UPDATED: Magel continues to lead in Marco campaign contributions

Newest treasurers' reports reveal candidate’s spending and collection set him apart

Article Highlights

  • Magel stands out with most contributions; most spending, spending more than collected; both Forcht and Magel have four out-of-state contributors
  • Batte collecting and spending the least amount of money
  • City Clerk Laura Litzan on campaign rules: If candidates are at their election party, that shrimp cocktail for constituents should be ordered by the time the announcement of the results is made

— Will bringing in the dough mean collecting the votes in the Marco Island City Council election?

If it’s any indication, Marco residents continue to contribute most to council candidate Larry Magel’s campaign as of the latest campaign finance reports filed Friday.

Many Marco residents reported receiving their ballots in the mail on Saturday. Whether contributions will lead to votes will be revealed in the hours following the 7 p.m., Jan. 26, deadline for ballots to be returned to the Collier County Supervisor of Elections office.

Magel stands out from the crowd in another area as well. He is the only one who spent more than he collected thus far.

Incumbents Ted Forcht and Chuck Kiester, as well as candidate Joe Batte, will either need to spend more on their campaigning by Jan. 26 or decide how else to spend the money with just a few legal options, City Clerk Laura Litzan said.

“Candidates have up until the moment they are elected or eliminated to spend their contributions,” Litzan said. That time will likely be at about 8 p.m., Jan. 26, she anticipated.

So, if they’re at a candidate’s party, that shrimp cocktail for constituents should already be ordered by the time the announcement of the results is made, Litzan added.

After, Jan. 26, candidates with leftover money may contribute it to a qualified, 501(c)(3) non-profit charity or give it back to the people who made the contributions. The campaign termination report outlining a balance of zero is due from all candidates April 25, Litzan reported.

Magel and Forcht do have one thing in common-- they both have had about the same number of out-of-state contributors. Forcht had four contributors from out of state, including at least two family members in Kentucky, in a previous treasurer's report.

View the full reports, including information on who contributed to each candidate in supporting documents online.

Here is what the four candidates vying for the three open seats have collected and spent:

- Joe Batte spent the least. He has collected $2,120 throughout the campaign, including $350 from a personal loan early in the campaign. He spent $528.90 total. About nine local people have contributed to Batte.

- Ted Forcht is the second-biggest spender but trails the leader by thousands of dollars. Forcht collected $3,265 in contributions to date, including an early $1,900 loan from his personal account to his campaign. Forcht spent $1,656. 34 to date. He spent $147.77 in the latest reporting period of Dec. 23, 2009 through Jan. 1, 2010. About 12 individuals have contributed to Forcht’s campaign.

- Chuck Kiester collected $4,680 thus far, including $1,900 in loans from personal accounts. He spent $1,621.75 on his campaign to date. About 14 Islanders have contributed to his campaign.

- Larry Magel reported spending $12,377.51 on the campaign as of Jan. 1. Supporters have contributed $10,200 as of Jan. 1, including $1,000 in the most recent reporting period. Magel contributed a $1,000 loan to his campaign earlier. About 45 people have contributed to Magel’s campaign and most of them listed Marco Island as their primary address, although four contributors listed addresses from Indiana, Maryland and New York, per information in the most recent reports.


Larry Magel's campaign manager Al Diaz contacted the Eagle and has since reported that Magel's out-of-state supporters are in fact all residents of Marco Island and own property and pay taxes here. Diaz also pointed out that Forcht had four contributors who listed out-of-state addresses on his previous filing.

"They are like the 40 to 50 percent of the residents of Marco Island who have homes in two states," Diaz wrote in an email to the reporter.

Check the Friday edition of the Marco Eagle for a full clarification

View Marco's special election section in related links below and full finance reports in supporting documents to the upper left of the story.

© 2010 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 7

happy6 writes:

buy the seat larry.....what a joke...but this is marco island.

ajm3s writes:

If one is a true fiscal conservative, one would vote for those candidates that spend the least. Given the current tally, it should be clear: Magel is not a fiscally conservative candidate. He is willing to spend $12,377.51. Note: the combined total of the remaining candidates is $3806.99. In a nutshell: Magel is spending 3.25 times the other candidates combined.

ajm3s writes:

Also, note the last sentence in this article: "Magel is the only candidate to have spent more than he was given thus far and the only one with out-of-state financial backers."

marco97 writes:

To late, I mailed my ballot yesterday.

lutherdog writes:

It's clear that Mr. Magel is backed by the same corporate corruption that has fueled the fires of all the wasteful spending by the Marco Island city government over the last 6 years. It's a shame that we can't have a city that represents the citizens that live here, instead of a city that is totally controlled by the back room special interest groups.
My humans took me to the dog park today and what a treat! It's a shame that the MI city government won't even spring for a decent dog park, making the residents pay the tab. We know where their priorities lie!

PBH writes:

How much clearer does it have to be to the Marco Island voters? Magel has shown us all how he will act if he is elected to the council position... by spending a lot and even spending more than he received in campaign contributions. Looks like he was trained well by his buddies who are helping him try to "buy" this seat. Let's hope the voters are smart enough to see what is really going on. We don't need more of the same. We need a change.

JohninMarco writes:

No matter how one looks at this, this is really troubling.

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