Weinberger Rakes in Campaign Cash, Holds Fundraising Lead | Off Message

Weinberger Rakes in Campaign Cash, Holds Fundraising Lead


The mayoral candidates - FILE: MATTHEW THORSEN
  • File: Matthew Thorsen
  • The mayoral candidates
Burlington mayoral candidate Carina Driscoll earned a $1,000 campaign donation from her stepfather, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), but it wasn't enough to match Mayor Miro Weinberger's hefty war chest.

The two-term incumbent tallied $107,000 by Saturday's campaign finance filing deadline, more than double the $46,000 Driscoll raised. Infinite Culcleasure has $10,500 in his campaign coffers, including $5,500 amassed since the last filing deadline three weeks ago.

Weinberger, meanwhile, raked in $26,000 during that same time period, mostly in larger donations. With 10 days remaining until the March 6 election, he's on pace to come close to — or even surpass — his 2012 fundraising total of $118,000.

Driscoll's haul was buoyed by the support of Our Revolution, a group launched by Sanders. The national organization sent out a fundraising email blast for Driscoll to much of the state in February, soliciting $5 donations. A total of 146 contributors helped her earn $13,200 since the last fundraising filing.

While Weinberger received a list of large checks, more than 90 percent of Driscoll's donors since February 4 gave less than $100. Driscoll has said she will not accept campaign contributions from businesses or corporations. Her sole $1,000 donation came from Sanders.

Weinberger earned support from former governors Howard Dean ($250) and Peter Shumlin ($1,000), as well as Bruce Lisman ($500), a Republican candidate for governor in 2016. Bill Stetson, a Norwich, Vt., film producer and environmental advisor to several presidential campaigns, gave $1,000, as did former U.S. attorney Eric Miller and his wife, Liz Miller, who serves as spokesperson for developer Don Sinex. Cincinnatus PAC, a Democratic political action committee based in Ohio, gave Weinberger $500.

As usual, Weinberger raked in contributions from a host of Burlington businessmen, including Northfield Savings Bank CEO Tom Leavitt ($1,000), developers Ed and Frank von Turkovich ($250), David Farrington Jr. (who gave $1,000 through an LLC) and Seventh Generation CEO Joey Bergstein ($500). Another $1,000 came from the Clarendon & Pittsford Railroad Company, while Burlington Housing Authority executive director Allyson Laackman gave $500. Her husband, Donald, serves as president of Champlain College.

In the last three weeks, Weinberger dropped $11,000 of his war chest on an assortment of glossy mailings, brochures and campaign literature. He's spent a total of $78,000 during the campaign. Driscoll has spent $30,000, while Culcleasure has used about $5,300.

Driscoll on Saturday earned the endorsement of the Burlington Free Press, who lauded her platform centered on "meeting the needs of low- and moderate-income residents."

Culcleasure has generally spurned fundraising, vowing to run a bare-bones campaign.