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Nearly $90,000 invested in Measure A campaign

Latest numbers filed Friday
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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The numbers are in for what each side has raised for the Measure A campaign, the initiative for Auburn to become a charter city, Campaign statements received from the Auburn city clerk?s office show the Auburn Advocates for Local Control ? ?Yes? on Measure A have raised $7,671 so far, while Preserve Auburn ? ?No? on Measure A has raised $79,463.83 so far. Contributors to the ?Yes? on Measure A campaign say the special interest groups outside of Auburn that contributed heavily to the ?No? campaign don?t know what it is best for the city, while the spokesperson for ?No? on Measure A said the city has actually spent thousands of dollars on lawsuits against the group that are not part of campaign statements. Kevin Hanley, mayor of Auburn, and his wife Hattie donated $2,983 for advertisements in The Journal. He said if the charter passes, he believes it will help make Auburn more cost effective. ?I have two years left on the city council and I want to do everything I can to obtain as many constitutional tools as we can to try to make Auburn the most cost effective and best run city in California,? Hanley said. ?I think Measure A would give us additional tools. That is why we are willing to put in our own personal funds. We love this town and we want it to do well in the future.? Several other contributions were made by local businesspeople and residents starting at $100. Margareta Swann, who owns Golden Swann Jewelers, said she donated $500 because she wants to protect the city from ever having to pay prevailing wage, even if existing laws sunset. ?Ben and I are volunteers and my first husband was a volunteer. He put in the clock tower. My husband now maintains that clock tower free of charge,? Swann said. ?Now the city has volunteers in the police department just so they can get the paperwork done. You cannot earn your way to heaven but you can do something good for the next person.? Hanley said all of the campaign funds that have been spent so far in support of Measure A have been spent in Auburn, which campaign statements confirm. So far, $783 has been paid to Auburn Advantage for campaign flyers and $833 has been paid to Uptown Signs and Graphics for campaign signs, in addition to the newspaper advertising. Most of the campaign funds opposing Measure A have been spent outside of Auburn. Expenses include $15,926.04 to Storefront Political Media for campaign literature, consulting and information technology costs and $10,968.46 to Stenhouse Strategies for campaign consulting and office and meeting supplies. So far $5,300.20 has been paid in postage to the U.S. Postmaster, $4,248.10 on consulting from Quadral Solutions. A total of $8,298.10 has been spent on advertising through Facebook, Google Adwords, the Internet and for additional campaign materials. Todd Stenhouse, spokesperson for Preserve Auburn ? ?No? on Measure A, said the unions that have donated to the campaign have members in the Auburn-area. ?The folks we have gone to for help, who have donated generously to our campaign, why they chose to donate is ultimately a question for them,? Stenhouse said. ?There is a lot of folks with a lot of individual members in Auburn and who have a real concern over the vibrancy of Auburn.? Stenhouse said while they won?t appear on a campaign filing statements the city has spent $28,470.74 on legal costs for suing the authors of the ballot argument and rebuttal against Measure A, claiming the language was false and misleading. Judge Colleen M. Nichols said in her ruling that aside from the fact that the city clerk?s petition was filed late, it still would have been denied based on the fact ballot arguments are political speech protected by the First Amendment and that the situation demands a much heavier burden of proof than civil cases. Stenhouse said while no Auburn residents have contributed money to the campaign they have volunteered to canvass the community and talk with voters, call voters and put signs in their yard. He added that Preserve Auburn ? ?No? on Measure A has over 900 friends on Facebook. ?Taxpayers have already seen way too much of their money go into frivolous litigation and the secret drafting of this measure,? Stenhouse said. ?We have sought to wage an informed camp that talks about the facts and the issues about this measure.? Reach Sara Seyydin at saras@goldcountrymedia.com, or follow her on Twitter@AJ_News.