Archive for Monday, March 18, 2013

A look at key filings by Lawrence City Commission candidates

March 18, 2013


It seems every task has paperwork, and running for the Lawrence City Commission is no exception.

We reported last month on the filing of reports related to campaign fundraising. Click here to go the Douglas County Web site that has the reports for each candidate, which not only lists the amount of money raised but also lists the names of the candidates’ largest contributors. Another key fundraising report is due next week, and we’ll provide a report on those numbers, which usually are good indicators of which campaigns have momentum heading into the general election, set this year for April 2.

But in the meantime, we have a slightly different type of paperwork to give you. They’re called Statements of Substantial Interests. Candidates and elected officials are required to file the forms each year, which lists places of employment, ownership interest in businesses and investments, director positions held and other such information. The idea is that candidates ought to disclose any interests that potentially could be a conflict of interest in the future.

I’ve read through all of the filings for City Commission candidates, and there is nothing shocking in any of them. But in the interest of full disclosure, the box to the side of this article has links to the filings of each of the candidates.

Related document

Amyx Substantial Interest Statement ( .PDF )

Related document

Chestnut SSI Form 2013 ( .PDF )

Related document

Criqui SSI 2013 ( .PDF )

Related document

Farmer SSI Form 2013 ( .PDF )

Related document

Riordan SSI form 2013 ( .PDF )

Related document

Soden SSI File 2013 ( .PDF )

Or, you can just read this summary:

Mike Amyx

Amyx lists income from basically three sources. He has his barbershop business in downtown, and he also receives some compensation for serving as the chair of the Kansas Board of Barbering, which is the organization responsible for licensing barbers. Amyx and his wife also own rental property that produces income. He lists his rental property in the 2600 block of Redbud Lane, the 2300 block of Rhode Island Street, his barbershop building at Ninth and Massachusetts streets, and a property in Hays. Amyx also lists a minority interest in a business called Foul Line Birdhouses. I’ve asked him about that one before, and it is a business that once produced specialty birdhouses that looked a bit like Allen Fieldhouse. I believe it is not overly active anymore. Amyx lists holding director or officer positions with the state barbering board and the businesses he owns. He also lists that he is a trustee with First United Methodist Church of Lawrence.

Rob Chestnut

Chestnut’s only source of income is listed as Nationwide Learning LLC of Topeka, where he serves as chief financial officer. He also lists multiple stock, retirement and college savings accounts. He lists that his wife has been employed by the United Way of Douglas County in the past 12 months. The report also notes that his wife’s freelance writing business includes clients in Atchison and Missouri. (Full disclosure: Chestnut’s wife, Micki, has done freelance writing for the Journal-World.) Chestnut lists several officer positions he has held during the last 12 months, including: member of the state’s Pooled Money Investment Board, which sets policy for how the state’s idle funds should be invested; trustee of the Lawrence Memorial Hospital Board; member of the audit committee of the Kansas University Alumni Association; and a board member of Lawrence Children’s Choir.

Scott Criqui

Criqui lists his only income as coming from Trinity In-Home Care, where he is a human resources executive. He lists no other ownership interests in businesses or stock plans. (Note: Investments generally only are required to be listed if they exceed $5,000 in value.) He lists several organizations that he’s served as an officer of during the last 12 months. They include: vice chair of the Kansas Equality Coalition; vice chair of the Kansas Statewide Transgender Education Project; board member of the Voter Education Coalition; vice president of professional development of the Jayhawk SHRM, which is an association of human resource management professionals.

Jeremy Farmer

Farmer lists his income as coming from Just Food and ECKAN, a non-profit that was involved in the formation of the Just Food food bank where Farmer serves as executive director. He does not list ownership in any businesses or stock or other investments. He lists no director or officer positions, other than his CEO position with Just Food.

Terry Riordan

Riordan lists ownership of his Lawrence medical practice, Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, P.A., and investments in a retirement account. In addition to his medical practice, he lists receiving compensation of $2,000 or more from a Wichita law office in the past 12 months. The report lists his wife’s place of employment in the past 12 months as Overland Park Regional Medical Center. He lists no director or officer positions held.

