Originally created 08/04/98

Election finances revealed



Columbia County Commissioner-elect Frank Spears raised and spent more than twice the amount of money of his defeated election competitor, Bill Bohling.

For the period ending July 31 -- when the latest financial disclosures were due -- Mr. Spears raised $13,951.66 and spent $13,921.19 -- leaving him $30 in his campaign war chest.

"I've been offered other donations since the election," Mr. Spears said. "And I've turned down all contributions since the election. I've got $30 left and I'm going to use that to pay the bank service charges."

Since July 6, the last deadline for candidates to file a disclosure prior to the July 21 primary, Mr. Spears raised $2,727 -- including $700 from political action committees. The Georgia Association of Realtors gave Mr. Spears' campaign $500, while the Southtrust Corp. Committee for Good Government gave him $200.

In all, Mr. Spears has accepted $3,700 from political action committees including $1,000 from the Builders PAC of the Central Savannah River Area and $2,000 from the Coalition for Quality Government.

On the other hand, Mr. Bohling received $450 in donations since July 6, including $250 from Ron Cross of CCI Construction Co. Mr. Cross also donated $250 to Mr. Spears' campaign.

Much of the $5,038 in contributions to Mr. Bohling's campaign came from the candidate's own pocket. Mr. Bohling loaned his campaign $3,000. Mr. Bohling, who is on vacation, could not be reached for comment.

Mr. Bohling has also been out-gunned in spending. Mr. Spears spent $13,921.19 on signs, barbecue and mass mailings. For example, he paid National Mail Services Inc. of Martinez $2,646.86 for two mailings -- one July 10 and another July 20.

Mr. Bohling spent $741.33, including $519.09 to National Mail Services Inc. In all, he spent $5,679.29.