Clear Leaders In The Money Race

LA MESA -- If dollars were votes, City Council candidates Bill Baber and Mary England and Mayoral candidate Mark Arapostathis would be shoo-ins on election day.

The latest required campaign finance reports show a disparate range of fundraising among candidates for La Mesa offices.

Through early October, Baber had just over $35,000 in cash and in-kind contributions while mayoral challenger Mark Arapostathis, a current council member, had reported contributions totalling $17,571 to date.

Council candidate Mary England, who heads the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce, reported $29,750 in contributions, but more than $10,000 of that amount is a loan from herself to her campaign.

Mayor Art Madrid reported only $2,675 in contributions in this report but has just over $11,000 in contributions year to date. He has spent $5,800 so far for yard signs and campaign materials.

Council challenger Patrick Dean continues in his more grassroots approach to running a campaign, reporting only $3,600 in contributions, most of which has been spent for lawn signs and voter lists.

Political newcomers Pete Gregorovic and Guy McWhirter both reported contributions totaling just over $9,000.

Money totals aren't as crucial to outcomes in local races where it is possible for candidates to literally knock on every door in the city over a few months, but it is indicative of a candidates connections in the community.

Baber, an attorney, with extensive experience working on local and state campaigns for others, clearly has a strong network to draw support from. Baber also spreads the wealth around, noting several contributions from his campaign to allies McWhirter and colleagues Rick Winet, Bob Duff and David Chong, the latter three all being candidates for the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District Board that Baber serves with now. Baber also contributed campaign funds to the Term Limit campaign and to the Senate Campaign of Joel Anderson as well as the San Diego Republican Party.

Mary England, whose work with the Chamber of Commerce puts her in close contact with a number of business leaders, also draws support from her wide range of business contacts.

Both England and Baber received $500 contributions from South Baltimore LLC, the corporate name for the Park Station project proposed for downtown La Mesa. England and Baber also received $500 and $250 respectively from public relations firms that have done work on the Park Station effort.

"By my estimate, I received $750 in donations from supporters of the project and $500 from opponents of the project and neither amount will influence me,'' Baber said.

England said both the Kitzman family, which owns the Park Station project property, and the Southwest Strategy executives, have been long-time members of the La Mesa Chamber and she considered their donations a reflection of that relationship. 

"You don't buy a candidate for $500,'' she said.

While the amounts of even the leading candidates for a La Mesa office remain modest by today's political standards, still there are enough funds to give candidates a chance to spread their message through direct mail. Recent local elections have been marked by late mailings of candidates and causes to try and swing the undecided voters. Watch your mailbox for a flurry of such communiques in the coming weeks.


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Tags: Art Madrid, Bill Baber, Bob Duff, City of La Mesa, David Chong, Government, Guy McWhirter, Joel Anderson, Kitzman family, La Mesa, More…La Mesa Chamber, La Mesa Chamber of Commerce, La Mesa City Council, La Mesa Mayor, La Mesa Today, La Mesa newspaper, La Mesa politics, La Mesa-Spring Valley School District, Mark Arapostathis, Mary England, November elections, Park Station, Patrick Dean, Pete Gregorovic, Republican Party, Rick Winet, San Diego Republican Party, Southwest Strategy, election day, elections


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Comment by La Mesa Today on October 14, 2014 at 11:07am


Thanks for the question. The banner ads at the top of the page are paid advertising by those candidates. The Candidates Row on the right are a public service to the basic ballot information, though candidates can pay to have those linked to their own campaign websites if they choose. As a policy, La Mesa Today does not endorse candidates.

Gina Garcia

La Mesa Today Publisher

Comment by Gene Carpenter on October 14, 2014 at 9:34am
Thank you for the clarification . Could you please share with and remind the readers so that they know that the Political Ads posted on this site were bought and paid for by the Candidates and not a Political Endorsement by La Mesa Today? Unless, of course, they are.
Comment by La Mesa Today on October 13, 2014 at 4:50pm


Batman was granted the rare privilege of using a screen name on this site because he works in public safety and asked for the exception. We know his name and have confirmed his identity. He is known to many in town. As long as he doesn't abuse this privilege we will honor the request. 

The Editor

Comment by Batman on October 13, 2014 at 4:31pm

With all the massive and inaccurate besmirchment leveled against the Tea Party and NRA recently I hardly feel ashamed accurately besmirching any politician or candidate for office. I didn't accuse Mr. Dean of being a communist but merely of using a line from the C.M. which lots of politicians do these days. I did accuse him of being a Fred Nagel though, which I flat refuse to recant, even though it's considerably more slanderous. His accusing the entire incumbency of turning their backs on the entire non business owning citizenry? How Nagelistic! This doesn't describe Dr. Mark or Christine Alessio at all!  Heck, it doesn't even describe Art Madrid, all that much.

