A look at election spending

May 3, 2021 by

Published in the May 3, 2021 edition.


WAKEFIELD — Campaign finance reports were due at the Town Clerk’s Office eight days prior to the April 27 Town Election.

The ballot committee formed to advocate a “No” vote on the non-binding question in last week’s Town Election reported raising over $7,000. The ballot question asked voters if they wanted to keep the Wakefield Warrior logo with Native American imagery.  

“Vote No on 1 Wakefield 2021” raised $7,024 from March 11, 2021 to April 9, 2021, according to Campaign finance reports filed on April 16, 2021 at the Town Clerk’s Office by Vote No committee treasurer Nicole Calabrese. Of the total raised, $6,445 came from donations over $50. A total of $579 was made up of donations under $50.

The largest donors to the Vote No effort were Tom Markham, Nicole Calabrese, Laurie Hunt and Eileen Wynne, each of whom contributed $1,000 to the cause.

Other top donors were Jamie Gibbons ($250), Anthony Guardia ($200), Katherine Cruise ($150) and Amy Burd ($150).

Contributing $100 each were Sandra Blois, Lorna Davidson Connolly, Maureen Hughes, Maria Muti, Kathleen Scharf and Michael Scollo.

Various donations of under $100 were also listed.

Of the total raised for that period, $3,299.78 was expended, leaving a balance of $3,724.22.

The Vote No committee reported paying $3,244.78 to Connolly Printing of Woburn for “Yard signs, stickers, buttons, postcards, signs.” Another $110 was spent on postage stamps, according to the report.

No committee was registered to advocate for a “Yes” vote on the ballot question and there is no indication that any funds were raised or expended.

Of all candidates running in the 2021 Town Election, the top fundraiser was first-time candidate Brandon Flanagan, who was unsuccessful in his bid for a Town Council seat.

Flanagan raised $9,375.60 and spent $8,950, leaving a balance of $425.60 in his campaign account.

Flanagan’s largest single expenditure was $2,280.13 to Sardella Signs of North Avenue for lawn signs. Lesser amounts went to Staples for post cards and Harrington’s for a campaign kickoff event.

Flanagan’s top contributors included Don Flanagan of North Reading ($1,000), Tom O’Brien of Wakefield ($500), Jim Toothaker of North Reading ($500), Shane Brown of Stoneham ($350), Kris Mieau of Tulsa, Oklahoma ($350), Mike Golini of North Reading ($300), Jonathan Lent of Wakefield ($250), Marcy McCauley of Wakefield ($250) and Jerry McDermott of Westwood ($250).

Anne Danehy, the top vote-getter in the Town Council race, raised $4,935 between Jan. 8 and April 18, 2021 and spent $3,702, leaving $1,233 in her campaign account.

Danehy’s top donors were Anthony Guardia ($250), John Carney ($250), Christopher Callanan ($200), Robert and Tracey Vincent ($200) and Ann Santos ($150). There were numerous donations of $100.

Danehy’s largest single campaign expenditure of $1,799 went to Boyd’s Printing for mailer-printing and postage. Her campaign also reported expenditures of $335.22 and $105.72 to Connolly Printing of Woburn for lawn signs. Another $488.75 went to Connolly Printing for “dear friend” cards and $478.13 for palm cards.

The Committee to Elect Julie Smith-Galvin raised $5,614 between Jan. 1, 2021 and April 17, 2021. Of that amount the campaign spent $2,663.14, leaving a balance $2950.86.

Smith Galvin’s top donors were Andrea Smith of Wakefield ($1,000), George Dooling of Wakefield ($250), Anthony Guardia of Wakefield ($250) and Melville Cote of Wakefield ($250).

The Smith-Galvin campaign’s largest reported expenditures were $1,073.13 to Connolly Printing in Woburn for campaign literature and $338.94 to Connolly for lawn signs. A total of $504 was spent on postage.

In the race for the one-year School Committee seat, incumbent Gregory Liakos outraised and outspent challenger and ultimate winner Ami Wall.

Liakos raised $2,565.47 and spent $1,153.89 leaving a balance of 1422.79 (including a leftover $10.21 from a previous campaign).

Gregory and Kathleen Liakos donated $500 to the campaign. Other top donors were Anthony Guardia ($250) and Fred Rich LaRiccia of Wakefield ($200). The remaining donors each gave $100 or less.

Liakos spent $491.63 at Connolly Printing in Woburn for signs and printing. He spent another $507.88 at Connolly for printing campaign literature. Another $230 was spent on “dear friend” cards at Connolly Printing.

The Committee to Elect Ami Wall raised a total of $1,420 and expended $526.55 leaving a balance of $893.45

Wall’s top donors were Michael Casoli of Wakefield ($200), Donald Flanagan of North Reading ($200) and Gerard Leeman 0f Wakefield ($200). The remaining donations were in amounts of $100 of less.

Wall’s largest campaign expenditure was $450 paid to T-Stop of Wakefield for signs.

In the race for the two-year seat on the School Committee, Dawn Millward raised $1,289.13 and spent $734, leaving an ending balance of $555.

Millward’s largest campaign expenditure was $585.85 for signs purchased online from Signs on the Cheap in Austin, Texas. Her campaign listed liabilities of $643.13 due to Millward for “campaign expenses prior to fundraising.”

In addition to the $643.13 that she loaned to her campaign, Millward received $100 donations from Jodi Bebchick of North Reading, Melissa Cable of Wakefield, Jill Curley of Arizona, and Adrianne Kidder of Wakefield.

Millward’s opponent for the two-year School Committee seat, Kevin Piskadlo, raised $2,779 and spent $2,061.93, leaving a balance of $717.07.

Piskadlo donated $250 to his own campaign. Anthony Guardia also donated $250 to Piskadlo’s campaign. All of the remaining donation were in the amount of $100.

Piskadlo’s campaign spent a total of $1,605.97 at Connolly Printing for signs, “dear friend” cards and palm cards. The campaign spent $381.30 on postage.

The winning candidate in the race for the five-year Planning Board seat, Theodore Noell, reported no campaign funds raised and no money spent.

The losing candidate, incumbent Planning Board member Joanne Scouler, reported raising and expending $86.58, which was spent at Connolly printing for signs. Her campaign also listed $100 in “in-kind donations.”

Shannon Cain Arnold, who won a one-year term on the Housing Authority, and her opponent Sharon Janus both reported raising and expending no campaign funds.

None of the four candidates who sought three open seats on the Board of Library Trustees reported raising or expending any campaign funds.

The remaining positions on the 2021 Town Election were uncontested. The candidates for those seats reported raising either zero or minimal amounts.

Full campaign finance reports are available online on the Town’s web site at wakefield.ma.us. Go to Town Clerk, Public Records Information.

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