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Money for somethin’

Fear and Loathing column by Chris Graham

The gander I took at today’s News Virginian, which featured a story on campaign contributions listed in last week’s local city-council finance reports, reminded me that I hadn’t done my own survey of big-money donors.

Keep in mind that this list isn’t exhaustive. For example, names don’t appear on reports unless a person has given $100 or more in a given election cycle. Ninety-nine dollars – no way, no line item on a report.

With that now out of the way, here we go …

THE RINGLEADERS: Former city councilman Reo Hatfield had a prominent place in the reports of fellow conservative jihadists Frank Lucente and Bruce Allen, contributing $1,500 in total in the campaign cycle to Lucente and a reported $500 to Allen.

Another jihadist, Bernie Barnhart, the president of Bank Design and Equipment, contributed $500 each to Allen and Lucente from his personal account and another $500 to Allen from BD&E.

Also showing up in the amount of $500 were separate contributions from the Lyndhurst-based Armatac Industries to the Allen and Lucente campaigns. A quick scan of the ‘Net shows Armatac to be a gun-magazine manufacturer. I couldn’t find any information on the company’s executives on that website, but I did find a listing on the Virginia State Corporation Commission website that has Afton attorney Roger Willetts down as the company president.

You might remember Willetts from our story about the recruitment of John Lawrence to run on the ultraconservative ticket in this year’s city-council elections.

You may also remember former Hershey plant manager Tom Reider from that same story. Reider contributed $200 to the Allen campaign.

One more name from the Lawrence story – Industrial Machine Works president and Augusta County resident David Wolfe contributed $500 each to the Allen and Lucente campaigns.


REMEMBER THIS WHEN YOU’RE SPENDING YOUR MONEY: I’m not saying that you should spend your money any differently than you are now. I’m just saying, you know, that money is getting tighter these days, since times are so tough, and all.

– Local Best Western manager Perry Fridley was on the Allen report as a $500 contributor.

– Star-94.3FM owner Gary Ratcliff contributed $500 to the Lucente campaign.

– Main Street Discount, owned by Soap Box Derby hater Bill Mikolay, was on the Allen report as a $400 donor.

– The owner of the local Wendy’s fast-food franchise, Joe Harris, gave $300 each to the Allen and Lucente campaigns.

– McClung Enterprises, the parent company of the popular Willy’s ice-cream stand on the West End, contributed $100 to the Allen campaign.

augusta free press
augusta free press