The City has now published a list of who donated to the various candidates in the last municipal election. In my mind, it is appalling that this list comes out months after the election. I think it should be a public list being updated daily. If candidates can have a treasurer that cashes cheques, they can type in the name and amount to an on-line list at the same time.
It might be necessary to “cut off” donations in the last three days of the campaign, to prevent a sudden dump of money (and consequently conceal the publicity of donors) in the last moments, in the hopes of avoiding scrutiny. Otherwise we can expect thousands of dollars to be donated/postmarked at 11.59pm of the day before the election.
The public has an interest in who donates, and how much, because it reflects the influence and sectors of support a candidate has. I would therefore support the list including a column that identifies the donor’s affiliation. You can see the City’s list of donations for all candidates here: http://ottawa.ca/city_hall/elections/financial_statements_en.html
So, for the two victorious Councillors representing wards on the west side, here is the data: I really would appreciate reader help in identifying individuals and corporations I missed if they have a connection to the development and real estate industry. This is a great crowd-sourcing opportunity. Send your info to the comments link at the bottom of the post.
First, Diane Holmes, Somerset Ward, individuals donated $10,612. Note that I am the first name on the list (surely a reflection of my eagerness to give away my scarce retirement funds). Other individuals in the list that I recognize as having real estate or development connections include Dianna Kirkwood (realtor, twice, $450); Ray Sullivan (CCOC, $150 ); Susan Garvey (Cornerstone housing for women, $500). On the list below that, of corporate donors, are two in the development industry: the architect Mohaupt, and 10 Driveway, which is Holmes’ landlord and is owned by Arnon Development Corporation, for $550 in total. Total of those sums: $1650 of $11,762 in donations, or 14%.
I did not include Catherine Boucher ($200) as she is retired from CCOC, a non-profit housing developer and operator active in the ward.
So, on to Kitchissippi Ward, where the winner was Katherine Hobbs. Her individual donations totalled $12,640. Names I recognize as belonging to the development and real estate industry include Marie Breton (Starwood-Mastercraft, $750); Bruce McMahon (Starwood-Mastercraft, $750); Lisa McMahon (Starwood-Mastercraft, $750); Julie Taggart (Taggart Construction, $750); Mark Purchase (Phoenix Homes, $500), Steve Grandmont (COO of Richcraft, $500); Edward Phillips (Taggart Realty, $750); totalling $4750.
I didn’t include Ron Jack ($300) of Delcan since they are development consultants but not themselves developers; nor G Patterson ($1000), a golf course owner, which may or may not be involved in land development. Also not included is Timothy O’Connor of 2909 Cowell in North Gower ($500). In 2008 Timothy O’Connor was listed as the applicant to re-zone that property from agriculture to residential, with the property being owned by Daniel and Dianne O’Connor. Timothy O’Connor is listed on that application as living at the same building as Katherine Hobbs now lives . Nor did I include John Riddell (Novatech Engineering, $500).
And there is the supplement to the above list, included in the $12,640 total:
So, of the individual donors, at least $4750 of $12,640 (37%) comes from persons closely connected or associated with real estate development. Another $2300 (18%) comes from persons probably associated with real estate development.
For her corporate donors, here is the list: real estate firms are $8375 of the amount. Campbell Iron and Steel at the bottom of the list is an Arnon Corporation (853 Carling, currently in development proposed stage). Charlesfort, ($250) the condo developer, is second on the list, and rumoured to be angling to develop the 853 Carling site (Arnon and Charlesfort are operated by the brothers Mike and Doug Casey). Connelly Properties for $500. Fotenn ($250) is the planning firm representing Starwood-Mastercraft for the 500 Preston site (Soho Italia).Also on the list is JL Richards (planning consultants, $200); Keith Taggart ($375); Osgoode Properties ($500); Domicile ($300); Nicol & Lazier (they represent Tartan Land Co?, $500); Graham Bird ($500); the Sachs (LS, $750; Urbandale $500); Uniform Developments ($500); Larco (developer, $300); Shenkman Corp ($500). There are some other corporations there I am not able to identify if they are developers.
If we add the real estate connected individual ($4750) and real estate corporate donors ($8373) to Katherine Hobbs, we get $13,123, or 57% per cent of the total $22,890 raised.
Here are the other corporate donors:
Reader help wanted:
Does anyone out there recognize any other individual donors in either Councillor’s list as being connected to real estate and development? Please send them into the comments section, and I will update the lists, and make any corrections if I got something wrong.
Note to readers: the tables come from the City’s web site, but their source documents vary in quality. I cut and pasted the tables in the same way; variations in size reflect the source documents. I will replace them with better versions if someone sends me one as a jpeg.