Campaign finance

Early voting is in full swing, and voters can participate in the event at the Denham Springs - Walker Branch Library or the Registrar of Voters office in Livingston until October 5. Doors are open from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m.

With early voting being pushed by local officials this year, due to a crowded election day, candidates have come out hard on social media, in mailboxes, and on traditional media, as well.

Below, readers can see several bullet points which outline the amounts raised, spent, and what’s left for three races that have become contentious.

Assessor

Brandon Browning

  • Raised: $41,950
  • Spent: $17,136.75
  • Remaining: $24,813.25

Jeff Taylor

  • Raised: $40,550
  • Spent: $53,499.25
  • Remaining: $193,154.39

21st JDC - Judge, Division D

Ernie Drake

  • Raised: $206,141.32
  • Spent: $36,558.93
  • Remaining: $161,761.89

Brian Abels

  • Raised: $53,276.60
  • Spent: $74,623.62
  • Remaining: $75,973.29

William Scott Dykes

  • Raised: $25,300.00
  • Spent: $16,994.35
  • Remaining: $8,305.65

Senate District 13

Edith Carlin

  • Raised: $201,156.24
  • Spent: $50,197.83
  • Remaining: $144,707.90

Deven Cavalier

  • Raised: $6,550
  • Spent: $6,130.71
  • Remaining: $419.29

J. Rogers Pope

  • Raised: $63,157.28
  • Spent: $50,699.94
  • Remaining: $221,018.24

Some candidates had submitted their 10-day report, some had not. The information at right was gathered on Oct. 1 and reflects the most recent reports the News could find.

The most recent reports are 10 or 30 day. Note that these numbers can fluctuate and change, as more cash is raised and spent in the 20 days between 10 and 30 day reporting.

J. Rogers Pope (Senate District 13); Jeff Taylor (Assessor); and Brian Abels (21st Judicial Judge - Division D) began their races with cash on hand, usually from previous races.

Others, including Ernie Drake (21st Judicial Judge - Division D) and Edith Carlin (Senate District 13) have hit their totals utilizing large loans - $165,000 and $119,000, respectively.

Carlin has also received roughly $32,648 in PAC money so far. Her opponent, Pope, has received $45,152 from PACs.

Drake, in the 21st Judicial District, might face consequences from campaign finance due to his committee structure for fund raising and campaign management.

According to the Code of Judicial Conduct, Canon 7, Part A, Item 6, “a judge or judicial candidate shall refrain from inappropriate political and campaign activity, to the extent permitted by these canons.”

Item 6 reads - Personally solicit or personally accept campaign contributions.

Drake is listed as his campaign committee chair on his 30-day finance report.

Judge’s races usually employ a committee to do their fund raising for them, to avoid issues with the Code of Judicial Conduct item represented above. A member of the Baton Rouge judiciary member submitted a complaint, against Drake's campaign, to the ethics board re: campaign finance.

Finances for other local races are listed below:

House District 71 (30-day)

Lori Callais

  • Raised: $3,821.40
  • Spent: $2,120.75
  • Remaning: $7,598.28

Jonathan Davis

  • Raised: $17,085
  • Spent: $10,573.85
  • Remaining: $6,511.15

Ivy Graham

  • Raised: $37,969.15
  • Spent: $21,873.30
  • Remaning: $7,063.31

Buddy Mincey

  • Raised: $74,616.06
  • Spent: $47,756.08
  • Remaining: $65,862.51

Robert Poole

  • Raised: $2,594.72
  • Spent: $2,467.01
  • Remaining: $127.71

House District 95 (30-day)

Sherman Mack

  • Raised: $28,300
  • Spent: $20,636.02
  • Remaining: $13,254.41

Robin Parrott

  • Raised: $11,849.25
  • Spent: $2,925.22
  • Remaining: $8,412.93

BESE District 6 (30-day)

