Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Senate bid cost Springer $1.1M

By Gregory Korte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

TV trash king and former Cincinnati Mayor Jerry Springer spent more than $1.1 million of his own money in his aborted campaign for the U.S. Senate, according to records made public by the Senate.

Springer's six-month flirtation with a 2004 run for George V. Voinovich's seat ended Aug. 6, when he announced that polling - now disclosed to cost him $218,580 - convinced him that there had to be "separation" between his show and his re-entry into politics.

But before he bowed out, Springer set up an exploratory committee - required by federal law any time a candidate raises money. Campaign Treasurer Timothy M. Burke, the chairman of the Hamilton County Democratic Party, filed the campaign's first report with the secretary of the Senate earlier this month.

The reports released last week show that the campaign was almost entirely funded by Springer from the beginning, with his first expenditure Jan. 22. He raised just $12,437 in private contributions - mostly through a Web site and a 30-minute infomercial - but returned them after he bowed out.

Among the expenditures:

• $489,317 on consultants. Former mayoral chief of staff Mike Ford, now a political consultant in Annapolis, Md., headed the list at $152,055. Dale Butland, a former press secretary to retired Sen. John Glenn, received $66,938. Columbus consultant Brian Usher received $22,500.

Cincinnati talk radio host Jene Galvin, a longtime Springer chum who served as his one-man entourage for much of the exploratory campaign, was paid $27,271.

• $421,568 on the 30-minute infomercial that hawked T-shirts and bumper stickers along with the idea of a Springer candidacy.

• $130,208 on travel, crisscrossing the state from March through July to attend county Democratic Party dinners. The money was paid to reimburse the partnership that owns Springer's Beech jet.

• $64,238 on the Web site, runjerryrun.com.

• $10,178 on opposition research. Joe Sinsheimer of Raleigh, N.C., got the job.

E-mail gkorte@enquirer.com

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