Brooks Beating Lovelace In Cash Race – February 12, 2012

Third District Supervisor candidate Karen Brooks a her recent pancake breakfast at the D Street Neighborhood Center. KLH | Eye

Daniel Mintz

Eye Correspondent

HUMBOLDT – The underdog in the Third District supervisor election has shown an early influx of campaign financing from a bloc of development- and construction-related funders.

Bayside resident Karen Brooks is the only announced challenger to incumbent Supervisor Mark Lovelace, whose campaign finance statement for the second half of 2011 amounts to $625, $500 of it from himself.

Brooks, a former state assembly candidate and a Tea Party Republican, is believed to be a long shot candidate in a district that heavily favors liberal candidates. But her campaign funding for the period is robust, totaling about $20,000.

Much of it is comprised of $1,000 donations from members of a business group that has set the pace for fundraising in recent elections.

Out-of-district businesses like Eureka Readymix, Kramer Investment Corporation, Hooven & Company, Hilfiker Pipe Company, O&M Industries and ReProp Financial are among those that have given Brooks an early jump on fundraising – as they have for other (and often successful) conservative candidates in recent county elections.

The same funding bloc has given a similar out-of-the-gate campaign finance lead to Estelle Fennell, the former executive director of the Humboldt Coalition for Property Rights, who is challenging incumbent Supervisor Clif Clendenen in the Second District.

Fennell has raised about $31,000, about half of it from members of the business bloc, compared to Clendenen’s $6,000.

In the First District election, Rex Bohn has seen contributions from similar sources and his campaign raised an astounding $93,000 in the last six months of 2011.

Brooks said her contributors share her views on governing and are aware of the difficulties with challenging an incumbent.

Third District Supervisor Mark Lovelace during his recent trip to Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy Mark Lovelace

“It’s really, really difficult to raise money for a campaign in this economy and in this market,” she said. “People have donated to my campaign because they believe in what I want to do, which is to change county government – to make it more open and more accessible.”

She added, “These businesses were following my campaign for assembly and when I reached out and sent them letters saying that I’m now running for supervisor, they responded.”

Asked about her chances of winning an election in a district with a reputation for liberal politics, Brooks said people will gain greater knowledge of her as she campaigns.

“I’m asking people to look at what’s in my heart and to look at what I am,” she said. “I think everybody has a voice and has value and can contribute – that’s my message, it’s about building bridges.”

Lovelace said he’s confident about his work as a supervisor and noted that the recent filings cover the second half of a non-election year.

“I’d been hoping to wait until we’re actually in an election year before starting to fundraise and campaign,” he said.

He estimates that at this point, he’s raised $4,000, as money’s come in since the start of the year. He said that when he won the June 2008 primary election, he’d raised $50,000 and has noticed “an escalation of cost” in recent elections.

“It should be worrisome to folks,” he added.


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  1. Karen Brooks said:

    Oops, forgot to add…..With everything being more expensive it is very difficult to ask people for a campaign donation, so instead many of my events are free. If they can afford a can or two of food I will pay it forward to the food bank.

    My bid isn’t a typical campaign, it is un-traditional on purpose. I want to be a blessing to those I meet, to make a connection and share ideas. I will listen to everyone and envelope the information they share regardless of who contributes or not.

    Anonymous: The FPPC doesn’t allow cash, you can’t have collection cups. How you accept contributions is very strict which does intimidate some people. They can’t just give you a $20.

    What do you mean by closed door meetings and handshakes? When I walk neighborhoods I rarely go inside, but I do always shake their hand. My early financial lead was due to a fundraising letter I sent to previous supporters when I announced that I wanted to run for supervisor. I was very happy and encouraged by their response.

    Starting up a campaign takes a lot of money. You need signs, artwork, website, envelopes, flyers, labels, and a lot more materials. Then there are the events, if they are free then they really cost you. There are many little things to get. And FYI, I look for and buy local, and I buy stuff I can reuse, recycle or compost. I want my campaign to NOT contribute to the landfill. Like I said, I’m doing my campaign, “MY WAY!”

    I running because “politics as usual” at all levels, makes me sick too. I am willing to step up, be a target if I have to, and make a difference.

  2. Karen Brooks said:

    I realize that it is financially difficult for many people to donate to my campaign. Many are just getting by, barely. Most businesses will not “get on the radar” by donating because they don’t want to risk losing any business or alienating customers. I welcome Mark Lovelace’s contributors to donate to my campaign, I welcome yours. Make your check out to Karen Brooks for Supervisor 2012, P.O. Box 323, Bayside, CA 95501. Make sure you put your occupation and employer as well as your residual address for FPPC purposes.

  3. Anonymous said:

    Statements along the lines of “People are giving me money because they believe in my politics” are pure bullshit.The general population isn’t giving these people money, but a relatively small handful of rich moguls are handing over chunks of cash after, and only after, closed door meetings and handshakes. These “campaign funds” aren’t coming from collections cups going around town.

    The whole thing is sick.

  4. kevpod said:

    Oh, that perfidious Lovelace. Now I know why he twists his mustache so much at band rehearsals. It really cuts into the practice time but apparently it’s essential to his “sinister trickeries.”


    2 Points:

    Point #1 =”“It’s really, really difficult to raise money for a campaign in this economy and in this market,” she said. “People have donated to my campaign because they believe in what I want to do, which is to change county government – to make it more open and more accessible.”

    My Response: Ok then, those people should be politely instructed that they need not donate money, just cast the vote ….no need to waste other peoples money in a time when the economy is so terrible and treacherous……thgat is principle and integrity unlike any other…..

    Point #2: Nice picture of Mark when the tree-house occupier guinea pigs in Bayside were getting publicized by local county planning insiders so that a nice little TPZ moment could be created by politicians to dupe and ruse the voters into thinking that Mark is not as “extreme left wing” as he is. In fact, the success at the sales pitch could only be effective when it is an issue that even ticks off your competitor(s) and their support base….a sorta of political slide positioning from extremely way left TOWARD a more fakeish and schmooze-talked center…..and of course for non-extreme leftists, the issue is stupid and not commonsensible…even though the law is the law with regard to SMA zones and no process yet has gone back to re- General Plan Update any changes…..even though I bet the State of California will have their say and day so to speak.

    That is some sinister Mark Lovelace campaigning trickeries thrusted upon a guinea pig Bayside family………so politically obtuse and yet, so sinisterly ostentatious……the family definately understands the political campaigning “set-up” for election season now.


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