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Victoria campaign finance reports reveal expenses, contributions

By Melissa Crowe
May 8, 2012 at 12:08 a.m.
Updated May 9, 2012 at 12:09 a.m.


Who Spent What:

Who Spent What:• District 1: Emett Alvarez $5,393; Denise Rangel $2,206

• District 2: Gene Rice $300; *Josephine Soliz less than $500

• District 3: John Hyak $3,728; Paul Polasek $561

• District 4: Lewis Neitsch $2,980; David Hagan $2,208

*did not meet minimum spening requirements

Half the candidates for Victoria's May 12 City Council race met the deadline for filing their campaign finance reports.

District 3 Councilman Paul Polasek and his opponent John Hyak, as well as District 1 candidate Emett Alvarez and District 2 candidate Gene Rice met the May 4 deadline for their eight-day reports.

Whether for multi-million dollar state races or a couple hundred dollars in local elections, the financial report money trail can help voters decide which candidate to support on Election Day.

The biggest overall contributor to the May 12 election was Texas Association of Realtors Political Action Committee, which donated a total of $2,000 to four candidates: District 1 incumbent Denise Rangel, Rice, Polasek and District 4 candidate Lewis Neitsch.

Spokeswoman Diane Jernigan said the funds are locally raised, then pooled statewide. Then local directors can vote to make a political contribution, as they did this year with $500 contributions.

"We're just saying by investing funds, we support their positions on issues that affect real estate," Jernigan said.

Those issues include supporting property rights, economic development and community growth.

In his third attempt to win a City Council seat, Alvarez is so far the biggest spender and second biggest fundraiser, according to the latest reports.

Alvarez's expenditures totaled $5,393 and his contributions totaled $3,755.

"You have to demonstrate that you're willing to spend out of your pocket," he said, addressing a $3,000 loan to his campaign, of which he made to himself.

His biggest expense was $960 to Revista de Victoria for advertising. Alvarez is the publisher of that newspaper.

"To me, $5,000 for this race is a very small amount," he said. "I've seen other candidates run for this position and spend $10,000 and $15,000."

The District 3 race had the second biggest spender in Hyak at $3,728. Hyak received no political contributions and has not taken out a loan, according to his report.

His big-ticket item was $2,192 to Allied Advertising, a San Antonio based company, for campaign signs.

District 4's incumbent David Hagan missed the filing deadline because of a business trip, and is racking up the most and largest contributions, and the most loans.

Compared to his previous election, Hagan said this one is "lean" and "mean."

"I spent probably at least $10,000 (last time), and this time I haven't spent hardly anything," he said.

Hagan's May report showed $9,675 in outstanding loans. He received the two largest contributions: $1,200 from Thomas Hagan, of Tampa, Fla., and $1,000 from James Wayne, of Victoria, adding to his $3,846 in reported contributions.

His big ticket item was an $864 ad in the Victoria Advocate, according to the May report.

Hagan's opponent Lewis Neitsch and District 1's Rangel also missed the deadline. District 2 candidate Josephine Soliz did not file an update because she spent less than $500.

Rangel filed her report Monday afternoon with the city secretary.

In her May report, Rangel cited $1,202 in political contributions, up $187 from her April report, and $2,206 in expenditures, up almost $2,000 from her April report.

Her most expensive item was a $1,036 bill to Outburst Advertising for signs. She did not report dollar amount in a bill for advertising with Revista de Victoria.

According to District 2 candidate Rice's latest report filed May 4, his total contributions were about $2,620. He reported spending $300.

Not far behind him, District 4 incumbent Polasek collected $2,564 in contributions.

He reported spending $561, according to the latest round of reports.

Neitsch's May report showed a $2,500 loan, $3,200 in contributions and $2,980 in expenditures.

"If I can't invest a little bit in my own office, I don't have any reason for running," he said. "No one runs for the money; it's an honor."

Neitsch said signs are getting more expensive, as is advertising and mailers.

He spent $1,500 with Maverick Communications, a Victoria-based company, for mailers.

He said he has spent $2,980 as of May 7, and would decide this week whether to spend about $1,000 on another round of mailers.

"It adds up," he said.

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