TOLEDO MAYORAL RACE

Labor puts cash in Collins’ camp

Unions’ backing helps campaign collect $95,295

10/24/2013
BY TOM TROY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
D. Michael Collins, left, does not expect to raise as much in campaign donations as Mike Bell.
D. Michael Collins, left, does not expect to raise as much in campaign donations as Mike Bell.

Some of the labor union endorsements that flowed to mayoral candidate D. Michael Collins when he finished second in the primary Sept. 10 have showed up as large cash contributions in his campaign finance report that was filed Wednesday, one day early.

Mr. Collins collected $95,295 in the Aug. 22-Oct. 16 reporting period, according to his pregeneral election report filed with the Lucas County Board of Elections.

Most of the contributions are from political action committees associated with local construction, auto worker, and police and fire unions.

The deadline for the reports is 4 p.m. today.

RELATED ARTICLE: Bell says challenger is aiming to deliberately mislead voters

Mr. Collins, a political independent, spent $37,310 during the period and entered the campaign’s final three weeks on Oct. 16 with a campaign war chest of $59,391.

He has raised $111,152 and spent $61,460 in 2013.

Incumbent Mayor Mike Bell's fund-raising is expected to be reported by today’s deadline.

As of Aug. 21, the mayor — also a political independent — had raised and spent more money than Mr. Collins reported as of Oct. 16.

“I fully realize that Mayor Bell will expend more money than we will be able to in the final two weeks of this election campaign,” Mr. Collins said. “We are living within our budget and we are comfortable that we will be able to get our message out.”

He said he hopes voters will take note of his frugality.

“It is my hope that that resonates with the voters that if I’m elected I will apply those same principles to municipal governance,” Mr. Collins said.

Mr. Collins received checks of $15,000 from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; $10,000 each from the International Association of Firefighters, the Ohio United Auto Workers, the Northwest Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, and Plumbers, Steamfitters, and Service Mechanics Local 50; $6,000 from Toledo Firefighters Local 92; $5,000 each from the Toledo Police Command Officers Association and Ironworkers Local 55; $4,000 from Sheet Metal Workers Local 33; $2,000 from the Toledo Police Patrolman’s Association; $1,000 each from the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local 85, United Brotherhood of Carpenters Local 351, and the District Council of Roofers, and $200 from Cement Masons & Plasterers Local 886.

Mr. Collins noted the bulk of his union contributions came from private-sector employee unions, and said their interest was to oppose passage of a right-to-work law in Ohio that would weaken their organizations.

“It’s significant because they recognize my opposition, as opposed to my opponent, on Senate Bill 5 and his relationship to [Republican] Gov. [John] Kasich with the fear that Mayor Bell will align himself with Governor Kasich and attempt to create Ohio as a right-to-work state," Mr. Collins said.

He said a so-called right-to-work law in Ohio would not add value to the state.

Mayor Bell has said he is staying neutral on the right-to-work issue until he decides whether such a law would enhance Toledo’s economy.

Mr. Collins’ report shows a $2,500 contribution from Paul Goldner of Toledo and a $2,500 refund to him three weeks later.

Mr. Collins said the contribution was returned because the way it was obtained was inconsistent with his campaign’s philosophy. He attributed the contribution to work by a fund-raising professional who came to work for the campaign and then left because of professional differences. He did not elaborate.

Contact Tom Troy: tomtroy@theblade.com or 419--724-6058 or an Twitter @TomFTroy.