The 13 Aberdeen candidates for mayor and city council have raised more than $40,000 among them, but more than two-thirds of those funds are found in the campaign war chests of just two people – Mayor S. Fred Simmons and incumbent councilman David Yensan.
The duo, which campaigned together two years ago when they were both elected for the first time, has raised more than twice as much money as the other 11 candidates for mayor and city council combined.
Unsurprisingly, Simmons and Yensan, who have been joined at the hip both politically and in their city voting records, share nearly identical campaign finance reports, which show thousands of dollars being donated by entities and individuals with vested interests in the mayor and his right-hand man staying on board for another term.
Get familiar with some of these campaign contributors and political donors. Their names will pop up time and time again. Just like the Matrix (hey, whatever happened to the city’s infamous Matrix anyway?!), the longer you stare at these lists, the better you’ll be able to see the true alignment of the candidates. More so than the color of a T-shirt or which side of the aisle they sit on in city hall, nothing tells the story of an election more than where the money is coming from.
Please enjoy, use in deciding where to place your vote on Election Day (whenever that is) and help The Dagger piece this puzzle together.
Simmons had almost a year longer to raise money than his two mayoral challengers. During the period of Nov. 1, 2006 through Oct. 1, 2007, Simmons raised $14,625. By the Oct. 9 filing deadline for the first contribution report, Simmons had $13,002.25 remaining in his campaign coffers.
Notable contributors to Simmons’ re-election campaign include:
– Bay State Land Services’ C. Dudley Campbell: $250
– Campbell’s wife, Laura: $250
– Ferrell Fuel Co., Inc.: $1,000
– Joseph Salvo: $1,000
– Tania M. Benfield: $250
– Ronald W. Benfield: $250
– Law Offices of Coon & Cole: $500
– Dixie Construction Co. Inc.: $500
– Economic Growth Political Action Committee: $250
– Stancills Inc.: $250
– Roger A. Waesche, Jr.: $1,000
– Charles L. Vickers: $1,000
– Bynum Road LLC: $250
– BP Associates/ Hopkins House: $250
– Old Fields Inc.: $250
– Richard Streett, Jr.s’ Pond View Enterprises, LTD: $250
– Turcan Properties LLC: $250
– 300 Fort Hoyle Road, LLC: $250
– CNA, Inc.: $250
– Gessner, Snee, Mahoney and Lutche, P.A.: $500
– Marti, LLC: $700; South Philadelphia Boulevard LLC: $600; Owings Mills Self Storage, Inc.: $500; and Bosworth Properties, Inc.: $700, which all have the same Baltimore mailing address
– Robert I. Laffal of Silver Spring: $1,000
– ORR Properties, LLC: $1,000
Despite assertions he is directly linked with the New Harford Democratic Club and the famously deep pockets of Art Helton, from Sept. 6, 2007 through Oct. 9, Bennett raised only $2,676.36 – about $12,000 less than the incumbent Simmons. As of Oct. 9, Bennett still had $657.79 remaining in his account.
Notable contributors to Bennett’s mayoral campaign include:
– Charles and Cindy Wallace: $250
– Robert Price: $200
– Neil “Chuck” Doty: $100
– Paul Burkheimer: $56.36
– J. Scott Randles: $50
– John Feroli: $135
– Art Helton’s Parke Center, LLC: $1,000
– Aberdeen Planning Commission chairman Joe Swisher: $50
From Sept. 20 through Oct. 9, Burlew raised $600, which came entirely from her family – William and Mary Burlew. At the end of the filing period, she had $98.06 remaining in her account.
From Nov. 9, 2006 through Oct. 9, 2007, Yensan raised a staggering $12,181.26. He had $9,409.13 remaining in his account by the end of the filing period. Such a large amount for a council candidate may indicate his aggressive pursuit of such donations – in other words, he knew he was in trouble and would need every cent he could get his hands on to have a chance at being re-elected. It also underscores the importance of Simmons – as Yensan is basically a proxy on the council, essentially giving Simmons two votes. A Simmons-Yensan re-election gives Fred twice as much power in Aberdeen, many of these contributors may be thinking.
