Newbury Park real estate developer Sang Korman has loaned his congressional campaign an additional $80,000--bringing his total personal investment to $205,000--but he continues to lack significant local fund-raising support for his June 7 Republican primary race.
In addition to the loans, Korman's uphill campaign has raised $127,450, almost entirely from fellow Korean-Americans who live outside the 21st District. The campaign has spent $292,481 and has $39,968 available.
His opponent, Rep. Elton Gallegly, a Simi Valley Republican who operated a real estate brokerage before his election, reported raising $200,166 and spending $122,597. The former Simi Valley mayor has received $52,324, a quarter of his campaign funds, from special-interest political action committees and numerous donations from real estate interests. His campaign has $81,526 on hand.
The figures are contained in campaign reports filed with the Federal Election Commission this week. The reports cover the period from April 1 to May 18.
2 Brochures Sent
In an interview Thursday, Korman revealed that he had aimed to raise $450,000, much more than the $300,000 goal cited by his campaign manager. He acknowledged that his campaign budget would fall far short of the $450,000, prompting him to loan more money than he had planned and to scale back the number of brochures mailed to voters. The campaign sent its first two in the past two weeks.
"I expected more, but what can I do?" Korman said of his fund raising. "I have to do everything myself. If I not put in my own money, who will pay for it? I'm very proud that I did it."
Korman also recalled that Gallegly had loaned his campaign large sums during a tough primary against Tony Hope, entertainer Bob Hope's son, in 1986. Gallegly loaned or gave the campaign $122,300--including $100,000 he borrowed from Simi Valley Bank--of the $374,300 total he spent, said Ben Key, his political consultant.
These loans have since been repaid. Two subsequent loans totaling $16,610 that Gallegly made to his campaign are outstanding.
Korman, a political novice, has become a millionaire since immigrating to the United States from South Korea in 1972 and founding two real estate firms.
"He is totally committed to giving back to this country the opportunity it has given him," said campaign manager Bob Lavoie. "There have been many political figures who have used large amounts of their money to get themselves elected--the Rockefellers, the Kennedys and Sen. Frank Lautenberg" (D-N.J.).
Korman reported that 24 individuals contributed $200 or more to his campaign since April 1. None of the contributors' addresses are inside his district, which includes southern Ventura County and parts of the western San Fernando Valley, and the names appear to be Korean-American. This pattern was evident in his previous report.
"Having support from people within the district is very important because those are the people you're going to represent," Gallegly said. "This is an indication he doesn't really have any support from within the 21st District."
Korman responded that he had not sought financial aid within the district. Still, he said he was heartened that he has received small contributions from local residents during his daily door-to-door stumping. His campaign reported receiving $1,885 in contributions of $200 or less, 10% of the total during the reporting period.
The filings show that Korman has received no funds from special-interest political action committees. In contrast, Gallegly's largest contributions were $5,000 from the pro-Israel National PAC, $4,950 from the National Rifle Assn., $3,750 from the American Medical PAC, $2,500 from Build PAC, which represents builders, and $2,000 from the Northrop Employees PAC.
Both campaign reports lacked certain information. Korman's campaign reported to the elections commission that it was seeking missing information about three contributors' employers.
Gallegly's report failed to disclose the occupation of 27 contributors who were identified as self-employed. Janice Gallegly, the congressman's wife and campaign aide, said this was an oversight and she supplied most of the occupations to The Times on Thursday.
Lavoie charged that the omissions were a bid by Gallegly "to downplay the fact that real estate developers are making handsome contributions to his campaign." Six of 25 contributors were identified by Janice Gallegly as contractors or associated with real estate.
Both campaigns also reported refunding contributions. Gallegly's campaign returned a check for $99 from a Fillmore contributor because his bank account had been closed.
Korman's campaign returned contributions of $1,000 and $500 because they were from corporations, Lavoie said. Corporations are prohibited from contributing directly to congressional campaigns.