to be mined, it is in areas where mining is prohibited by county growth plans.

All three current commissioners also received contributions from The Lykos Group, a custom home construction and remodeling company in Naples. The company gave $200 each to Fiala's and Coletta's campaigns and $500 to Henning's.

Lykos Group officials have appeared before commissioners previously, most notably in 2009 to ask to have inspections of homes done by the county.

Attempts to reach representatives at both companies were unsuccessful.

Henning, who raised $11,055 in the first quarter of 2012 and has raised almost $40,000 to date, said of 151 checks he received, 124 were from residents.

"Lykos Group has never done business with the county. It has been four years since Florida Rock petitioned the county for land-use change and per county staff, Florida Rock will not be before the commissioners in the foreseeable future," he wrote in an email.

Coming Monday: A look at the latest campaign finance reports for candidates in Lee County.

Fiala said she's been blessed with the contributions she's received — and with more than $65,000 to date, she has raised the most money. She said she believes every contribution from an individual is a vote.

"And I like that. I have more contributions from individuals," she said.

Fiala said she personally doesn't feel beholden to any business giving her money.

"I think sometimes, people think you are going to feel obligated," she said. "I don't see it that way. I don't think I get a donation because they are asking a favor. They are giving me a donation because I am fair."

Coletta, who has raised more than $49,000 for his campaign — $23,735 in the first quarter of 2012, said contributions from individuals and businesses are the same to him. He said he doesn't feel beholden to people who support his campaign.

Following the 2000 commission race, he said, someone who contributed $500 to his campaign wanted him to do something he wasn't comfortable doing.

"I told the person I would refund their $500 contribution and publicly state why I was giving the money back," he said. "He declined to take the contribution back. But I think the majority of people give me contributions for the way I perform, not because of what they will get out of it."

Businesses aren't only attracted to incumbents. District 5 candidate Tim Nance also received contributions from local businesses, including $500 from Riley Florida rentals of Bonita Springs, $500 from D&K Rentals in Immokalee, $500 from Busy B&B Nursery in Immokalee and $500 from B&L Hardware in Immokalee.

Nance, who raised $27,455 in the first quarter of 2012— more than his opponents, said people have been generous with him.

"It shows I have a lot of support. I also loaned a significant amount of money to my campaign ($10,000) because I believe in myself," Nance said. "A small donation in these economic times means as much as someone's business. People like to make donations through their business because that's what they do. That's important, too."

Nance said he would feel uncomfortable taking donations from an individual or business routinely appearing before the commission.

"It's not illegal, but I have been a person who advocates for a higher standard of ethics for the commissioners," he said.

One Nance contributor, Kimberlea Blocker — who provided $435 in rental and refreshments to Nance's campaign, is part of a lawsuit against the county over the zoning of her mobile home park in Immokalee because the zoning has been deemed inconsistent with the county's growth plan. The Blocker family contributed significantly to Nance's campaign in the first quarter of 2012.

"That is one individual who has an issue," Nance said. "The thing about the Blockers is they are a prominent family in Immokalee who have a stake in the success in that community. They've made commitments in Immokalee. They are among the biggest investors in Immokalee. And they feel they are not represented well."

In the first quarter of 2012, District 3 candidate Bill McDaniel received a $300 contribution from local developer Lake Lincoln LLC, a $500 contribution from Rock Enterprises Inc. of LaBelle and a $500 contribution from the Internet Realty Group Inc.

McDaniel said all money to him is equal, whether from an individual or business.

"It takes money to run a campaign. Where it comes from is irrelevant. Everyone deserves equal representation," he said.

McDaniel said one of his larger contributors, Rock Enterprises, works with him in his business. He said he doesn't feel beholden to any one contributor, but said their donations to his campaign empower him.

"This is assistance from people who want a voice in their community. They believe in what I am doing," he said. "They know me. They know what this community needs."Cosgrove, who has raised $4,200 in campaign contributions to date — $550 in the first quarter of 2012, said his focus has been on meeting people and making a personal connection, and less on fundraising. But he does have a goal of $20,000, he said, and will accept donations from both individuals and businesses.