Notable donors to Yensan’s re-election campaign included:
– Marti, LLC: $1,000
– Joppa Automatic Transmission: $500
– Law Office of Coon & Cole: $300
– Rev. Roger Tatuem: $200
– Charles L. Vickers: $1,000
– Spenceoloa Group, Inc.: $250
– Joseph Salvo: $1,000
– BP Associates Hopkins House: $250
– MSB Squared LLC, for whom Curtis Coon is the resident agent: $500
– Ronald Benfield: $1,000
– C. Dudley Campbell: $1,000
– Ferrell Fuel Co., Inc.: $250
– A.R. Marani, Inc.: $250
– Harold Lootens: $500
– Gessner, Snee, Mahoney & Lutche PA: $250
– ORR Partners, LLC: $1,000
– Robert I. Laffal of Silver Spring: $1,000
– Clark Turner’s Newport Landing LLC: $1,000
Also, Yensan dispersed $150 from his campaign account to Gilchrest For Congress and another $140 to Friends of David Craig.
From Nov. 2006 through Oct. 9, 2007, Hiob raised $4,825.40. He had a cash balance of $3,434.90 remaining at the end of the period.
Notable contributors to Hiob’s re-election campaign included:
– So. Philadelphia Boulevard, LLC: $300
– BP Associates: $300
– Clark Turner’s Newport Landing, LLC: $1,000
– Marti, LLC: $250
– Peter Bosworth’s Carsons Run, LLC: $150
– Beards Hill Properties, LLC: $250
– Morris & Ritchie Associates: $150
– Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger: $100
– Bynum Road, LLC: $150
– Friends of Mary-Dulany James: $100
– Gessner, Snee, Mahoney & Lutche, PA: $250
– Ferrell Fuel Co., Inc.: $250
– Dudley Campbell’s Bay State Land Services, Inc.: $200
– G.W. Stephens Jr. & Associates: $200
– Turcan Properties, LLC: $150
– 300 Fort Hoyle, LLC: $150
– Pond View Enterprises: $150
– Stepney, LLC: $300
Besides his T-shirts and signs, Hiob also spent $50 from his campaign account to Gilchrest For Congress.
From Sept. 5, 2007 through Oct. 9, 2007, Elliott raised $2,589.70. She had a cash balance of $1,166.10 at the end of the period.
Among Elliott’s notable re-election campaign contributors were:
– HEMACO MGMTCO: $1,000
– Robert Price: $250
– Charles Wallce: $250
– Francis Randles: $50
– Kathy Burkheimer: $25
From Sept. 25 through Oct. 3, Denu raised $450. He had a cash balance of $213.69 at the end of the period. Denu’s contributions came entirely from Brian and Janice Lynch: $200; William Reinecke III: $100; G.W. Brown: $50 and Roseanne Weinel: $100.
RUTH ANN YOUNG:
From Sept. 21 through Oct. 5, Young raised $1,890. She had $1,270.90 left in her account at the end of the period.
Notable contributors to Young’s account included:
– Neil Doty: $100
– Robert Price: $200
– Francis Randles: $50
– Betty Sue Swisher: $100
City council candidates Alfred E. Bell, Jr., Bernard DeWitt, Bruce E. Garner, Janice East Moorehead Grant and incumbent councilman Ronald Kupferman each claimed to have received no financial contributions nor made any campaign expenditures before the Oct. 9 reporting period deadline.
observer on observer says
Wow! There certainly are a lot of developers contributing to Simmons' booty.
An Aberdeen Voter says
It's also interesting that many of the same individuals/groups that contributed to Mr. Simmons also contributed to Mr. Yansen and Mr. Hiob.
Art Helton donated to Bennett’s campaign, now there is a shock!
Steve, HarfordNow says
Why does a city councilman need to raise over $12k? Is there that big of a surcharge for the color orange when printing signs and t-shirts?
Looks to me like certain candidates did what candidates are suppose to do to and that's build a war chest. I think it's funny that Bennett got $1000 from Art Helton's Parke Center, LLC and it appears that Helton was the major contributor. Looks like we know who is financing Bennett and who will have Bennett on his string.
