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Candidates claim to fund bulk of campaigns

| 12/07/2017 | 6 Comments
Cayman News Service

Election staff load ballot boxes onto vans on Election Day morning

(CNS): Details of campaign finances for the eight weeks prior to the May 2017 General Election reveal very little about political donors but show that in most cases candidates largely funded their own campaigns. The Progressives have listed nine companies who made donations in excess of $5,000 to the party’s overall campaign, but the bulk of its cash came from its own candidates. The CDP filed individual candidate returns, with only McKeeva Bush and John Jefferson revealing donations in excess of $5,000.

Most of the independent candidates, with the exception of those funded by Dr Steve Tomlinson, appeared to be self-funded, though John McLean Jr in East End declared that the US$ $30,000 he spent on his campaign all came from John Ball, the owner of Oasis Land Development.

Austin Harris was given $10,000 by Tomlinson and $5,000 from Marcus Cumber, but he also received a $500 donation from Joey Ebanks, who was his former radio talk-show partner before Ebanks was jailed for drug and theft offences in 2014.

The PPM raised around $344,500 in donations over the official two-month campaign period but spent more than $509,000, and it is not clear from the expenses how the deficit was or will  be covered. However, the bulk of the campaign donations came from their own team. Wayne Panton topped the bill by spending almost $112,000 on the election but lost his seat in the Newlands race by 15 votes to Alva Suckoo.

Maxine Bodden, who ran for the first time in Bodden Town West, also contributed $60,000 to the party coffers, despite failing to win her own campaign. Moses Kirkconnell donated $25,000 to the campaign and comfortably won his seat in Cayman Brac.

The party leader, Alden McLaughlin, chipped in $20,000, as did Roy McTaggart, while Joey Hew gave $10,000; all three secured their George Town seats. Kurt Tibbetts stepped out of the political race but still backed the party with a $9,000 donation.

Corporate donations for the Progressives campaign were: $20,813 from Consulting Services Ltd, $10,000 from Kirk Freeport, $10,000 from Brook Investments, $5,417 from Rafiki Ltd, and $5,000 each from AL Thompson’s, JT Holdings, L7 Holdings and Watler’s Metal Products.

Meanwhile, the CDP raised over $221,000 over the eight weeks before the election between all eleven candidates but only two declared any donations. McKeeva Bush, who spent just over $29,000 on his campaign, received a $25,000 donation from a company called Radsk Ltd.

John Jefferson revealed a $5,000 donation from Junk Ltd and a $1000 donation from Creighton. These contributions accounted for just $31,000, leaving the public to guess that either the candidates paid for their own electioneering or the other $190,000 the party raised in donations came in piecemeal smaller contributions.

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Category: 2017 General Elections, Elections, Politics

Comments (6)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Well, well, well. A convicted drug user and thief,(Joey Ebanks) finds $500.00 spare change in his pocket, to give to a convicted wife beater,(Austin Harris) to help him get elected ……. not long after he himself got out of jail.

    Who writes the script for these political comedies that we read about anyway?




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  2. Anonymous says:

    Is there any information available about companies like Radsk Ltd or Consulting Services? Or are donations filtered through a company effectively anonymous?




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    • Kent says:

      Consulting Services is Gene Thompson




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    • There’s no company with the name ‘Radsk’ incorporated in Cayman, according to the General Registry’s database of ‘Companies, Partnerships and Trusts’. I searched other corporate databases and didn’t get any hits. Is there any publicly-available evidence that Radsk Ltd. even exists as a legal entity?




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  3. Shame says:

    Well I know my family wont be eating at Lobster Pot again. Our money will not be given to woman beaters.




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  4. Anonymous says:

    Ahh yes bribery or another way of saying it, democracy.




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