Frank Scott's mayor campaign finished in the hole by $74,000 | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Frank Scott's mayor campaign finished in the hole by $74,000

Posted By on Thu, Feb 7, 2019 at 4:13 PM

click to enlarge UNFINISHED BUSINESS: Frank Scott's win left him in campaign debt.
  • UNFINISHED BUSINESS: Frank Scott's win left him in campaign debt.

I'd heard Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. had been making calls for help paying off campaign debt and his final report now on file indicates why. He finished $74,526 in the red.

According to a report filed Jan. 31, he was left with debts of $10,000 to Pine Street Strategies of Washington, $62,562 to McLarty Consulting of Little Rock and $2,000 to the Frost PLC accounting firm.

He raised an additional $60,000 in the final two weeks for his runoff against Baker Kurrus, a contest he won easily.  $16,200 of that came in six $2,700 contributions, the maximum possible, from Caroline, William G., John Alexander, Louis, Colin and Lisenne RockefellerRockfellers had been major contributors in the first round.

Here's Scott's final report for the final two weeks of the campaign. The good news for him is that winners have easier times raising money than losers. I'm still waiting for a report from Scott on who paid and how much was spent on his inaugural festivities.

It's a little hard to pin down Scott's money-raising and spending for the entire campaign. He began with an exploratory committee that reported raising $141,397 through July 18. Then his regular campaign-fundraising began. For the period between July 1 and Oct. 27, he raised $235,384 (including about $65,000 from the exploratory campaign) and spent $195,580. In the final report, covering Nov. 25 to Dec. 4, he reported raising a total of $171,274, including $24,000 carryover, and spending $245,836. I've a call in to Scott's organization for clarification, but it appears he raised about $140,000 in the exploratory period and about $320,000, subtracting carryovers, in the campaign period, for roughly $460,000 altogether. But that figure is only an estimate .

The final campaign report reminds me: new Sen. Mark Johnson, a Republican who coincidentally had a fund-raiser at the home of Lisenne Rockefeller, widow of Win Paul Rockefeller, has introduced legislation that allows the mayor of a city that switches from city manager to mayor-council government to hold office for the remainder of a four-year term without a new election if the mayor has been in office less than two years. The same for members of the city board, should it convert to council form. Scott has been talking about a change in government, away from our current blended system with a city manager and three at-large directors. I"ve sent a message to Johnson to ask what's up with this legislation.

Baker Kurrus' final report, now online, said he'd raised $470,872 and spent $470,468. He wrote a check for the surplus $404 to Industries for the Blind.

Warwick Sabin, who finished a close third in the first round of voting for mayor, reported Dec. 31 that he'd raised $370,623 and spent $354,201, leaving him with carryover of about $16,000. The report doesn't reflect a use for that carryover. Under state law, the carryover can be carried forward indefinitely and spent for delineated purposes, such as charity, and reported when more than $500 is spent. Former Mayor Mark Stodola has said he'll soon distribute the $78,572 he's carried over from past mayoral campaigns.

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