"That's the important thing about the campaign finance reports. It allows people to see where the money is coming from. So, if one commissioner is accepting lots of donations from Democrats, but is running as a Republican, voters can see that," he said.

District 5 Democratic candidate John Lundin said candidates have to accept money from both individuals and businesses to win. Lundin, who loaned his campaign $560, said he plans to wait until closer to the November election to start raising money.

Still, Lundin said, supporting those who support you is a reality of politics.

"Let's face it, people do vote in favor of people who give them money. It's a reality," he said.

Coming Monday: A look at the latest campaign finance reports for candidates in Lee County.

© 2012 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 34

Beachglow writes:

Vote for Kish, fresh new face for Collier

Sick writes:

Wish there were some real candidates.

Oh well better keep what we got.

swfl_ff writes:

I highly recommend that everyone takes the time to read the campaign finance records of each candidate. It makes for some interesting reading. By reading just who is contributing to the various candidates will help you see just who's money is backing who.

The Nance/Colletta reports are interesting. Nance is getting a lot of support from both Pelican Bay and Immokalee while Colletta seems to be getting a lot of support from Marco Island. Like I said it makes for some interesting reading.

http://www.colliervotes.com/?showurl=...

angrytxpyr writes:

Its kinda cute that the Blockers are in a Zoning dispute with Collier County in regards to the decades old trailer park and the Airport Taxiway zoning issue is is no big deal according the Fred(rip van)Coyle. Yeh one candidate is financing the other candidate with TAXPAYERS money and political favor. Just look at what Marco Island got a few years ago so that one women's group would endorse and contribute to Gina Downs, it looks like that sand bar is gonna get so more TAXPAYER funded beach sand. Why don't they start at the North end of the county? Any idiot that can kinda understand charts and ocean currents can ee that the sand they put down in the North end eventually ends up on Tiger tail and the South end shoals that trap so many boats. I think its time to elect a couple adults to the board of Commissioners and no I don't think Nance and his airport visits should be ignored nor the fact that Georiga was riding along too. So transparent and shameful these people but we keep electing from the same gene pool of candidates. Must be the voters who lack the willpower and spine for a real change and a higher level of maturity and Ethics in our Elected officials.

forliberty writes:

Russel Kish is wrong on this; many, including me, donate to candidates I think will represent me in the way I expect. I don't donate to garner special favors for my special interests. Some people might do that but I don't.

unfatcat writes:

Today, with the internet, each candidate need only do cheap ads by using U-tube and local public speaking without the aid of TV advertisements at all. TV ads are based on misleading info anyway in all cases, when no rebuttal is seen. Far more people are users of devices with cheap ads.

It seems rather absurd that huge amounts of money are wasted on contributions, when these monies could be used in the marketplace instead. The President's goal being in the $$Billion figure is an outright disgrace, not to mention the millions by other candidates. Money raised today is only used for favors and attacking other candidates, neither benefitting the public.

Kish4Commish writes:

The reality of politics and we are all just supposed to keep accepting it? That is why everybody thinks ALL politicians are corrupt. I can't accept money and then potentially let down those that endorsed me by failing to get elected.
Unfortunately I see it as paid for service money. I just need the public to pay attention and be informed. In my door to door campaign I do not get this impression. Enlightenment comes at a cost, I guess.

unfatcat writes:

in response to swfl_ff:

I highly recommend that everyone takes the time to read the campaign finance records of each candidate. It makes for some interesting reading. By reading just who is contributing to the various candidates will help you see just who's money is backing who.

The Nance/Colletta reports are interesting. Nance is getting a lot of support from both Pelican Bay and Immokalee while Colletta seems to be getting a lot of support from Marco Island. Like I said it makes for some interesting reading.

http://www.colliervotes.com/?showurl=...

I'm not sure that it's clearly telling who is supporting who by dollars. I believe that when it comes to business, the donation goes to whoever the businessowner believes is going to win, not who they want. Some give to both.

For instance, when Obama was elected, Wallstreet financed Obama about 90% of all contributions; yet he has verbally assaulted their wealth and profession from the onset of his Presidency.

