Waukesha mayoral race was an expensive fight

Published on: 4/1/2014

The quest to become Waukesha's new mayor was an expensive battle.

Mayor Jeff Scrima and challenger Shawn Reilly were neck and neck in how much they received from their supporters — close to $23,600 for Reilly and $24,800 for Scrima — and spent almost exactly the same amount on the election (about $20,000).

Scrima and Reilly received about a combined $48,000 during their campaigns.

Scrima's share

In just the last month leading up to Tuesday's election, Scrima spent $11,679.24. Combined with what he spent during the first period this year, Scrima spent about $19,780.

And after adding the almost $7,000 he received during the most recent pay period from his supporters, Scrima's contributions totaled almost $25,000 for the year.

Some of the same people who donated during the first period this year also gave to Scrima during the most recent period, which ended March 24.

The big donors during this period include Allo! Chocolat owner and Waukesha County Technical College counselor Roger Igielski ($700), business owner Amy Seegert ($700), homemaker Mary Donahue ($700) and Patrick Donahue, vice president of Wilde Automotive ($500). Patrick had given $200 earlier in Scrima's campaign. Scrima also received $400 donations from Josef Erlich, who is retired and lives in Mequon, and from his father, Joe, who owns Scrima's Pizza.

Philanthropists Andrea and Anthony Bryant donated $200 each, adding to the $500 they each donated to Scrima during the first period.

Karen and Shay Johnson of Menomonee Falls, who own Leather Restoration in Waukesha, each donated $125 to Scrima, and Robert Latta, a self-employed engineer from Waukesha, donated $100, the same amount he gave Scrima during the first period. Local artist Jeff Seymour, retiree Gwen Eckman, Karen and Jeffrey Wandsneider and V. Nicole Walsh, a real estate agent for Shorewest, each gave Scrima $100.

Scrima's campaign went all out on advertising expenditures. He spent $3,100 on advertising to Conley Media (Waukesha Freeman) in just the last month for a total of more than $6,600 to the local newspaper since the beginning of the year. His campaign also put in $1,000 for his campaign website and close to $4,000 for mailings in the last month. He also put in about $865 on campaign T-shirts.

Reilly's support

Reilly, meanwhile, upped his spending during this latest period.

From the beginning of the year to the middle of February, Reilly had spent $1,540.58. But over the last month, Reilly's campaign poured in more than $17,500 to the election.

His biggest expense came on mailers and postage ($5,527) and another $5,000 to Karl James & Company for campaign strategy and message development, which included writing services and media monitoring.

Reilly also spent close to $2,800 in advertisements to Conley Media (Waukesha Freeman) in the latest period.

Reilly's campaign balance at the end of this period was $3,357, compared to Scrima's $4,995. Like Scrima, Reilly's campaign finance sheet this period extended 10 pages and included many significant donors.

Alan Huelsman, who lives in Woodland Hills, Calif., and is the owner of Clysmic Properties LLC in Waukesha, gave the biggest donation worth $700. Karla Harper of Sprizzo Gallery Cafe was next at $612.

Reilly also received a $500 donation from Molly Reilly, of Reilly Publicity & Public Affairs in Chicago. Stephen VanderBloemen, of The Vanderbloemen Group, gave $300. Reilly also received $250 donations from Robert B. Moodie, an attorney at Hippenmeyer, Reilly, Moodie & Blum; Rosemary Crawford, of GE Capital, Americas in Brookfield; Karl Robe of Karl James & Company; and William West, a partner at Von Briesen & Roper, C.C. in Milwaukee. He received $200 donations from Timothy Duffy of Waukesha, Joe Albanese, owner of Albanese's Roadhouse in Waukesha, and Dale Van Dam, executive vice president of sales at M3 Insurance in Waukesha.

Many of the other large contributions from across the area and one from out of state were worth $100.

The donors include Lenny Miller of Waukesha, Doreen Wigderson of Waukesha, William Kingston of Milwaukee, John Nevins of Waukesha, R. Richard Flickinger Jr. of Dousman, Pierce Meier of Watertown, Michael Nevins of Oconomowoc, Dennis Pells of Waukesha, John Stechschulte of Waukesha, Thomas Frittitta of Oak Creek, Jeff and Heather Hein ($100 each) of Waukesha, former Waukesha Mayor Larry Nelson, James Dunlap of Mukwonago, Russell Hutchison of Waukesha, Paul Vanhenkelum of Oro Valley, Ariz., John Harlfinger of Waukesha, and Gregory Ksicinski of Waukesha.