At least I am obviously using a moniker. How do I know your name is really Gene Carpenter and not Dino Cowel or Waldo Walrus?

Comment by Gene Carpenter on October 13, 2014 at 4:12pm
I think that trying to besmirch a Candidate, whether it's age related or that they are a Democrat, which you seem to equate as something other than being a Democrat, would not be unlike me saying a Candidate or sitting Council Member that has endorsed and or contributed to Darrell Issa or has been endorsed by Darrell Issa, that these people associated with Darrell Issa have also contributed and worked for less Regulation on Fracking in California and then me saying then that they have contributed to the billions of gallons of deadly Fracking Fluids recently confirmed to now be in our California Aquifers. That would be wrong for me to suggest.

If you and Chris need to cloak whoever you are behind a cape, I respect that need, but please try to understand that being provocative using age discrimination and inferring that folks are Communist while also using a pseudonym comes across, when saying things like that, as much like someone posting using someone else's account until they are called on it or using a made up name like the elusive Mark Cavanaugh.
Comment by David Stanley on October 13, 2014 at 4:00pm

I recently read a quote explaining mutual feelings regarding "The Other Political Party Members" that was not only interesting and thought provoking but emphatically true:  "Republicans think all Democrats are dumb whilst Democrats think all Republicans evil". Now, on the face of it it would seem a mildly humourous rebuke and jab of BOTH parties and their members IF it were not TRUE! Go back and read the previous comments once again then come back here. A Republican, or at least a seemingly Conservative, points our the short comings of the Democrats in question and indicates isn so many words that they are pretty dumb yet continue to skip along their way because the dumb electorate knows no better than to dumbly step up and shout, "Thank you sir. May I have another?". Then out trots good ole Carpenter, a seemingly self professed Liberal Democrat and further proves the above adage - "...all Republicans are evil". Note please that no matter where one goes or with whom they speak, members, all members of the Liberal flavour will ALWAYS immediately resort to snide and giggling insults, demeaning statements, slander and often blatant lies, etc. Why except that they truly believe that adage. Look for examples all about the country. A Texas Republican candidate is castigated and mocked by his Democrat opponent for being paralyzed and wheel chair bound and voters say thats okay. A tight race in Virginia has the Democrat candidate spewing blatant lies and mockery at her opponent whilst spending many millions of dollars more in order to steam roll the guy, and thats okay. An Iowa candidate mocking farmers and the encumbent for actually having been a farmer, in a state comprised of primarily farmers, and thats okay. See, Republicans think Democrats are dumb ( and from all appearances they are and are supported by an equally dumb press and electorate) whilst Democrats think Republicans are evil. Nope. They're not evil. Just too dumb to be able to turn the hate speech filling the air from Democrats. Yep, just too damned dumb. And much of the same thing applies right here in our wee part of the country!

Comment by Batman on October 13, 2014 at 8:28am

Mr. Dean made this statement, more than once, that the entire city council caters only to the downtown businessmen and flat out ignores the rest of the citizenry. He referred to himself as the only candidate who will represent the common people, and then went on to tell us he would be willing to allow Park Station to build as high as they want if they agree to provide some "open space". "Open space"? That could be a patch of grass barely big enough for Jimmy Wieboldt to sit down on. Excuse me Mr. Dean, the common people do not want an 18-story slum tower in the middle of their town. So who will you represent?

Yes Mr. Carpenter, the ballot box will determine the outcome, not Batman. But the democrats are concentrating their entire effort on ONE candidate. They have even instructed their voters to vote only for Patrick Dean and no one else. This "razor edge" tactic will very likely work. Meanwhile, the "blunt edge" tactic of the Republicans will insure two of their three candidates won't win. And the more money they spend the more they will cancel each other out. The Republican Party should never have allowed more than two of their people to run in this race.




Comment by Batman on October 13, 2014 at 7:55am

Are you upset I referred to Art Madrid as too old to live through another term or Patrick Dean as another Fred Nagel?

Comment by Gene Carpenter on October 13, 2014 at 7:51am
It doesn't matter how I respond, the response to your question lies in the Ballot Box where La Mesa's future leadership and expertise will be determined by it's unrestricted Voters.
Comment by Batman on October 13, 2014 at 7:49am

Which candidate and which statement are you referring to Mr. Carpenter?

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