Thursday, April 10, 2008

Kanstoroom Reports Finances to MPW

County Council District 4 Candidate Steve Kanstoroom is the only Democrat in the race for whom the State Board of Elections is not displaying a finance report. After I mentioned this fact to him last night, he explained that he sent in his report on time but the board was not returning his calls asking that it be posted. Kanstoroom promptly emailed me his finance report and the details will surely interest our readers.

As of 3/30/08, Kanstoroom’s campaign recorded $24,520 in total receipts. All but $520 are loans from Kanstoroom himself. The campaign spent $20,553.86, mostly on printing and campaign materials ($16,462.57). Its cash balance was $3,966.14.

While Kanstoroom’s ending balance was low, his receipts surpassed Don Praisner ($22,030) and Pat Ryan ($10,825) but fell short of Nancy Navarro ($34,446). His extensive loans and former ownership of an IT business suggest that Kanstoroom is the one candidate in the race who can self-finance his campaign. In the handful of days left, volunteers are more important than money, but cash can still buy robocalls and print ads.

I saw Kanstoroom and several other candidates at a late-night forum sponsored by the Northwood-Four Corners Civic Association, which represents the neighborhood just north of the hellacious University Boulevard-US 29 intersection. The forum followed another debate in Burtonsville that ran late, and the bleary-eyed candidates staggered into the North Four Corners Recreation Center after 9:30 PM. The neighborhood is locked in a bitter battle with the County Council and the Parks Department over a plan to construct a soccer field in their current tree-filled park. The park is THE ISSUE in this part of District 4, much like the Intersection of Death is the big issue in my area.

Precinct 13-11, which conforms to the neighborhood boundaries, had 2,668 registered Democrats in the last primary. It had the 7th-highest voter turnout rate in the 2008 Democratic primary and the 5th-highest voter turnout rate in the 2006 Democratic primary among County District 4’s 45 precincts. However, Kanstoroom and Nancy Navarro were the only Democrats to show up for the civic association’s forum. Kanstoroom, a legendary foe of Park and Planning, cleaned up with this group. But the absence of Praisner and Ryan was noticed.

Back in 2006, my civic association jam-packed an apocalyptic public meeting at Holy Cross Hospital covering various issues connected to the reviled Georgia Avenue-Forest Glen intersection. We recorded the attendance by politicians on our website. We never forgot which politicians came and which ones didn’t. I imagine that the residents of Northwood-Four Corners will react the same way.

One more quick tidbit. Don Praisner has begun reporting contributions received since his last campaign filing on his website. I don’t understand why the individual contributions are reported as ranges (for example, the County Executive gave him “$1,000+”). But this is still more information than his rivals are disclosing and he deserves credit for that.

Disclosure: I am the Assistant to the General President of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. Our local affiliate, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council of Carpenters, endorsed Nancy Navarro.