The Donors Behind the Dough

A glimpse at the campaign finance reports

Randi Shade
Randi Shade (Photo by Jana Birchum)

Campaign finance reports are in for the Place 3 run-off between Randi Shade and Kathie Tovo, with results mirroring fundraising matters in general: Shade rakes in cash with assistance from a bevy of bundlers, while Tovo remains competitive thanks to some major windfalls.

Kathie Tovo
Kathie Tovo (Photo by Jana Birchum)

In reports submitted June 10, Shade announced nearly $148,000 raised. As in earlier reports, many contributions came bundled by benefactors, largely from the development and business communities. The eight bundlers named include attorney David Arm­brust with $25,000, attorney Nikelle Meade, Jeff New­berg of Endeavor Real Estate Group, and Laurie Swan of Stratus Prop­erties. Austin Yellow Cab General Manager Ed Kargbo also solicited contributions on Shade's behalf.

The filing also notes contributions to Shade's campaign on behalf of the public safety unions and direct campaign expenditures made "without the candidate's prior consent or approval" from several West Sixth Street bars, including Little Wood­row's and Opal Divines, which briefly offered happy hour pricing and poll rides in a get-out-the-vote campaign designed to benefit Shade. Individual contributors include Oak Hill neighborhood activist Sandy Baldridge, Bal­cones Resources CEO Kerry Getter, and Planning Commis­sion Chair Dave Sullivan, a Shade appointee.

Tovo tallied more than $128,000 in campaign funds. But like the self-loans that bolstered her campaign in the primary, half of that amount – $64,157 – came in one large chunk as a distribution of cash from the Austin Fair Campaign Finance Fund. (As the only Place 3 candidate to sign the "fair campaign" finance pledge, Tovo was eligible to receive the funding for her run-off despite exceeding the limitation on self-loans that would have been in place had another candidate signed the same pledge.)

The other half of Tovo's take – $64,092 – came in contributions. Prominent contributors include Save Our Springs Alliance attorney Bill Bunch, co-founder Brian Rodgers, and Texas Campaign for the Environment's Robin Schneider. Tovo also listed two bundlers: Meade, who also solicited for Shade, and Danette Chimenti, past Austin Neighborhoods Council president and Tovo's former colleague on the Planning Commission.

Randi Shade

Money In: $147,886

Money Out: $169,076

Notable Expenditures: $14,900 to Rick Perry pollster Mike Baselice; $3,500 to Republican organizer and anti-Obama tweeter Lucas Sheffield

Kathie Tovo

Money In: $128,248*

Money Out: $127,768

Notable Expenditures: $9,040 to Fort Worth polling firm the Tyson Organization; $3,000 to consultant Mark Yznaga

Got something to say on the subject? Send a letter to the editor.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More elections
Legal Heat Rises on Vote-by-Mail
Legal Heat Rises on Vote-by-Mail
Dallas Dems file criminal complaint against attorney general

Michael King, May 15, 2020

Austin Election Ticker: The Endorsements Begin
Austin Election Ticker: The Endorsements Begin
Delia Garza's Twitter tangle, Central Labor Council likes, and more

Michael King, Jan. 17, 2020

More by Wells Dunbar
Top 10 City Council Stories
Top 10 City Council Stories
Dais and months

Jan. 6, 2012

City Hall Hustle: The Hustle Bids Farewell ...
City Hall Hustle: The Hustle Bids Farewell ...
To the beating hearts of a great city

Dec. 30, 2011


elections, Randi Shade, Kathie Tovo, David Armbrust, Austin Fair Campaign Finance Fund

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle