News / Calgary

'Rock star' pricing for Nenshi campaign fundraiser

Supporters looking to contribute to Mayor Naheed Nenshi’s 2013 campaign bid will have to fork over hundreds of dollars for his first major fundraising event.

On April 3, Nenshi will host a reception for those willing to pay $450 per ticket in what his campaign team said is the first of many fundraising events to come.

Nenshi’s chief of staff and campaign manager Chima Nkemdirim said the mayor has stuck to his own proposals on campaign finance reform.

“By this time, most candidates have already held several fundraisers," said Nkemdirim We’ve held zero. We hadn’t raised a penny until November of last year.”

He said, while this fundraiser is “targeted to a certain type of donor,” it will be the only event of its kind, and the team plans to hold several fundraisers throughout the campaign.

“The mayor was really successful last time at raising money from $5 donors and was quite successful at raising from the $5,000 donors and the entire spectrum in between. This is one component of our strategy.”

Ald. Andre Chabot, who’s seeking re-election in Ward 10, will be hosting a fundraising reception, but with tickets selling for $150.

“I don’t know anybody that can afford a $450 ticket, to be honest, other than people that I would call in the 'very rich' category,” he said. “(Nenshi) must really be a rock star.”

Nenshi is taking advantage of his popularity like any good politician would , according to Mount Royal University political science professor Keith Brownsey.

“If he stays true to Naheed Nenshi, he’ll be back on Facebook, he’ll be back using his Twitter account and all the rest of it,” said Brownsey.

“That’s just his character, that’s his nature. He likes that kind of campaigning so I can’t see anything changing.”

Fundraising facts:

  • Former Mayor Dave Bronconnier held annual fundraisers where tickets sold for $200. In 2007, his election war chest was estimated to be worth around $1 million.
  • Former Premier Ed Stelmach charged $500 per ticket for a 2007 fundraiser.
  • Ahead of the 2010 municipal election, mayoral candidate Ric McIver held at $150 per ticket fundraiser.
  • Premier Alison Redford charged $500 per plate at a 2012 fundraiser.

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