Leslie Soden

Soden lists her income as coming from Pet Minders LLC, a pet care business that she owns. She doesn’t list ownership of any other businesses or investments. She lists that during the last 12 months she was a board member of the East Lawrence Neighborhood Association.


Bob Forer 5 years, 2 months ago

Jeremy Farmer is a tool for the developers and chamber of commerce people.

went to his web site and did a little research on his endorsements. I still have work to do, but here is a partial list of his public supporters and their affiliations. His support includes a lot of Chamber of Commerce folks, real estate and insurance agents, and others, whose incomes will benefit from favorable decisions made by the City Commission. . I have lived in this town for over forty years and have never seen a so-called "progressive" attract such widespread support from the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce. To you liberals who think he is not already in the pocket of the monied interests in town, all I have to say is that you folks are exceedingly naive.

Jean Milstead --Founding Member and Past Chair of Chamber of Commerce Leadership Lawrence

Ron & Dee Bisel --Owners of Minuteman Press

Michael Blumenfield --Retired East Coast Business Executive and Former Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Army

Linda Watts --Clinical Social Worker; Board Member of Lawrence Family Promise, a faith based charity for the homeless

Thad Holcombe --Director, Ecumenical Campus Ministries at Kansas University

Jerome Marquez --Kansas Children's Service Fatherhood Coordinator

Ron Guerin --Project Management Professional at Computerized Assessments and Learning; Graduate, Lawrence Chamber of Commerce Leadership Lawrence Ernesto Hodison --Vice President Douglas County Bank; Board Member, Lawrence Chamber of Commerce

Greg Gardner (Major General, Ret.) --Former Adjutant General, Kansas National Guard

Michael McGrew --CEO and Chairman of the Board, McGrew Real Estate

Tom Karasek --Owner, Calvin Eddy Kappelman Inc Insurance Agency

David Anderson --Manager, Lawrence H&R Block

Matt Daigh --Asst Funeral Director, Rumsey-Yost

Constance Wolfe --Marketing and Advertising Consultant; Board Member, Lawrence Chamber of Commerce; Graduate, Lawrence Chamber of Commerce Leadership Lawrence

Kurt Goeser’; --State Farm Insurance Agent Cherise Anderson --USD 497; Graduate of Chamber of Commerce Leadership Lawrence

Elizabeth Hatchett --Lawrence Arts Commission

Mary Lee Gilchrist --Mortgage Advisor at STONEGATE MORTGAGE

Tim Bateman --Controller at RD Johnson Excavating Company

Colleen Callahan --Marketing Consultant at Great Plains Media

Sue Grosdidier --Married to Scott Grosdidier, a Realtor at McGrew Realty

Doug Raney --Attorney; contributed $250 to Romney and $300 to Lynn Jenkins in last election cycle

Erin Hayden --Engineer at EN Engineering (Oil and Gas Industry)

Fairley & Donna McCain --McCain Angus Ranch

Debbie Pitts --Director of Development for Lawrence Community Theatre

Bob Forer 5 years, 2 months ago

Daniel Poull --Plumbing Contractor

Carrie Lindsey --Director of Resident Service at Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority

Kent Fisher --Finance Manager and Office of Dale Willey Pontiac Cadillac

Rick Falley --Wordpress Admin, Tech Support, Reflective Group LLC; father of Brandon Falley, Operations Manager for Just Food (I guess I would endorse the boss of my son as well—job security)

Terry Draskovich --Office Manager/Golf Tournament for Just Food, the organization Mr. Farmer runs. Barbara Pitner -- Client Intake Coordinator, Just Food. Question: Should the head of a non-profit be asking his paid employees to endorse him in a political race? Mr. Farmer signs her check. It sure creates an appearance of impropriety. Suzana Hicks --Senior Admin. Assoc, Kansas Geological Survey

Brad & Amy Finkeldei --Brad is an attorney with Stevens and Brand. According to their web site, his “experience includes assisting more than a dozen lending institutions and multiple developers and contractors navigate the difficult economic climate that has existed the last few years.” (translation: he is an attorney for the rich developers). He is also a past member of the Douglas County Planning Commission and serves on the Board of Directors for Lawrence Chamber of Commerce Leadership Lawrence. He also supported and contributed to the campaigns of Mike Dever and Hugh Carter

Bob Forer 5 years, 2 months ago

John Bullock (Farmer's treasurer) also is an attorney with Stevens and Brand.

