Some people climb mountains, but during the coming weeks we’ll be plucking highlights from eight years of the Committee to Elect Gahan’s CFA-4 campaign finance reports. Strap in, folks — and don’t forget those air(head) sickness bags.
Mayor Jeff Gahan’s campaign donations for 2018, a non-municipal election year, came to $64,250.
That’s right: $64,250, or almost exactly two bucks for every man, woman and child in New Albany, with precious little of it actually coming from inside the city proper. Combined with sloppy seconds from 2011-2017, this sum brought Gahan’s 2019 cash-on-hand to $128,000 prior to an expected 2019 haul in excess of $100,000.
Meanwhile the median household income in New Albany is $41,456, meaning that half our households earn more and the other half less.
Think about that. If you’re angry about the unprecedented power of money in elections, especially as it emanates from big corporations elsewhere, then look no further than our own quaint city for a primer. With each passing year, Gahan’s CFA-4 forms read like a who’s who of companies scoring lucrative deals to dine at the taxpayers’ trough, most often on a “contractual” basis without any semblance of competitive bidding.
None of it is illegal, and we’re not suggesting it is. Rather, it’s indicative of a patronage system of meticulously organized beak-wetting built to harvest mountains of cash.
And the single greatest exemplar of this trend is Clark Dietz, a virtual arm of city government, from which Gahan quite possibly lifted his “(luxury) quality of life” mantra.
Clark Dietz, Inc.: “We are engineering more than infrastructure. We are engineering quality of life.”
Clark Dietz has established a new yardstick for platinum-level Gahan giving in 2017 and 2018 with $7,500 each year — not counting the fruit baskets.
The CD PAC always gives strong.
Just for amusement, I went back to 2015 for a look at CD PAC’s tithe to Gahan’s re-election campaign: $5k.
Look ahead a year at the other side of the ledger — where Clark Dietz’s beneficiaries donate into the pool of funds, and there’s this from local CD workhorse Wes Christmas.
Exactly $5k; surely a coincidence.
Going back to the 2015 CD Pak report, you’ll have noticed that in the address column, the $5,000 donation from Clark Dietz was listed as going to Gahan at Eastridge Drive, the mayor’s home.
Oddly, though perhaps not oddly at all, an entirely different $400 donation was made to Jeff Gahan at 210 Lynnwood in Clarksville (the suits misspelled it), which is the address for Public Finance Management LLC, David Duggins’ own personal tiller.
Freudian slip? The state’s info on Public Finance Management is here, and an RIP is in order.
If I’m reading correctly, it looks as though Duggins dissolved his PFM just four days after cutting a check to Jason Applegate, then (2018) a candidate for commissioner.
But that’s another story for another time.
Clark Dietz and CD PAC
A yearly donor since 2011
Rebuttals are welcome and will be published unaltered — so don’t forget spellcheck. If you have supplementary information to offer about any of this, please let us know and we’ll update the page. The preceding was gleaned entirely from public records, with the addresses of “individuals” removed.