Brian, you know as well as I do that there are limits on campaign contributions, contributions are generally broken up so that one entity doesn't stand out, and elections are notorious for having election day folks handing out "walking around" money that is generally put out there by behind the scenes and off the book people.
Thanks for providing the highlighted list. Ther complete lists are always fun to look at, some years back it used to be that you could figure out the Baltimore County Council agenda before it was posted based upon contributions. Same goes for some Harford County proposals too.
observer on observer says
From the Aberdeen PZ minutes of 1/12/05
'Mr. Dudley Campbell with Bay State Land Services introduced Mr. Sam Smedley, owner of Wetlands Golf Course,'
Wake up everyone – for those whose only interest in this election is the Wetlands golf couse there are much bigger (and ruthless) fish with much more to gain playing in this pond who actually own properties in the City limits as they stand today.
Requirement for non-racetrack slots locations "2 miles from I95" Gee who happens to own a hotel in Aberdeen and makes rolls?
Acrobat – Mr Hess? Mr. Nick? Mr. Patel?
Who's in Fred & says
$14,625 buys a lot more favors than $2,676.36 .
Paterakis – at Ripken
Actually had not thought of Hess but he certainly could be thinking the same thing – and that is HEMACO – he benefited from being on the inside in past at the State level. Just think they could tear down Warwick Apts, Cranberry Run and the Shopping Center and put in a Slots/Casino.
I guess we will know more after the Special Session.
Concerned Citizen says
Wow….Simmons, Yensan and Hiob receiving money from Developers. The same three who voted to raise taxes and water/sewer bills to the seniors on fixed income. I wonder who they care about?
Yeah! Sure……… ?
Wow! Bennett receiving money from Deveoplers (Helton). So what's so different?
WOW! Good reporting, I had no idea the amount of money being tossed at Simmons. Guess he’s been doing a good job.
Aberdeen Town Crier says
To the fine citizens of Aberdeen, I harken to ye all! Wake up and smell the coffee! I've resisted getting on these blogs and have sat back and watched people making some really amazing statements under the guise of chiming in.
Here is my two cents of the issue at hand, think about it real hard and with an open mind. Does our current elected officials really have our interest and well being in mind? As I review the campaign contributions of the candidates, it beckons one to think that the very generous support given to some of our current administration strikes me as a little bit on the side of a "conflict of interest!" How can or would a genuinely sincere elected official and/or candidate even remotely think of taking or accepting monetary support from the same developers who stand to gain very well from seeing that particular person(s) get elected or re-elected. It doesn't take a brain surgeon or nuclear physicist to figure out that the only ones whom stand to gain from these shady support deals are those in office and the developers whom only want to develop more of Aberdeen at the cost of and on the backs of the taxpayers of Aberdeen.
I must admit that two years ago I was very much elated to see Mr. Simmons come along, as it appeared that he had some new ideas about how to redirect the stagnant state of affairs in our city. But now, over the past two years, I've seen nothing but arrogance from some of our elected officials and some downright, dictatorial attitudes that have permeated current politics in this city. I've been here for a while and have attempted to educate myself about what's wrong with my city to no avail. I've attemtped in vain to speak with some of the city employee's about their opinions of the current state of affairs in their departments but have been bluntly told that "they cannot comment for fear of reprisal from above." I've approached a couple of men from the town shop, the police department, and a woman whom works city hall. All are so afraid to give their honest opinions as all have said that "the administration will punish us for saying anything out of line." So how does one make an informed decision.
I'm growing more and more disenchanted with the politics of this city to the point that I and probably many other voters may just consider not exercising our right to do so, whenever this election goes off. But one thing that I feel I'm certain of is that the current Mayor and Council need some major overhauling. Mr. Simmons and company has worn their welcome out as far as I'm concerned with their internal squabbling and outward disdain of each other on the council. Mr. Simmons is an insurance agent which he's obviously done very well for himself and his family. I believe he should stick to that chosen profession and fade away from the political arena. Mr. Hiob should keep his job with the County. Mr. Yensan I have no idea what his line of work is. Mrs. Elliott and Mr. Kupferman just need to retire from politics period. We need some new, fresh faces on our council with new ideas untainted by developer greed and political aspirations of a particular party.
