Morales won 2009 UUA presidential election despite Hallman’s larger base of donors.
The Rev. Peter Morales spent $92,420 in his successful campaign to become president of the Unitarian Universalist Association. The other candidate in that race, the Rev. Dr. Laurel Hallman, spent $232,646.
UUA bylaws (Rule G-9.12.8) require that all candidates for an elective office file final campaign finance reports with the secretary of the Association within sixty days of the election. The complete set of campaign finance reports have been published on the UUA website.
Patricia Robitschek, Morales’s campaign treasurer, filed his report. The largest expenditure by the Morales campaign was $39,340 for campaign materials. It spent $26,000 on staff and consultants, $6,067 on Internet expenses, $5,471 on travel, $5,353 on postage, $4,681 on printing and copying, and $1,351 on receptions and meetings. The campaign had $4,155 in “other expenses.”
The Rev. Ken Carpenter, Hallman’s campaign treasurer, reported spending $88,810 on campaign materials, $45,590 on receptions and meetings, $33,000 on staff and consultants, $12,805 on printing and copying, $7,298 on postage, $6,975 on Internet expenses, $3,751 on travel, and $2,382 on telephone expenses. Other expenses totaled $31,845.
The campaigns, both funded entirely from private donations, were also required to list the number of people who contributed money. The Hallman campaign, which began informally nearly two years before the Morales campaign, reported 729 individual contributors to Morales’s 277. The Hallman campaign also reported 17 groups that either reimbursed Hallman for travel expenses or paid her a speaker’s fee in amounts ranging from $50 to $500. The Morales campaign reported no payments from groups.
Contributions were reported in five categories ranging from under $50 to over $500. The Morales campaign reported 150 donations of $100 or less, while 560 contributors donated $100 or less to Hallman’s campaign. Morales received 22 donations over $500, while Hallman received 44. There are no limits on how much an individual or group may contribute to a UUA candidate.
Morales also spent less than his predecessor, the Rev. William G. Sinkford, who spent $117,760 on the campaign that led to his election as UUA president in 2001. The reports filed by his two challengers in the 2001 race, the Rev. Diane Miller and the Rev. Dr. Lawrence X. Peers, are no longer on file.
In campaigns for other UUA offices in the 2009 election, Dan Brody, running unopposed for reelection as UUA Financial Advisor, spent $287, all for Internet costs. Gini Courter, running unopposed for reelection as UUA Moderator, reported spending $510, all for campaign materials.
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Donald E. Skinner was the founding editor of the InterConnections newsletter for congregational leaders and a senior editor of UU World from 1998 until his retirement in 2014. He is a member of the Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church in Lenexa, Kansas.
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