The final campaign-finance report before Tuesday’s election for Palm Coast City Council is in. As if often the case with such things, there are a few surprises. One contribution in particular.
City Council Candidates' Campaign Finance Reports
Jason DeLorenzo, one of the four candidates in the two-seat election, who just last week conceded that he should not have taken a $500 contribution from Waste Pro, the garbage hauler hoping to keep its contract with the city, has taken a $100 contribution from Lee-Catherine Bateh, the marketing manager for one of Waste Pro’s chief rival for the contract–Republic Services.
Bateh and Republic have been aggressively pursuing the possibilities of winning the Palm Coast contract, valued at more than $35 million over five years. The matter is before the Palm Coast City Council, which just gave its administration the go-ahead to issue a request for proposal. The administration is heavily favoring Waste Pro and crafting the RFP in such a way as to favor the existing company and disfavor others, particularly Republic (whose big selling point was one-day-a-week pickup: the city is ruling that out from the get-go.)
DeLorenzo defended the contribution, which was recorded on the campaign finance report as dating from October 19. The $500 contribution from Waste Pro, in the previous finance report, was recorded on Oct. 11. The story that originally reported the contribution appeared on Oct. 31.
In an interview Monday evening, DeLorenzo said he wishes he had remembered the $100 contribution from Bateh during the earlier controversy, as it would have proven that he couldn’t have been favoring one company over another if he’d been receiving contributions from both. He also defended the $100 contribution.
“She’s a friend of a supporter, she was at a meet and greet I went to,” DeLorenzo said, differentiating the check from Waste Pro, the company, from that of an individual. “It’s a personal contribution from a personal supporter.” He said he had no intention of returning the money. The $500 from Waste Pro had not yet been returned, but was in the process of being returned, as it entails some paperwork.
DeLorenzo faces Dennis Cross for the seat left vacant by Mary DiStefano, who is term-limited.
The latest finance report covers the period from Oct. 15 to Nov. 3. It reflects a big surge in donations for DeLorenzo, whose total contributions to date exceeded those of incumbent Holsey Moorman, who’s running for a different seat and had been the money leader.
DeLorenzo raised $3,035 in the last period alone–the exact total Moorman’s challenger, Bill McGuire, raised the entire campaign to date. DeLorenzo was aided by several big donations, including $500 from Osceola Investment of Central Florida, a holding company, $500 from H. Thomas of Flagler Beach, a banker, and $500 from the Orlando-based Realtors Political Action Committee, which also gave $500 to Moorman. In all, DeLorenzo spent $6,638, but he said the amount doesn’t reflect several expenses that have yet to be paid. Whatever is left over will be donated to Feed Flagler, he said.
Moorman raised $845 in the last period. The biggest donation was from that PAC. He’s raised a total of $9,240 to date, and spent $5,974. He received $100 from Dan Camp in the latest report. Camp was the public face and Neoga Lakes, appearing before and working with local governments to win approval for the massive, 7,000-home development on the western flank of Palm Coast. Moorman voted for the development, as did the council. Camp’s occupation is not listed on the report.
McGuire raised $350 in cash, all but $50 from the two local Republican organizations–the Flagler County Republican Executive Committee and the Flagler County Republican Club. Dennis Cross got $300 from the two organizations, too, (which throws out the window the pretense of a non-partisan election: Cross and McGuire are Republicans, Moorman and DeLorenzo are Democrats). McGuire’s total of $3,035 is almost spent: expenditures totaled $2,702 in the last report. Cross, who raised $950 in the last reporting period, raised $5,769 in all, spending $5,504. He has four contributions of $100 or $200 each, none of which list the individuals’ occupations. The contributors are from Palm Coast, Ormond Beach and Bunnell.
The full report is below.