We need someone whom is all about serving the interests of and for the citizens of Aberdeen, not their political careers or parties. And in reading and following much of these postings, like some of the other people Viet Vet, Concerned Citizen, Herb, employee, RWinger, Brian, Jason, Steve, and others…only one person thus far has stepped up to the plate and been forthright and honest about his platform/proposals/philosophy from what I've read.
Mr. Denu strikes me as being that only current candidate to really consider for a seat on the council at the present time. It appears from his contributions, he doing it on a shoe-string budget and appears to be doing a fine job at it. Maybe the other current candidates and incumbents should take a hint. The last time I checked with my parents, they always told me to always do the right thing, every time, all the time.
So far, I only see Mr. Denu living up to that obligation. Don't judge the candidate by his exorbitant purse or lack thereof.
So my fair citizens of this All-America city, exercise your right to chose whom you shall want to truly represent us over the next two years with open and sincere respect for your interests. I believe from what I've heard from Mr. Denu and the other posters, he will be at least one of our answers. I strongly urge all to support him on November 6th or whenever this election does come to fruition.
Mr. Denu, I hope you don't mind me plugging your slogan. It's appropritate for my concerns at this point, "DENU for YOU!' I hope that you'll honor your slogan if elected for the good of all Aberdeen and not the linings of the developers pockets……
Rick Denu says
Very well said. Thank you.
Aberdeen Town Crier,
Seing that there are 3 other council vacancies and mayor to elect, who are your other choices. Denu can't do it all himself. Since both serious canidates for mayor took contributions from developers does that mean you're voting for Burlew? Guess you like the idea of a toll booth just to get into Aberdeen. And for council? How about everyone going on a shoestring budget (leaving out all the incumbents). Wow, a whole new city council with absolutely no experience! Just what we need for BRAC!
Aberdeen Citizen says
Citizens, please don't take a "Stick Your Head in the Sand" stand when it comes to voting. If you are unhappy with our current Mayor and Councilmen Yensan and Hiob, please, please vote them out. Our taxpayers cannot take much more! Many people will be bankrupt if this type of management continues.
How dare the Mayor place himself in the place of God on his sign "In Fred We Trust". I find this very offensive.
Please remember Councilman Hiob's vote was instrumental in raising our taxes 56% and doubleing our water and sewer rates. He is also not endorsed by the New Harford Democtrat Club and the Aberdeen Communities Together grassroots organization.
Least we also not forget that Councilman Yensan called the women of Aberdeen "Dimented Old Women".
How can 1 woman vote for him?
Finally, Mayor Simmons supported debt which is now about $20,000,000. What does Aberdeen have to show for this?
I pray that every citizen vote on November 6 to rid Aberdeen of these men.
In Fred we Trust is offensive? Relax, it's just a slogan! Are we really that shallow as to find a campaign slogan offensive? I guess "IT's ALL ABOUT TRUST" from a proven cheater and liar is less offensive?
I do applaud you for mentioning Hoib and Yensen though. It's not very often the other canidates for City Council get mentioned on the blog.
Is this the Rick Denu for you blog? It seems to be a very vocal cheering section for you Ricky.
And I kind of like the "In Fred We Trust" slogan. It reminds me of the Fred Thompson presidential campaign. Are there any plans to copy right it away from the US Mint?
Rick Denu says
It seem there are many more supporters than detractors, doesn't it?
"In ____ We Trust". Blasphamous according to the bible…that is to replace God's name with any other.
Thanks for your comment.
Another Voter says
Just a small interjection here:
Interestingly enough, the "In Fred We Trust" slogan wasn't even concocted as a spin on "In God We Trust." It was actually a little campaign wordplay response to the Bennett's slogan–"It's All About Trust."
It's no "Who is Fred Simmons?" but I thought it was clever.
Oh, and Mr. Denu: the word is spelled "Blasphemous."