Sick writes:

in response to Kish4Commish:

The reality of politics and we are all just supposed to keep accepting it? That is why everybody thinks ALL politicians are corrupt. I can't accept money and then potentially let down those that endorsed me by failing to get elected.
Unfortunately I see it as paid for service money. I just need the public to pay attention and be informed. In my door to door campaign I do not get this impression. Enlightenment comes at a cost, I guess.

Didn't you say this when you ran against Coletta?

And btw, When you lose again in this district will you be running for another district next election?

Keep changing districts until you win one for the cush job?

It's obvious you don't care about the district you were running for. So how could you expect people to care about you?

feduptoo writes:

Writer Albers should have done her homework. I clicked on the link provided by swfl ff.
Then, I clicked on each candidates name.
Scroll down and click on "List All Contributions and Expenditures" for the FULL picture.
I found something VERY different from what was reported by Katherine Albers.

According to Albers' article re Tim Nance:

"It shows I have a lot of support. I also loaned a significant amount of money to my campaign ($10,000) because I believe in myself," Nance said.

In REALITY, Nance has put in $42,000 OF HIS OWN MONEY. NOT $10,000 as reported in the article.

That takes Nance's total of $72,537.17 in reported 'donations' down to $30,537.17 ACTUAL donations.

That means Nance has ONLY collected about $30,000 in a full year of campaigning.

The REAL number is less than half of his reported 'donations'.

It looks like what Nance called 'overwhelming support' isn't so overwhelming when you consider he is his own biggest contributor --- to the tune of $42,000 out of his own pocket.

Contrast that with Colletta who put just $100.00 -- Yes, thats in ONE HUNDRED dollars -- into his own campaign.

That takes Colletta's total of $49,320.00 'reported' donations down to $49,220.00 in ACTUAL donations.

Come on Albers and Naples Daily News, don't just quote a candidate on what they SAY they have collected, do some fishing around and give us the REAL figures.

I want to know EXACTLY what is being collected and WHO is making the big donations. Looks like the biggest donator in this entire election cycle is Tim Nance giving to himself.

If I can find this stuff out and tell people the REAL story, why can't Albers?????

Crackroots writes:

Nance lied to the newspaper as usual. Look at his campaign finance report. He loaned himself 40k not 10k as he said above. Going broke to try and beat Jim Coletta. Clearly doesn't care about the financial well being of his family. Nance will never see that 40k again.

TheyPavedParadise2 writes:

in response to Crackroots:

Nance lied to the newspaper as usual. Look at his campaign finance report. He loaned himself 40k not 10k as he said above. Going broke to try and beat Jim Coletta. Clearly doesn't care about the financial well being of his family. Nance will never see that 40k again.

It would seem that he believes in himself. Seems that he is concerned with the financial well being of the County. Let's have a look at the interests that are supporting each of the candidates. You really aren't concerned with Nances family. I agree with getting all of the information out on each of the candidates. Lets also look at the interrelationship between the individual donors. If you have 10 family members, is it skirting the law to have all of them make the max donation?

concerned_rep writes:

Check out this link from the Sarasota news - it's a prime example of what usually happens when an incumbent stays in office too long!
http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/...

Kish4Commish writes:

I know I need a thick skin to run for any office but SICK needs to get his info straight or pipe down. I live in district 1. Last year it was district 5. Same location. You do realize the county was redistricted? If you want to meet me and question me personally I will gladly oblige you the time. AND if I didn't run against Fiala there would be no one that lives IN the district running against her. 3 terms unopposed. I don't think so. If this is such a cush job why don't you run?

genericuser writes:

To TheyPavedParadise:
Be careful what you wish for.

Someone might investigate the many $500.00 donations to Tim Nance by the Riley contingent.
Is that the SAME Riley that Tom Henning lived with during Henning's seperation and divoce?
The SAME Riley of Michigan family fame?
The SAME silver-spoon convicted felon Riley?
Don't assume people are oblivious to the connection.
Just wait until THAT story sees the light of day.

