Top Cincinnati fundraisers and incumbents win

For immediate release
October 23, 2002

Catherine Turcer, (513) 221-2100

CINCINNATI -- The top fundraising candidates for Mayor and Cincinnati City Council won in 2001, according to a report released today by Ohio Citizen Action. The winning candidate for Mayor, incumbent Charlie Luken, raised 3.9 times more than his three challengers. All of the incumbent candidates also won in 2001. The average incumbent raised 3.7 times more than the average non-incumbent.

"Contributions donít necessarily make victory more likely," said Catherine Turcer, campaign reform director for Ohio Citizen Action. "Often, favor-seekers contribute to a candidate precisely because their victory at the polls is already a foregone conclusion. They want to curry favor with someone who can reciprocate after the election."

"Cincinnatiís old campaign financing system, however," Turcer said, "is clearly stacked against challengers and less well-funded candidates."

Contribution totals were similar during 1997 ($2,322,158), 1999 ($2,421,109) and 2001 ($2,461,993), according to a report released today by Ohio Citizen Action. 1997 contribution limits, however, changed the giving patterns. The 1997 limits restricted labor unions and Political Action Committees (PACs) and individual limits led some to use family members to inflate contributions.

"Cincinnati campaign contributions study," (70 KB .doc).

2001 campaign finance profiles, (13 KB .doc):

Ohio Citizen Action campaigns on issues from toxic waste and food safety to utility and insurance rates to political reform. A non-profit, non-partisan organization, Ohio Citizen Action was founded in 1975.

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