All signs are that Dave Cieslewicz intends to seek a third four-year term as Madison mayor next spring. Besides launching campaign-related Facebook and Twitter pages (see Joe Tarr's report, 7/30/10), he's quietly building a campaign war chest that might make potential challengers (see Marc Eisen's opinion column) think twice.
According to newly filed campaign finance reports, the mayor has raised $19,195 so far this year, all of it since April. With disbursements of $11,574, mainly for consulting, he still had $32,419 in the bank as of June 30. (He spent more than $100,000 in his last race, in 2007.)
Major contributors include Mary Ellyn Sensenbrenner (wife of former mayor Joe), who gave $1,000; and MGE president Gary Wolter, UW Research Park director Mark Bugher, First Weber chair James Imhoff, developer Richard Arnesen and Full Compass owner Susan Lipp, who each gave $500.
Cieslewicz also snared contributions from several staff members, including spokeswoman Rachel Strauch-Nelson ($250), chief of staff Janet Piraino ($100) and aide Mario Mendoza ($100). Other notable donors: lobbyist Gary Goyke ($250), Budget Bicycle owner Roger Charly ($250) and radio guy Sly ($75).
Interestingly, only one of the 17 registered lobbyists for Landmark X, a group formed to push approval of the Edgewater redevelopment, gave money to the mayor, who pretty much blew his last wad of political capital backing the plan. And this one exception, Allen Arntsen ($250), has been a longtime Cieslewicz supporter.