“Mayor Dave” Outdonating Opponents in Gilbert’s Mayoral Race

The East Valley Tribune reports on the Gilbert mayors race tonight revealing that former councilmen Dave Petersen has dropped a pickup load of his own money into multimedia – $35,000 to be exact. That puts him $19,330 above what state law limits personal and family donations. Expenditures like this allow other candidates an exemption until they also reach the same threshhold as Petersen.

Petersen also reveals another interesting political reality about the race. Money is tight. With so many candidates running for town mayor and council, raising money has become extremely competitive. Petersen has only raised about $1,000 from outside donors. He asserts that asking for political cash at times like these are difficult.

Now that the personal limits are off, it will be interesting which of the other candidates will attempt to match Petersen on contributions.

Petersen, in the meantime will continue to spend money on his commercials which can be viewed on of all places, YouTube.

Here’s a sample but let me warn you, THESE are Hilarious!!!


  1. The problem for Dave isn’t that money is tight — the problem is that he can’t find enough people to contribute to his campaign — plain and simple. Several of the other candidates haven’t had the same problems he has with fundraising. Mr. Lewis, for example, raised plenty of money *within* Gilbert. The problem with Dave is that he hasn’t taken the time to try and gain the support of Gilbert and has decided to “go it alone” which is all too typical of his leadership style. We need someone who can build consensus and work with council members rather than the my-way-or-the-highway approach to governing.

  2. Fiscal_Hawk says

    Mr. Lewis is also the “chosen one” of his people. He is a IT geek, what does he know about fundraising?

  3. I think I’ll donate to Dave today. He is a good man!

  4. I’m not a lawyer or an expert on local government campaigns, but I think the Trib article has major problems.
    It looks like the $35,000 personal contribution (listed as a “expenditure” limit set in state law in the article) is not ‘above’ the limit on personal and family contributions, because the ‘limit’ is not a ‘limit.’
    It is a demarcation that can be passed, although if passed, it removes contibution limit on individuals that would contribute to Petersen’s opponents to try to “level the playing field,” as the county campaign finance director says.
    DECADES ago, Supreme Court rejected limiting how much people can contribute to their own campaigns in Buckley v. Valeo.
    And interestingly enough, a federal McCain-Feingold version of the state law that removes individual contribution limits as a response to a candidate putting large amounts of money into their own campaigns was ruled to be unconstitutional last year under Davis v. FEC. This means that setting different contribution limits for different candidates running for the same office to “level the playing field” is illegal.
    With a lawsuit, Petersen could shoot this state provision down in a heartbeat.
    Also, I do not think that personal expenditure limits can be placed on any type of candidate besides legislative and statewide office candidates running with Clean Elections (public) money.
    I’d bet the ranch Petersen has not “rewritten campaign finance rules,” as the article states.
    It looks like he is spending his own money to campaign, which is entirely legal.

  5. Has anyone seen this blog about Mayor Berman? I saw a post in the Republic with the link to it and there is a police report saying he has been stealing campaign signs. This is the website: http://www.anyonebutberman.com

    It looks real but not sure what to think of it…

  6. I can’t see some of your images 🙁

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