John Wilson's other $10,000+ donation

Shasta County Board of Supervisors District 2 candidate John Wilson may not have as many thousand-dollar friends as his rival does, but he has more than one $10,000 friend.

A campaign contribution of more than $11,000 came to Wilson on March 31 from Dave Rutledge, a real estate broker and former candidate for Redding City Council who had campaign funds left over.

Rutledge said he donated the funds after he decided he wouldn’t run for office again because he’s overly busy with work, affordable housing advocacy and the Shasta County Planning Commission.

“John was a big supporter of mine, and I just wanted to do that for him,” Rutledge said Thursday.

Unfortunately, it’s not legal. Leftover money can only be spent on certain limited things, including debt, refunds and charity, for example.

“When I found out the rules on that, yeah, they had to send the money back,” Rutledge said. “We’re going to donate it all to 501(c)3s.”

Wilson confirmed that.

“They advised me to return it in under 30 days,” he said. “We did that, in plenty of time. We had five or six days to go. We didn’t use it or touch it. It just sat there.”

The check was deposited, Wilson’s campaign treasurer, Russ Tollefson said today. “Yes, we cashed it and put it in the bank.”

The contribution and refund don’t show up on Wilson’s financial reports on file with the County Clerk’s office because they aren’t required to, Tollefson said.

“If you repay it, which we did, the manual says you have 30 days to do that and not have to report it,” Tollefson said. “We did that.”

The Fair Political Practices Commission manual also says, "a contribution is not required to be reported if it is not deposited, cashed, or negotiated and it is returned to the contributor before the closing date of the campaign statement on which it would otherwise be reported."

So, a little thing, but it might need an amendment.

Either way, Rutledge’s treasurer, Georgie Hicks, said the contribution of more than $11,000 and its late-April reimbursement will appear on Rutledge’s semi-annual statement, due in June.

“We’ll show that going out and we’ll show it coming right back in,” she said.

The latest disclosure statements, turned in last week, showed Leonard Moty with almost twice as much money as Wilson and Paul Heckman. Wilson said that was because he didn't have as many thousand-dollar friends but he had a lot of fifty-dollar friends.

"I don't hang in the upper-crust crowd, but I have great support," he said.

Wilson’s other major contribution came on May 19 from longtime family friend Kim Reane Lim of Lim’s Pharmacy. It was $10,000.

“We have been good friends since the seventh grade,” Wilson said Thursday. “He said he didn’t have time to throw me a fund raiser, but he’d write me a check.

“I thought he was going to write me a grand. Then I looked and I saw another zero. I flipped out. I just flipped out. I said, ‘Are you sure?’ and he said yes. I said, 'OK, then, we sure can use it.'”

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