Sue Hack --former city commissioner; current Executive Director of Chamber of Commerce Leadership Lawrence,

Al Hack --Sue’s Husband. Owns CEK Insurance. Mary Lou Wright --co owner of Raven Bookstore

Bonnie Lowe --US Attorney's Office--Financial Investigator; Board Member, Lawrence Douglas County Bioscience Authority.

Jamie Lowe --Bonnie’s husband; Market President, Prairie Land Group (Insurance); formerly employed by three different banks: National Bank of Kansas City, Capital City Bank & US Bank \

Jennifer Werner --West Region Sales Manager of Schneider Electric, a large electrical contractor

Paul Werner –Jennifer’s husband; Owner / Architect at Paul Werner Architects; Mr,. Werner was Thomas Fritzel’s architect for the infamous Varsity House project. He is also working with Fritzel on the Rock Chalk Park project. With supporters like this, are we at all surprised that Mr. Farmer was an early supporter of Rock Chalk Park? Chuck & Laurel Krider --Chuck is a Emeritus Professor of Business at KU. The couple has homes in both Lawrence and Estes Park Colorado. His specialty was labor relations. Gary & Angie Rexroad --Gary is a founder and co-chair of CadreLawrence, a group that came out early in support of Rock Chalk Park. He is in the software business. Angie is a special Ed ParaEducator

Alex Delaney --Owns Indepsys, Inc. (computers), member, Lawrence Chamber of Commerce

Bob Forer 5 years, 2 months ago


Let us celebrate the poor, Let us hawk them door to door.

There's a market for their pain, Votes and glory and money to gain.

Let us celebrate the poor.

Their ills, their sins, their faulty diction Flavor our songs and spice our fiction.

Their hopes and struggles and agonies Get us grants and consulting fees.

Celebrate thugs and clowns, Give their ignorance all renowns.

Celebrate what holds them down, In our academic gown.

Let us celebrate the poor

Bob Forer 5 years, 2 months ago

I don't like opportunistic hypocrites who pimp for the wealthy. That is my prerogative as an American. If you don't like it, don't read it.

The information is there. People are free to interpret it as they see fit.

Facts are a bitch, aren't they.


Catalano 5 years, 2 months ago

The Poverty Pimp's poem is about pimping for the wealthy?

Bob Forer 5 years, 2 months ago

Growing up poor does not inoculate one for becoming a pimp for the wealthy. In fact, folks from poor backgrounds are sometimes so hungry for a buck and a pat on the head from the wealthy that they are naturally drawn into becoming sycophants for those with money.

Catalano 5 years, 2 months ago

Chad...did you get scooped by Channel 6 News re: Lawrence United PAC?

Phil Minkin 5 years, 2 months ago

Channel 6 just did a story on a new PAC-Lawrence United that is backing Riordan, Farmer and Chesnut. Big money from builders and architects.

irvan moore 5 years, 2 months ago

it kind of looks like the new pac is a move to build support for mr. chestnut (who had the weakest showing of the 3) at the expense of mr. amyx who has been the voice of reason on the commission.

Catalano 5 years, 2 months ago

I think Amyx, Criqui and Soden are less enthralled with the $25 million Rock Chalk Park than the other three supported by Lawrence United, so I wonder if there was some concern among the movers and shakers that Schumm and Dever might need some help getting that third vote on the bids etc. after the commission changes in April.

So nice to know we have our very own Citizens United right here under the guise of Lawrence United. And while a PAC cannot coordinate activities with a candidate(s), they certainly can be gracious enough to give the candidate(s) a heads-up about who they are and why they're supporting the candidate(s). I'm not sure this PAC had the foresight to do that.

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