Brian Harkin

A New Year's Resolution for Carolyn Davis: Get Better at Fund-Raising, Math

Whilst searching city records, we stumbled upon council member Carolyn Davis's semiannual campaign finance report. She filed the document November 17, which was nearly two months ahead of the January 15 deadline. Since Davis is hardly the model of punctuality when it comes to filing reports and she's the only council member to file early, we thought it was worth a look-see.

Why the rush to file? Well, the calculations weren't particularly difficult after her July 29 fund-raiser at St. Martin's Place yielded only one contribution of $1,000, which she promptly turned around and paid to St. Martin's Place for a grand total of ... zilch.

Her report shows another $1,000 contribution the day before the event for a total of $2,000 in donations during the six-month period. The first was from Neil Goldberg and the other was from Ken Goldberg, brothers and co-owners of Gold Metal Recyclers in Davis' district.

Here's where it gets interesting. Two grand in donations and $1,000 in expenditures gave her a net of $1,000, yet her report shows the same balance ($1,220.01) as it did on her July 15 report. Shoddy math aside, she's in trouble with little funding to fight the battle to unseat her in District 7.

When she first was elected, Davis was impressive as she seemed genuinely interested in the concerns of the public speakers and improving her district. However, she became one of the herd by voting with Leppert on the Trinity Turnpike and convention center hotel, she's provided several noteworthy gaffes, and she voted for the strengthened smoking ban despite introducing an amendment to exclude pool halls, which failed miserably.

Thus far, only Gary Springer has filed to run against Davis in May, but she may be more vulnerable than any of the incumbents, so expect others to emerge. Two former candidates who could enter the race are Leo Chaney, who left after term limits in 2007 and says he'd "have to be drafted" to make a comeback, and Don Parish, who received more votes than Davis in the May 2007 election but lost the runoff.

In a couple weeks, we'll find out the results of other fund-raising efforts, including Tennell Atkins' July 1 birthday bash, which was also at St. Martin's Place. He'll need to have raised far more dough than Davis, as rumors have been circulating that Al Lipscomb's grandson, LeVar Thomas, will run against him and be a formidable opponent -- perhaps so strong that Michael Davis (Dwaine Caraway's appointee to the City Plan Commission) has decided not to run. --Sam Merten

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