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Two candidates lead in cash intake

January 07, 2006|By By Mark R. Madler

Candidates for vacant council seat fill campaign coffers. A former mayor and local optometrist take in thousands of dollars. DOWNTOWN BURBANK -- Optometrist David Gordon and former Mayor Bill Wiggins lead the pack in the dash for campaign cash for the special City Council election, according to campaign finance disclosure forms filed with the city clerk's office.

For the reporting period that ended Dec. 10, Gordon reported receiving $13,000, which includes a $4,000 loan to himself.

"People are really responding to my main message of putting people first and restoring confidence and trust with new leadership on the council," Gordon said.

Contributions have come to his campaign from residents, professional acquaintances and friends who live outside the city, Gordon said.

Wiggins reported receiving contributions of $10,100 for the filing period. But in a filing to be made next week, $6,675 will be reported as having been collected between Dec. 11 and Wednesday, Wiggins said.

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"Of my money, 90% is from Burbank businesses or residents," said Wiggins, a Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority commissioner.

Among donors to Wiggins's campaigns are fellow airport commissioners Don Brown and Charlie Lombardo, and former Burbank mayors and council members Bob Bowne, Mary Lou Howard and David Laurell.

Ballots went out Tuesday in the all-mail election to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of former Councilwoman Stacey Murphy.

Murphy gave up her council seat in August following charges filed against her for felony cocaine possession and misdemeanor child endangerment.

Voters must return the ballots to the city clerk's office by 7 p.m. on Jan. 24.

Gordon has spent much of his money -- $11,100 -- for pamphlets, campaign literature and postage through Dec. 10, according to the filings, and he spent $4,134 for newspaper ads, lawn signs and campaign literature. A total of five candidates are running in the election.

Candidate Vahe Hovanessian had a total of $4,160 in contributions and expenditures of $2,427 during the filing period, the filings showed.

The reported contributions included a $2,500 loan from himself, Hovanessian said.

"This is a content-based campaign," said Hovanessian, an attorney. "I'm not doing much fundraising. Whatever money comes my way I make the most of."

Bringing up the rear are political newcomers Amy Lawrence, an attorney, and Michael Dontanville, a retired air traffic controller.

Neither filed finance disclosure reports because they have spent less than $1,000 on the campaign.

"In lieu of spending money, I'm hardening the calluses on my feet and hands," Lawrence said. "I've been doing a lot of walking and talking."

Dontanville has collected about $600 to run what he knew would be a grass-roots-type campaign.

"I've got friends making calls for me and they will come out this weekend when we go door-to-door," Dontanville said. "We will do what we can."

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