Vickie Auguste

  • Raised: $893.00
  • Spent: $893.00
  • Remaining: $0.00

Clara Hart

  • No report found

Ronnie Morris

  • Raised: $34,625.00
  • Spent: $5,217.08
  • Remaining: $47,707.92

Gregory Spiers

  • Raised: $6,159.95
  • Spent: $1,738.43
  • Remaining: $4,323.57

PARISH COUNCIL

District 1 (30-day)

Jeff Ard

  • Raised: $6,000
  • Spent: $3,049
  • Remaining: $3,149.01

Julius Craig

  • No report found

District 2 (30-day)

Kyle ‘Hoot’ Parker

  • Raised: $23,673.11
  • Spent: $16,276.76
  • Remaining: $7,396.35

Garry ‘Frog’ Talbert

  • Raised: $39,085.39
  • Spent: $16,713.37
  • Remaining: $19,872.02

District 3 (30-day)

Maurice ‘Scooter’ Keen

  • Raised: $20,878.55
  • Spent: $16,896.10
  • Remaining: $4,344.74

Brian Ross

  • No file found

Shannon Sloan

  • Raised: $7,313
  • Spent: $5,674.34
  • Remaining: $639.05

District 6 (30-day)

Steve McDaniel

  • Raised: $3,508.02
  • Spent: $3,000.00
  • Remaining: $508.02

Muriel Laws

  • Raised: $8,014.42
  • Spent: $7,665.93
  • Remaining: $348.49

Gerald McMorris

  • Raised: $10,850.00
  • Spent: $10,419.19
  • Remaining: $430.81

Derek Babcock

  • Raised: $17,230.00
  • Spent: $13,364.29
  • Remaining: $3,691.48

District 8 (30-day)

Barry Hardy

  • Raised: $8,500.00
  • Spent: $7,774.37
  • Remaining: $675.63*

Randy Delatte

  • Raised: $22,925.0
  • Spent: $19,006.75
  • Remaining: $3,918.25

For many voters, campaign finance can be an enigma.

Oft-asked questions include: ‘Where can I find it?,’ ‘What are the rules?,’ and ‘How do I read it once I have it?’

The answer to the first question is the Ethics Board site, ethics.la.gov.

A written records request may also be submitted, however it takes some time for the government to ship that required paperwork via mail - upwards of two weeks, sometimes more, according to the ethics office.

Depending on how you’re viewing their website, whether on a phone or on a computer, users will navigate to the ‘Campaign Finance’ menu and tap ‘View Reports.’

From here, those interested in the financial reports of candidates can hit the ‘Search Reports’ near the top, which is the most broad query for financial data, and begin their search into individual campaigns’ financial records.

Filing dates, especially for local races, come quickly before the actual election. There’s a required date of filing 30 days before the election, then 10 days, and the election day results.

There is also a 48-hour report that is required in the 10 days leading up to the election, should a candidate spend or receive anything over $200.

That transaction must be reported in that 10 day window within 48 hours of it’s occurance.

Limits on single donations to campaigns are $5,000 for state wide offices, $2,500 for district, and $1,000 for smaller offices.

PAC limits are much higher - $80,000, $60,000, and $20,000, respectively.

Also, if an individual is a member of a PAC that has at least 250 total membership, individual donation limits are doubled.

The reports are fill-in-the-blank, and usually start with a declaration page that gives the candidate’s name, campaign address, and the office sought.

Date of primary is next, as well as the financial date range the report covers.

It’s also important that interested parties check to see which date the report was submitted, and whether or not campaign finance accepted it.

What comes next is a two or three page report on where the money has gone - whether that be receipts, disbursements, or investments.

Finally, those records are broken down by schedule to show exactly where the money has come from, the date the revenue was received, and the exact total.

The end of the report breaks down expenditures, to show exactly where the money is going.

These reports have been updated, requiring candidates to now specify exactly what the expenditure is for, and not generally.

While technically all advertising, the report must break down what’s being spent on yard signs, push cards, and billboards - all separately.

The News will be looking at campaign finance reports in the coming days leading up to the election.

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