Yes, TheyPavedParadise.
Be careful what you wish for.

TheyPavedParadise2 writes:

Is Riley a factor in the campaign, and is there something illegal afoot? Please elaborate.

donkeydrone writes:

in response to Kish4Commish:

The reality of politics and we are all just supposed to keep accepting it? That is why everybody thinks ALL politicians are corrupt. I can't accept money and then potentially let down those that endorsed me by failing to get elected.
Unfortunately I see it as paid for service money. I just need the public to pay attention and be informed. In my door to door campaign I do not get this impression. Enlightenment comes at a cost, I guess.

Russell Kish, you are the only democratic party memeber running, what can you do for us besides tell us how bad the republicans are??? What will you do differently to get our support?

TheyPavedParadise2 writes:

in response to donkeydrone:

Russell Kish, you are the only democratic party memeber running, what can you do for us besides tell us how bad the republicans are??? What will you do differently to get our support?

You missed one. John Lundin is a qualified candidate for District 5.
While unorthodox in many respects, he does have some ideas. I'm sure he will make this race interesting.

AnnetteKniola writes:

I wanted to write a blog about this so bad but another topic was more at the top of my list, so I guess I will voice myself here.

swff_ff, your first comment is oh so true. Sick, I also agree with you to an extent. And Kish, I love the fact you are taking $0 in campaign money.

Where does campaign money go to anyway? With the press and internet, it's really not needed. And if you do get contributions, donate it!

All of this money is crazy. If I were to ever get to the point in my life when I may need to run for President or something, I would just like it if someone would build me some signs on the side of the road with my happy face on them. :)

To each is own I guess, but truly, what is the money for and how is it used? I would really like to know.

Happy Sunday!

staghorn writes:

remember these infamous republican battle cries.
"RE-ELECT NO ONE." and "VOTE THEM ALL OUT!"
just watch how unlikely that will ever happen in a collier county election.

Kish4Commish writes:

in response to donkeydrone:

Russell Kish, you are the only democratic party memeber running, what can you do for us besides tell us how bad the republicans are??? What will you do differently to get our support?

Independent

Lundin is the only democrat

Here is a sample

1. Conserve collier expires 2013. Keep it running at maintenance level, no new purchases of land and change use of remaining funds to eliminate the debt.
2. $31 million for beach replenishment is a big NO. One storm and $30million out to sea.
3. Gov't dept heads RESPONSIBLE for depts activities or lack there of.
4.Notice I said ELIMINATE the debt.
5. Work for consolidation of fire/ems to give entire county equal coverage like we try to do with the sheriff and the schools.
6. Proper fertilizer restrictions to protect our drinking and recreational water ( except for agricultural use.)
7. Allow voter referendums when demanded by the residents. (Fiala said no twice, straw vote on fire consolidation, and on Jackson labs.)
8. No change in land use density.
9. No politics. Give me all the info, ask me a question and get a straight answer.

skipperdz writes:

in response to forliberty:

Russel Kish is wrong on this; many, including me, donate to candidates I think will represent me in the way I expect. I don't donate to garner special favors for my special interests. Some people might do that but I don't.

I believe he was speaking in generalities. He was expressing how he would feel, he doesn't have to take donations, if he doesn't want to. I don't believe he was singling you out.

intense writes:

What do you think the chances are that Henning's report is incorrect?
He LOVES those omissions and mathematical errors.
Can't seem to get it right on half of his filings to the state, no reason to think he will get it right on filings to the county.
Somebody better get out their calculator and get a BIG eraser.

Sick writes:

in response to Kish4Commish:

Independent

Lundin is the only democrat

Here is a sample

1. Conserve collier expires 2013. Keep it running at maintenance level, no new purchases of land and change use of remaining funds to eliminate the debt.
2. $31 million for beach replenishment is a big NO. One storm and $30million out to sea.
3. Gov't dept heads RESPONSIBLE for depts activities or lack there of.
4.Notice I said ELIMINATE the debt.
5. Work for consolidation of fire/ems to give entire county equal coverage like we try to do with the sheriff and the schools.
6. Proper fertilizer restrictions to protect our drinking and recreational water ( except for agricultural use.)
7. Allow voter referendums when demanded by the residents. (Fiala said no twice, straw vote on fire consolidation, and on Jackson labs.)
8. No change in land use density.
9. No politics. Give me all the info, ask me a question and get a straight answer.

