Campaign donors just part of the WCCC's financial story 

Influential organization reports on money donated only after it becomes "campaign organizer"

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The $3,750 reported by the Association of Whistler's Concerned Citizens to help sway votes in the 2011 municipal election is not the complete financial picture of the influential organization.

Rather, it is the money raised only after the group, known as the Whistler Coalition of Concerned Citizens (WCCC), began actively campaigning for specific candidates in the election — a time period of just over a month.

Sandy Black, owner of Affinity Sports who filed the campaign finance report to the municipality, explained that the organization just had to file its contributions once it became a "campaign organizer." That only happened, he said, once they placed the first print advertisement in the Pique with candidate pictures and bios.

"The WCCC became campaign organizers the day that we actually began augmenting candidates' results, which would have been the first ad we placed with candidates' pictures and bios in it," said Black, adding that would have been some time after all the candidates declared in October. "Prior to that we were simply a society, an organization, providing information to the community.

"The contributions that you're seeing are the contributions that were made to us as campaign organizers. Therein lies the difference."

When asked how much the group raised before it became a "campaign organizer" when it was placing ads about pay parking and increased taxes Black said:

"I don't think it's relevant."

"The WCCC was in place long before candidates had declared their interest in running. We were operating long before the election began. And so our activities prior to the election is a different deal."

And Black downplays the role and the influence of the coalition even though the Nov. 17 ad in the Pique, running days before the election, calls for Nancy Wilhelm-Morden as mayor and endorses eight candidates for council, six of whom were elected for the six council seats.

"With or without the WCCC I have a feeling that the results would have been pretty much the same because clearly the people that were chosen were people that were best qualified, that had the greatest level of experience, had the greatest ability to do and make some of the changes that the community wanted to see happen," said Black.

"And all we did was bring to light the names and faces of some of these people and made it a little bit easier for people to go out and do their own homework and figure out if in fact these were people that they agreed with."

The campaign report outlines contributions from seven individuals totaling $2,650 and from four organizations totaling $1,050.

Among the contributions was $500 from Doug Player, the force behind the Whistler University proposal on the Zen lands.

The association is just one of a handful of reports submitted to the municipality so far.

Others include Eckhard Zeidler's campaign finance report, which shows he took no financial contributions for his campaign. Allan Jenner's report totaled more than $4,500 in campaign contributions. Neither was successful in their quest for a council seat.

Only one successful candidate, Jayson Faulkner, has filed a report to date. He collected $178 for the campaign and spent $360.

All candidates have until March 19 to file their election contributors and expenses. The municipality is posting the disclosure statements online as they come into municipal hall.

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