Frieda M. Rings contributed to this story
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The State Democrat Party along with South Bend Mayor James Mueller have both stepped in to save the flailing campaign of Democrat South Bend City Clerk candidate Bianca Tirado. Mueller has funded Tirado’s campaign to a tune of nearly $30,000 while the State Democrat Party recently dropped thousands of dollars on campaign advertising.
Campaign financials show Tirado essentially did no campaign fundraising between the spring and fall. Tirado’s financials show ZERO campaign contributions between May 8th and September 15th, meaning she essentially stopped campaigning for nearly 5 months while her Republican challenger has spent nearly every day knocking on the doors of constituents in the typically Democrat safe-haven of South Bend.
While at first glance Tirado’s financial strength looks impressive, campaign paperwork shows that Mayor Mueller funded almost 75 percent of her most recent campaign spending. Tirado’s Indiana contribution report showed she had $46,532.47 available to spend for the reporting period between April 8, 2023, and October 13, 2023. She spent $40,600.18 during the same period, the majority on mailers. Mayor Mueller financed the bulk of those expenditures — $29,814 — through his campaign fund, Mueller for South Bend. Mueller’s campaign is by far the largest contributor to Tirado’s campaign this year. The next top four donations, ranging from $1,500 to $1,000, all came from out-of-state addresses, in Chicago, Indianapolis and Warwick, Rhode Island.
Even with the mayor’s financial help — and Tirado still with $6,000 in unspent funding as of mid-October — the Indiana Democratic Party in Indianapolis stepped in to pay for an additional mailing featuring an endorsement by the mayor and a picture of Tirado and Mueller walking together and chatting. The local St. Joseph County Democratic Central Committee, which struggled to raise even $30,000 this year, did not fund Tirado’s campaign, according to her report.
Tirado spent most of her campaign funds at an out-of-state advertising agency, Berlin Rosen, that also did work for former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Berlin Rosen showcases its campaign work on “How We Got Involved in the 2020 election,” and “How We Got Involved in the 2022 election,” which displays the progressive work the agency has done to elect Democrats, turn states blue, promote abortion; “amplify” Democrat attorney generals; and work toward other leftist causes. Berlin Rosen has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and Amsterdam. Tirado won in a primary against South Bend clerk Dawn Jones. Tirado was hired as a consultant by the city’s Common Council to take on clerk duties to “‘assist the clerk’s office’ with basic tasks” that Jones and her staff could not do, while charging nearly double her contracted rate.
Tirado is running against Republican Tina Wilson, a single mom raising two boys on South Bend’s west side. She made news when she held off two men at gunpoint from Motels4Now attempting to rob her home until the police could arrive. Wilson has been an outspoken critic of Motels4Now, a homeless shelter with no sobriety rules, located off Lincoln Way near Wilson’s home and the South Bend International Airport. She and others in the area have complained how the homeless negatively affect neighbors and businesses. On Wednesday, Wilson posted on Facebook that the nearby McDonald’s in the area closed, blaming it on Tirado’s main backer, Mayor Mueller and his decision to continue to fund Motels4Now after the St. Joseph County Council stopped backing the project:
So just to show you how this works. McDonalds closed on Lincolnway yesterday. The workers said it was due to the homeless issue once the motels4now program was relocated next door. Now people say that it’s because of poor service. However that place definitely has had bad service for years. I live across the street and stopped going to that one myself due to the constant people approaching your car sometimes under the influence not always willing to just walk away at your request. Then people say it’s because it became infested. Well what would you expect with the building next to it infested and those residents loitering there all the time? They at a point just stopped opening their dining area due to this issue and people trying to rob them. Now months ago I’m shouting that if they didn’t fix the issue we would start losing businesses over here. Our county council did hear me and determined the county was not going to continue funding the motel $2.3mil each year. But the city let the program remain there. As they found funding elsewhere. I was more thinking the smaller businesses would fold first. But McDonalds?!?!? We rarely even see a McDonald’s close down. Less businesses equals less employment. Some workers were transferred. However, I see many workers walked to work. Now that won’t be an option. The northwest & westside steadily going down hill. Did this story make news…?!?!? Nope! But what did make the news is that voter turnout is low and they want you to come vote… Make it make sense. #PayAttention
On Thursday morning, yellow caution tape blocked the drive to the McDonald’s, located directly next to Motels4Now. The McDonald’s sign, typically used to display specials, was bare. A few people loitered in the empty parking lot.
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