Scooping up the green?
Cecil Pendergrass’s campaign continues its inexorable march to…who knows? It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future, as Yogi Berra said. Even without an opponent, Lee County fat cats continue to contribute. But to what end?
To date, the campaign has amassed $146,033. Of that, $129,250, or 88%, came from individuals and businesses who gave $500+. These donors are developers, law firms, environmental consulting companies, construction and building businesses, doctors, companies that provide transportation services (Pendergrass helps oversee the airports and other transportation modes), restaurant owners, and, of course, vendors with county contracts.
These are not your everyday people living in Lehigh, Cape Coral or neighborhoods away from the river. How many people in Lee County can afford to give $500+ to reelect a county commissioner? According to latest Census data, the average annual wage of a worker here is almost $50,000, lower than the average annual wage for the state of Florida ($56,000). So we would venture not many.
Looking at giving by sectors: 74% of all $500+ donations are from development-related interests. Of course, with our growing population and huge inflow of pandemic refugees, development in the county is taking off. We all need to watch carefully to ensure that planning and building are responsible and not only respect the desires of citizens but are sensitive to the environment and our wildlife.
Below is a breakout of the sectors from which the bulk of money is coming:
“Cha-ching” brings you monthly info and analysis of campaign financing trends in our county political races. ALL information we report is publicly available and donors’ names can be found at http://www.lee.vote/Campaign-Reports/Campaign-Finance-Reports.