UPDATE – OCT 21: Joe Pantalone and Rob Ford have released their campaign donor lists. Click on the links below to view:
>> Joe Pantalone campaign donor list (PDF)
OCT 19: Joe Pantalone will reveal who is funding his campaign tomorrow, making George Smitherman the only leading mayoral candidate to keep his donor list a secret prior to voting day since the 2003 election.
George Smitherman told Xtra at Monday night’s mayoral debate at the 519 Church Street Community Centre that he has no plans to release his donor list before Oct 25 because “the list is still growing.”
“We’re still seeking contributions, so we will assemble that in compliance with the law,” he told Xtra before the debate got rolling. “We are still working hard to grow the list.
“We are in a period of the campaign where we’re spending money at an intense rate, mostly because we are doing television ads, which is one of the most expensive things you can do. So we’re still out there fundraising.”
Smitherman isn’t breaking any rules, but he is deviating from a practice that has become standard in mega-city elections. In 2006 and 2003, the top candidates for mayor disclosed their contribution lists before ballots were cast, The Globe and Mail reported last month.
David Miller and Jane Pitfield revealed their donor lists before the 2006 election. Miller, Barbara Hall and John Tory all did so in 2003.
Pantalone was unavailable for comment on Wednesday. Mike Smith, Pantalone’s press secretary, said the list will be released at some point tomorrow afternoon.
Rob Ford’s director of communications, Adrienne Batra, said Ford, who was unavailable for comment, has committed to releasing his donor list prior to the vote so voters can follow the money.
“We don’t understand the hesitation in releasing the list,” she said. Batra said Ford’s list will be released Thursday.
“You know why (Smitherman) won’t release his list, right? It’s because every lobbyist in the city is on his donor list,” Batra said. “That’s the gravy train, baby! And George is the conductor.”
Elections Toronto requires all 2010 candidates to submit a final financial report by March 25, 2011, including the names and addresses of everyone who contributed $100 or more to their campaign. The maximum donation to a mayoral candidate is $2,500.
Corporate and union donations are banned.
“[Our donor list] will be released in compliance with the law,” Smitherman said.
Rocco Rossi and Sarah Thomson, who dropped out of the race, previously told The Globe and Mail they did not intend to release their lists before the vote.