Seiler vs. Hutchinson….The Money Game

     Follow the money. It’s usually good advice, and in the current Fort Lauderdale Mayoral race, it’s most interesting.

     The two candidates that are raising real money are City Commissioner Cindi Hutchinson and State Representative Jack Seiler. There is another announced candidate, Steve Rossi, and speculation still abounds on other possible entries, but Seiler and Hutchinson are raising all the money, and definitely have a good head start.

                     Jack                                                                                                Cindi                     

     Fort Lauderdale adopted a very progressive Campaign Finance Reform program a few years back. It makes it easier to follow the money. In the old days, Fat Cats used corporate names to hide great amounts of donations. Now, big donations can only come from real people, with their names and occupations attached. The new law also reduced the maximum donation to $250. Previously it was $500.

      Comparing the two candidates’ reports shows  patterns developing. First, there are few small donations. Seems those able to contribute the maximum are the only ones interested at this point. Seiler is mostly raising money from fellow attorneys, and Tallahassee contacts. Hutchinson is raising money from those she has come in contact with during her Commissioner career. Here is a representative sample of their reports.

Fat Cat Donors

     Jack’s Attorneys                                                 Cindi’s Developers
     Les Stracher – Atty.  $250                                   Kevin Buckley – Dev. $250
     Stuart Rosenfeldt – Atty.  $250                            Jack Loos – Dev. $250
     Russ Adler – Atty.   $250                                    Jim Ellis – Dev. $250
     Steve Lippman – Atty.  $250                               Charlie Ladd – Dev. $250
     Grant Smith – Atty. $250                                    Doug Eagon – Dev. $250
     Carl Linder – Atty. $250                                      Terry Stiles – Dev. $250
     Russ Klenet – Atty. $250                                    Peter Feldman – Dev. $250
     Lawrence Smith – Atty. $250                               Richard Zipes – Dev. $250
     Matthew Morral – Atty. $250                               Robert Lochrie – Dev.’s Atty $250
     Jim Scott – Atty. $250                                       Coutney Crush – Dev.’s Atty $250
     Ron Book – Atty. $250                                       Gerald Knight – Dev.’s Atty. $250

     Hutchinson is ahead in the money race, with about $27,000.  Seiler, who announced his candidacy months after Hutchinson, has about $12,000. The election is next March. Many people that are watching the race suspect both candidates might raise as much as $100,000. Are their really that many attorneys and developers around? 

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