Smitherman holds off releasing donor list
The Rob Ford and Joe Pantalone mayoral campaigns have released their campaign donor lists, but George Smitherman is refusing to divulge his until after the election.
Ford and Pantalone got some cash from the same people, including development lawyer James Harbell, lobbyist and former councillor Chris Korwin-Kuczynski, condo developer Alan Menkes and former Ford executive assistant Andrew Pask.
Ford’s campaign says it raised about $700,000 while Pantalone raked in about $850,000, well under the $1.3 million limit. Candidates can make unlimited contributions to their own campaigns.
Other Ford donors include Councillor Peter Milczyn, Conservative Senator Consiglio Di Nino, council candidate Gus Cusimano and Jay Glassman, director of the GoodLife Toronto Marathon. Ford also got a boost from three donors named Pantalone — but they have no relation to Joe.
Pantalone’s donor list includes more well-known Torontonians, including Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon organizer Alan Brookes, council colleagues including Sandra Bussin, architect Eb Zeidler, Toronto Hydro chair Clare Copeland and NDP MP Peggy Nash.
Robert MacDermid, a York University expert on election and party financing, said citizens deserve to know who is giving to which campaigns and Smitherman’s decision to hold off on releasing his donor list does a disservice to voters.
“It’s a shame that he’s done that. It’s a statement about how he views strengthening municipal campaign financing, which needs to be strengthened,” MacDermid said. “It makes you wonder where he stands on this issue — and what he’s got to hide.”