Burlingame fight a costly one | AspenTimes.com

Burlingame fight a costly one

Janet Urquhart

Aspen saw “unprecedented” spending during the spring election season, when the pro- and anti-Burlingame forces spent a combined $64,209 on the campaign leading up to the May 3 vote on the controversial worker housing project.Final contribution/expenditure reports for the city’s general election were due last week in the city clerk’s office. The Bar/X Ranch annexation question, which paves the way for development of the housing project, won at the polls after a costly fight.The Zoline Family Ranch Issue Committee spent $44,353 to promote passage of the ballot question. Nearly all of that sum was financed by the Zolines, owners of the Bar/X Ranch. Their free-market development also hinged on approval of the annexation.In addition, the pro-Burlingame group known as HOPE (Housing Our People Environmentally) spent another $9,270 pushing passage of the annexation question.Citizens for Smarter Housing and Responsible Planning spent $10,586 trying to defeat the measure.”This was unprecedented, I’m sure of it,” said longtime City Clerk Kathryn Koch.Campaign contributions for candidates for city office are limited to $250 per individual donor, but there is no cap on sums that can be contributed to an issue committee, as citizens have a constitutional right to spend whatever they wish getting their message out, she explained.In addition to the issue committees that were organized to campaign on Burlingame, project foe Dwight Shellman estimated he spent some $7,000 of his own money, which did not have to be reported to Koch’s office since he didn’t not form a committee nor solicit contributions.Among City Council candidates, runoff contenders Dee Malone and Jack Johnson have continued to collect and spend money on their campaigns for the past month. The runoff election is today.J.E. DeVilbiss has already secured one of the two open council seats, garnering enough votes on May 3 to avoid a runoff. He spent $6,345 on his campaign, records show.Candidate Andrew Kole spent $1,647 by April 26 and had about $725 on hand for the remainder of the campaign; no follow-up report was submitted. Cliff Weiss spent $1,498; Marcia Goshorn spent $750 and Pepper Gomes spent $450.Among mayoral candidates, incumbent Helen Klanderud spent $7,842 and secured a third term.Among her opponents, Councilman Torre spent $2,092 through April 26 and had $1,739 remaining; no follow-up report was filed. Bert Myrin spent $777 and returned almost $223 in remaining funds to contributors. Mayoral candidate Terry Paulson collected no money and spent no money in his campaign.Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com