There is only one thing on that list that can not be done by a 3rd grader.

And that item is the debt. And not even you could pull that off.

If that's all you got you may as well quit now and save the embarasement.

TheyPavedParadise2 writes:

in response to Sick:

There is only one thing on that list that can not be done by a 3rd grader.

And that item is the debt. And not even you could pull that off.

If that's all you got you may as well quit now and save the embarasement.

SO you are saying the 5 current commissioners don't have the intelligence of a 3rd grader?
Then what do we do?

ARG (Inactive) writes:

in response to TheyPavedParadise2:

SO you are saying the 5 current commissioners don't have the intelligence of a 3rd grader?
Then what do we do?

Fire all 5 County Commissioners.

skipperdz writes:

Sick is just upset that he/she doesn't have the courage to attempt to make a difference himself. Sick seems to be the type that is just angry at the world. I guess there are a few shoulda, woulda coulda moments? No reason to knock on a guy that is trying to make people pay attention to what is actually happening here. If he loses, he loses so what? I assume sick isn't related to Kish, to face "embarrassment" or "public humilation". He's ran once already and lost, I don't think his family ran and hid under rocks or moved out of town because of it.

comment writes:

It is time for fresh faces on BOCC's. We need to life on the BOCC.

lovemycat writes:

I don't care about FRESH faces. I want competent, honest, hard-working, knowledgeable people with the public interest at heart.
The people in North Naples got a fresh face in Hiller and look how THAT turned out.
Dysfunctional, combative, mud-slinging and wasting a lot of time and money with her actions.
I just want the RIGHT candidate.
Sometimes that is the incumbent, sometimes not.
Bet North Naples would love a do-over.

donkeydrone writes:

in response to Kish4Commish:

Independent

Lundin is the only democrat

Here is a sample

1. Conserve collier expires 2013. Keep it running at maintenance level, no new purchases of land and change use of remaining funds to eliminate the debt.
2. $31 million for beach replenishment is a big NO. One storm and $30million out to sea.
3. Gov't dept heads RESPONSIBLE for depts activities or lack there of.
4.Notice I said ELIMINATE the debt.
5. Work for consolidation of fire/ems to give entire county equal coverage like we try to do with the sheriff and the schools.
6. Proper fertilizer restrictions to protect our drinking and recreational water ( except for agricultural use.)
7. Allow voter referendums when demanded by the residents. (Fiala said no twice, straw vote on fire consolidation, and on Jackson labs.)
8. No change in land use density.
9. No politics. Give me all the info, ask me a question and get a straight answer.

Russell, in 2008 you ran as a democrat now you are running Independant, what made you change parties?

cornandbeans writes:

I can't stand Donna Fiala. Inept. Uneducated. Two faced. Totally all out for herself - three husbands and votes for what benefits her.

Carpetbagger from Ohio needs to run for office back home.

Sick writes:

in response to ARG:

Fire all 5 County Commissioners.

Yes I agree. Let the people run the land at will.

MisterK writes:

in response to Kish4Commish:

I know I need a thick skin to run for any office but SICK needs to get his info straight or pipe down. I live in district 1. Last year it was district 5. Same location. You do realize the county was redistricted? If you want to meet me and question me personally I will gladly oblige you the time. AND if I didn't run against Fiala there would be no one that lives IN the district running against her. 3 terms unopposed. I don't think so. If this is such a cush job why don't you run?

You've captured my attention Russell and I'm compelled to study your candidacy further. In regards to sick, you're dealing with an NDN blog character. Sick's character portrayal is that of a wealthy elitist, but I think the access comes from $1 coffee and McDonalds Wifi. Don't get me wrong. I generally enjoy Sick's comments, but I don't think he was being fair with you. Good luck, Russell. I look forward to knowing more about your campaign.

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