In God We Trust is NOT, NOT, NOT, NOT in the bible
It is just on our money so go yell at the US Treasury
Amen godless. It's just a slogan! Turning into a 'blasphemous statement' is a bit of a reach.
I have yet to write on these blogs, but the more I read, the more I want to address issues regarding our current mayor.
Most issues on here are rumors and ignorant talk with no facts to back it up.
Fred Simmons came into office with a fresh outlook and plans for an office and city that had a huge debt. He did not raise taxes for personal pleasure, but saw it a necessity.
Our mayor is not the evil dictator people claim him to be. He has nothing but the city's best interest at heart. Vision for something better seems to be looked down upon and criticized because there are normally sacrifices that need to be made in the present.
You can not please everyone.
People say he has taken peoples money away for pet projects on the side that the city knows nothing of. I would like to have facts proving this. He has huge projects for the city that I would trust no other with, especially a 19 year old girl who I wouldn’t personally trust balancing a check book let alone millions or billions of dollars.
As far as people being afraid to speak their minds…may I just say that is ridiculous. They will be “punished”? In what way? Quite honestly if there is a woman in City Hall who does not speak her mind or make an informed decision for the fear of being disagreed with, her place is not in City Hall.
As far as his military tactics, this city has never been safer. Personally, I’m all for whatever makes where I live safer for myself and my child. Whether that be “only 2” cameras in the city, or the Mayor “knocking down doors” for publicity stunts. It’s working, so why are their complaints? I don’t think they are publicity stunts anyways, I think he is getting out there and letting the drug dealers and criminals know who is in charge, and that they are not getting away with their lifestyle anymore.
Does no one else question the reasoning for Rick Denu’s hate for Fred Simmons all of a sudden? Because before he was passed up for a promotion because he could not pass the test, we never heard of a disagreement.
Would we rather have Bennett in office? Someone who cheated on a military exam? Can we trust that? Someone whose wife signed the petition that stated Steve Johnson lived in the city limits, which was/is clearly a lie? Or a trusted businessman of the city for 30 years?
As far as the signs go, seriously….THEY ARE A SIGN!! A sign, that Fred Simmons did not even make up himself. A married couple in the city came up with the idea. It has nothing to do with God, or Fred Simmons thinking he is of that level. People trust Fred and what he is doing in the community. People will pick at the smallest things to complain about. Grow up!
I feel like the city of Aberdeen is in a transitional period still with many things in process for the better of our community. To see someone new come into office would interrupt this process and put a hold on these projects or crumble them all together. I would hate to see someone’s much devoted hard work and time go to waste.
After all, I know I’m too selfish to devote all day every day to a community who pays me $10,000 a year to do my job. NO THANK YOU!
This city is going to go down hill after the election if the right people aren’t put back on board. I know I won’t stick around to see it happen.
If you truly believe that he has not done the best he can for our community as a whole, do not vote for him in November. I don’t know of anyone who can say that statement….so in November, go out and vote for Fred Simmons, Mayor.
In Fred We Trust.
Rick Denu says
True, I as well as OTHERS did not pass the Sergeants exam in the early 2000's and the one who did; only by a single point. It was very difficult to say the least.
The part you're not telling anyone is that there were no rules and regulations regarding promotions then and only after I pushed pushed pushed to have them, did we get them for the police department. By the way, they are State Police regulations, borrowed and butchered and put in place by Chief Rudy.
So with the new "rules and regs" in place…they did not follow them as I was the best qualified candidate as a result of that process and was not selected by virtue of my political action of the time for the F.O.P. That's worth telling about and trying to fix. We need people who are qualified, not tied.
In closing, I do not hate Fred Simmons or anyone else for that matter…just addressing the issues…like so many don't.
godless……this is what the world is coming to!!! What a terrible mistake!
Paul Burkheimer says
"I'LL Trust in GOD"
Urine Luck says
If this campaign is really about trust then Fred has got my vote .This blog says it all, more people trust Fred with there money then they do Bennett so I trust him with my vote.
Just as a caveat, I want to remind everyone I only listed NOTABLE contributors to these candidates' campaign accounts. While the totals do take into account all the funds they brought in, the list represents neither every dollar nor every donor, rather only those of a high-dollar or high-profile nature.
