Mayoral campaign donations suggest political backing
Three members of Edmonton city council -- Kerry Diotte, Don Iveson and Karen Leibovici -- speak at a mayor's forum with the Canadian Home Builders' Association Edmonton Region on Aug. 27, 2013 CBC
Campaign contributions to the leading candidates hoping to become Edmonton's next mayor suggests a partisan split in support amongst well-known political figures in Alberta.
Recently Don Iveson and Karen Leibovici released lists of campaign contributors, while the remaining high-profile candidate, Kerry Diotte, says he won't release his list until after the election as demanded by the Alberta Local Authorities Election Act.
According to figures released last week, Leibovici's campaign raised $365,000 prior to Sept. 15, while Iveson, who released his donor list Wednesday, raised $319,000.
Iveson, who states his support comes from a "broad base of businesses and everyday Edmontonians who've given $25 through the website," says fund raising for his campaign, which he estimates should cost about $500,000, is ahead of where he thought he would be.
Leibovici also claims a broad spectrum of contributors, told CBC News her campaign is a "good mix" and one that people are "very interested in supporting."
Both Iveson and Leibovici list a substantial number of developers, home builders and construction firms, but Leibovici appears to have a gentle nod from those affiliated with Alberta Progressive Conservative machine, while Iveson has attracted some known supporters from the NDP and more recent Liberal ranks.
Among Leibovici's contributors with strong Tory ties is Doug Goss, who donated an amount under $1,000.
Goss, chairman of the University of Alberta board of governors, was a prominent member of the PC Alberta party senior executive team.
By contrast, Iveson drew a donation of under $500 from John Kolkman, a researcher with the Edmonton Social
Planning Council and former caucus chief of staff for the NDP Alberta.
Leibovici has also attracted some other long-time establishment names from the PC party.
Elicia Holdings, a lobbyist firm run by Peter Elzinga — past PC MLA, MP and chief of staff to former Premier Ralph Klein — contributed up to $1,000 to the Leibovici campaign.
Prior to spring 2010, Elicia Holdings was registered under the Alberta Lobbyist Registry as a lobbyist on behalf of the Katz Group, owned and operated by Edmonton Oilers Owner Daryl Katz.
While Don Iveson lists several individual lawyers including the well-known Edmonton Labour Law firm of Chivers Carpenter, Leibovici's campaign lists Calgary-based Bennett Jones, which boasts former Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed as one of its past members.
But Leibovici is also drawing on her past affiliation with the Alberta Liberals for support. Leibovici was first elected as a Liberal MLA under leader Laurence Decore in 1993. Decore Holdings made a contribution under $1,000, as did former Liberal leader Nancy MacBeth.
However current Calgary Liberal MLA Kent Hehr made a contribution to Don Iveson's campaign of under $500.
Iveson has also received a donation of up to $5000 from the Civic Service Union 52 representing office staff, clerks and library workers with the City of Edmonton.
In an email exchange, CSU 52 president Lanny Chudyk said the union "has or will be contributing to the three main candidates for mayor", but is not specifically endorsing any particular candidate.
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