Contributions Provide Insight Into Flow Of Money In Mayor's Primary

By Jeff Neumeyer

April 19, 2011 Updated Apr 19, 2011 at 6:31 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Where is the money coming from to support Fort Wayne's three main republican mayoral candidates?

Political analyst Andy Downs with the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics spent time with our Jeff Neumeyer looking over recently filed campaign finance reports.

It’s an issue of importance, given the fact you want to know if anybody might be giving money in hopes of getting something in return later.

Businessman Eric Doden's family doled out a good chunk of cash between January 1st and April 15th.

Parents Daryle and Brenda Doden contributed $20,000 combined.

Eric Doden raised about $143,000 total during the reporting period.

Construction company owner Larry Weigand pumped $7,500 into the Doden campaign, while Pizza Hut owner Dick Freeland donated $5,000.

Former Allen County Councilwoman Paula Hughes can thank business owner Richard Byers for almost $15,000 in help.

A little less than half that amount was a cash contribution.

Steel Dynamics owner Keith Busse gave Hughes more than $7,000 in in-kind contributions, while attorney and friend Cal Miller turned over $2,700 in cash.

Hughes raised $113,000 in the period.

City Councilwoman At Large Liz Brown raised the least, about $70,000.

Bill Bean, who's known in Fort Wayne for dealing in industrial and commercial real estate, forked over $10,000.

Other sizeable donations came from Mike’s Car Wash owner Jerome Dahm, and from law firm Rothberg, Logan and Warsco.

Each contributed $2,500.

Downs says you're not guaranteed to get a contract if you contribute.

Andy Downs/Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics: " You're not even guaranteed to get your favorite policies pushed through, but what you do know you are getting in most circumstances is the ability to pick up a phone, and call the person who won the election. What you're getting is access."

Downs says he saw nothing extraordinary in the reports to indicate individuals or companies were stepping out of bounds to try and buy influence in the campaign.

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