To that end, I've had some help tracking down the owners/members of some of the Limited Liability Corporations.
This is from an email submission to The Dagger:
"Coon and Cole are the Attornies for the folks sueing the city on the Annexation question. They are located in the new building housing and owned by Benfield Electric. Bynum Rd LLC is a Dick Street LLC ,Old Fields LLC is owned by former Del. Bill Cox. CNA was formerly Cambell & Nolan Associates, until Campbell left, – but remains an engineering firm doing work for the city and other firms appearing for permits in the city. South Philadelphia Rd LLC, Marti LLC, Owings Mills LLC, and Bosworth Prop are all Peter Bosworth entities and get mail at his home in Roland Park Balt. at his King George St address. Joppa Automatic Transmission is owned by Ralph Medley. He buys and develops land"
Come on Rick, you didn't push for those regulations. I'm all for you getting elected, but come on. The rules and regs were copied from the Elkton Police Dept not MSP. And when you last took the exam, yea it was difficult, but there were rules and regulations in place.
I think you would do a good job on the City Council, but let's put all this PD stuff behind us and concentrate on what's coming up on the City's plate and how you're going to takle the City's growth.
Things just cloudier and cloudier Rick. As for the FOP minutes, no one even knows what happened to them. If we did have them, we would've had a new FOP president.
Rick Denu says
Oh but I did. If you check the minutes from the F.O.P. meetings you will in fact find that I had addressed the issue there many times, as I did with Chief Rudy.
Yes you are in fact correct about the rules and regs coming from Elkton P.D., but theirs had originated from the M.S.P. quite actually.
I’m not certain what test you are refering to? Was it the one where the now Sgt McGarvey passed? If that is so, yes we did have rules and regulations then, but they were very scant and they did not cover promotions at all.
There’s nothing to place behind and the Police Department is a concern as it is an integral part of City government services; much as all others.
I feel that I have addressed and discussed many of the issues that face the City today and into the future. It seems that no one wants to respond to the real issues I have commented on or asked questions of, but instead go off and discuss trival non-sense.
In closing, thanks for you vote of confidence, I certainly appreciate it.
HELLO – STICK TO THE ISSUES!
The issues – everyone makes an issue about where each candidate gets their money.
Is it not easier to be beholden to one person than several who are competing for limited resources?
Sort of like when you have 3 children, you try to treat them equally and love them all the same, but when you have one child you can spoil that child rotten and give them everything they want.
Acrobat, are you calling me a spoiled child? I'm ok with that.
Jason, exactly what issues do think we should be discussing? Maybe you could start another string or discussion. Something maybe you would like to talk about.
BTW, is it the end of an era for APD? JB'07
concerned citizen says
Acrobat, you sound like Simmons. Same type of thing he puts on his sign outside his office…
Many of the people in Aberdeen know of the change in City Hall. And a few times I have heard the people who work there talking about how bad it is. Don’t go against the Mayor or else……
I've never seen a smiley face outside of the State Farm office.
observer for observe says
Tha's becasue Simmons is mayor 🙂
Mr police officer…GET OVER IT. People are passed up everyday for promotions in the PD. Maybe Mayberry, NC has a job opening for you.
With regard to the campaign contributions made to Fred Simmons, GET REAL. Anyone that knows Fred personally, understands he can't be bought. You all have no idea how successful of a business man Fred has been over the years. I am laughing at the thought of Fred being swayed by $12000. By the way, he did not take his Mayoral salary, it was donated to charity. You are clueless.
Fred tells it like it is. If you prefer someone who will tell you the world will be a better place, need more money to feed the children, need more money for education, health care for everyone, FRED IS NOT YOUR MAN. We have enough of those politicians in Annapolis and DC.
blast from the past says
I would like to know where you stand on family values? You talk a good game about the “word” of god. Do you practice it?
In the Know says
what “god” are you speaking of? Zeus, Hercules? these are “gods” . Practice that.
In the Know says
oh and who are you directing this question blast? this should be interesting.