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3 candidates, 3 strategies

Allyn Harvey
Aspen Times Staff Writer

The first filing deadline for campaign finance reports for next month’s election passed last week with little fanfare. But the reports from the three Aspen School Board candidates reveal very different approaches to the campaign.

Until last week, Tom Clapper had spent no money on his campaign. Sally Hansen, meanwhile, had spent nearly $4,200, entirely out of her own pocket. And Laura Kornasiewicz had the most traditional campaign, raising money from contributors – including vocal district critic Laurie Michaels – and spending it on election material.

The shortest report was filed by Clapper. In the reporting period from Sept. 17 to Oct. 9, he raised no money and spent no money. His file has a one-page form titled “Candidate Statement of Non-receipt of Contributions or Non-expenditure of Funds.”

Until last week, Clapper did not have a campaign committee. But Jody Tankersley, Pitkin County’s election deputy, said Clapper isn’t required to have a campaign committee if he isn’t raising or spending money.

“To be honest, it wasn’t really that big of an issue to start with – they weren’t doing anything, so I wasn’t doing anything,” Clapper said. “But then I looked at their reports and saw Sally had spent $4,000 and that other woman had all that money, so I started raising my own funds.”

Clapper has since formed a committee and is printing up brochures and mailers.

The other two candidates each filed a “Report of Contributions and Expenditures,” which places them in league with the vast majority of political candidates at every level of government.

Hansen’s report, however, does not include a list of contributors. Instead, it has a “Statement of Personal Expenditures by a Candidate.”

Hansen said she decided to pay for her campaign out of her own pocket so people interested in contributing money could instead support educational projects by directing their money to the Aspen Education Foundation.

Hansen’s biggest expenditure so far is $2,147.60 to the post office. She paid $1,252 to Baker Pro Print in Snowmass Village for printing campaign literature; $688 to County Commissioner Mick Ireland for a voter mailing list; and $101 to a company called Quill for envelops.

In all, Hansen has so far spent $4,188.60 in her effort to win a seat on the school board. “All I’ve done is one mass mailing – that’s just what it costs,” she said.

Kornasiewicz has run the most standard campaign so far. Between Sept. 17 and Oct. 9 she raised $1,700 from 14 donors and contributed $250 out of her own pocket. She has spent $1,748.58, most of it at the post office, mailing post cards.

Included among Kornasiewicz’s top donors is Michaels, the Woody Creek woman who led and financed last year’s effort to oust Aspen District Superintendent Tom Farrell.

Michaels donated $250 to Kornasiewicz’s campaign. Other $250 supporters include Roxanne Willsky, of Aspen, and Ivy and Marc Powell, of Woody Creek.

Two people, Kelly Purnell, of Woody Creek, and Everett Wiehe, of Lafayette, each contributed $200 to Kornasiewicz’s campaign.

Kornasiewicz could not be reached for comment for this story.

[Allyn Harvey’s e-mail address is aharvey@aspentimes.com]


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