BACKGROUND: Campaign Finances

campaign-financesdollar-sign Mayor Bob Bratina’s $15,000 presentation on amalgamation this month prompted grumbling about the propriety of using City of Hamilton funds for what some councillors considered straight-up electioneering.

Bratina is viewed as a mayoralty candidate who hasn’t yet declared, and opponents objected to the use of his office budget to take care of an unfulfilled 2010 election promise.  (See Andrew Dreschel column )

  • The situation prompts a look at what the rules actually are, and a review of what the major mayoralty candidates in Hamilton and Burlington spent in 2010.

Under the Municipal Elections Act, contributions can only be accepted and expenses incurred during the campaign period, which begins on the day the nomination is filed.

In Hamilton, only four candidates have filed for mayor:  one-time councillor Don Ross, sitting councillor Brian McHattie,  perennial candidate Michael Baldasaro and landscaping company owner Crystal Lavigne.  Bratina has said he sees no reason not to run, and it is expected that former mayor Fred Eisenberger will also run.

  • The cost of running for mayor is high, but expenditures are governed by the Elections Act. All goods & services purchased or donated must be declared. Candidates can spend a maximum that’s based on a formula.

For mayors in every city, it’s $7,500 per candidate, plus 85 cents per elector.  Here are the figures for major mayoralty candidates in 2010.


Maximum allowed to spend: $308,312.

Bob Bratina: 52,684 votes, spent  $103,565

Larry Di Ianni: 40,091votes, spent $224,282

Fred Eisenberger: 38,719 votes, spent $93,787


Maximum allowed to spend: $115,074

Rick Goldring: 21,797 votes, spent $98,182

Carol D’Amelio: 11,285 votes, spent $98,805

Cam Jackson: 10,055 votes, spent $82,500

Philip Papadopolous: 2,069 votes, spent $99,900

See more about Burlington election races at Joan Little’s column on

5 Responses to “BACKGROUND: Campaign Finances”
  1. Todd says:

    It should not be about who has the biggest wallet, but who will lead The City Of Hamilton into the future, and not stagnantly putter along.

    • specvotes says:

      The cost of running is a big issue in a lot of communities, and there will be more on this topic from politicians as the campaign proceeds. Thanks for your comment.

    • As long as we keep voting for the same old, same old boys club dressed in $1,00.00 suits, all we will ever have is same old stagnation and sputtering along! i.e. Return to Street Cars aka light rail, two way streets, bus and bicycle lanes. Did we forget who pays for the roads. Yes, people with CAReers, that’s who!!!

  2. Talk about a frivilous waste of Rate Payers Taxes!
    I hoped for more from Mayor Bratina.
    He told me during the 2010 election that the only reason he was running was because his friends told hi that “if he didn’t they were afraid Baldasaro would win”. Same old, same old election after election. Want leadership, I’m in! Be well and prosper, bless us all!

  3. That being said, Mayor Bratina, in my opinion, is a very thoughtful and carismatic leader for the G.H.A..
    That being said, I feel Hamilton could use 2 Mayors or an Assistant Mayor. One elected to to Office to welcome and stimulate the Citizens as Mayor Bratina does, and one elected to Office to act as the Chief Justice of the Peace for the Regional Municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth, to protect and defend Citizens rights and freedoms. A Mayor/Assistant Mayor, to instruct our Legal Department on behalf of Council. What do you say Bob? Will you, if elected another term, create an Office for the runner up for Mayor, so the Citizens are better represented?
    “Two Heads are better than one”.

Leave A Comment

SpecVotes is the 2014 Election blog of The Hamilton Spectator, 44 Frid St., Hamilton, ON L8N 3G3
Accessible Customer Service
Commitment to Accessibility
Corporate Privacy Policy
Corporate Terms & Conditions
@ Copyright 2014 Metroland Media Group Ltd. All rights reserved.
%d bloggers like this: