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5 Bay Lawmakers Spent $2 Million on '88 Races

February 05, 1989|JEFFREY L. RABIN | Times Staff Writer

Five South Bay legislators spent more than $2 million last year to win reelection to legislative positions that pay $40,816 a year.

Final year-end campaign finance statements filed last week with the secretary of state show that the four local Assembly members and one senator up for reelection last November raised $1.85 million in campaign contributions in 1988.

The gap between the amount raised and the amount spent was closed by tapping campaign reserves or by borrowing from other legislators or outside sources.

In addition to a salary, lawmakers receive $88 a day in tax-free expense payments during the legislative session, plus such perks as office expense allowances, auto lease payments and state gasoline credit cards.

Assemblyman Gerald N. Felando (R-San Pedro) spent $649,703, more than any other South Bay lawmaker, to win reelection from his heavily Republican 51st Assembly District. The veteran had to fight off a bitter and expensive Republican primary challenge last spring from Deane Dana III, son of Los Angeles County Supervisor Deane Dana, before coasting to victory last November.

Felando raised $589,493 in contributions and made up the difference by borrowing from some of his Assembly Republican colleagues. He listed debts of $53,500 at the end of December, all but $10,000 of which was owed to the campaigns of fellow Republican lawmakers.

During the latest filing period from Oct. 23 to Dec. 31, Felando also received direct contributions from some of his legislative colleagues, including $5,000 checks from Assemblywoman Cathie Wright (R-Simi Valley) and Assemblyman Stan Statham (R-Oak Run). Felando also collected contributions from commercial fishing interests in his native San Pedro and from special interest groups in Sacramento. The California Assn. of Realtors political committee gave $450 during the reporting period, boosting its total contribution for the year to $4,600. The Insurance Men's political committee gave $300 during the period and $2,650 for the year.

Father's Loans

In an unusual twist, incumbent Felando was outspent by GOP challenger Dana, a former official in Gov. George Deukmejian's Administration, who spent $777,106. The younger Dana's insurgent campaign was almost totally financed by his father, the supervisor, who resented Felando's successful effort in 1986 to oust Dana allies on the Republican county committee. He loaned his son $712,500 in an unsuccessful effort to break the assemblyman's lock on the district, which runs from the beach cities to San Pedro, including Torrance and Lomita. The loans were forgiven.

Running a close third in spending was Assemblyman Richard E. Floyd (D-Carson), the only other South Bay legislator to face a well-financed challenger last year.

Floyd, a Hawthorne city councilman, raised $616,994 and spent $581,081 to assure his victory in the 53rd Assembly District against Republican challenger Charles Bookhammer.

As chairman of the powerful Assembly Governmental Organization Committee, which handles all legislation dealing with alcoholic beverages, horse racing, the lottery and gambling, Floyd received large contributions from card clubs and horse-racing interests.

Card clubs, including the Normandie Club of Gardena, gave $6,000 and the Commerce Club of Commerce gave $5,500. The Pacific Racing Assn. of Albany gave $3,700.

Shortly before the November election, Floyd received a $20,000 no-interest loan from Sacramento developer and horse-racing figure Christo D. Bardis. The assemblyman later repaid $5,000, leaving a $15,000 balance.

Floyd also owes $15,000 to the campaign committee of his former boss, Sen. Ralph Dills (D-Gardena), and $2,000 apiece to Assemblyman Dave Elder (D-Long Beach) and Rep. Marty Martinez (D-Monterey Park). All the loans date back to Floyd's first race for the Legislature in 1980.

Floyd, a member of the leadership of Assembly Speaker Willie Brown (D-San Francisco), received $36,580 in cash contributions from Brown's political committee. He also received $48,345 in campaign postage from the Democratic State Central Committee, which can send campaign mailers at a lower postal rate than candidates.

Donations to Floyd

Labor unions and trial lawyers also continued their historic practice of making large donations to Floyd. The California Applicants Attorneys Assn. gave $5,750 during the latest reporting period and a total of $17,750 for the year. The California Trial Lawyers Assn. gave $2,000 during the reporting period and $17,000 for the year.

The State Building and Construction Trades Council gave $3,000 in the last reporting period and $6,500 for the year, the same amount as the United Auto Workers.

In the final days before the November election, Floyd gave $19,520 to John Vollbrecht, the Democratic challenger to Assemblyman Pat Nolan of Glendale, who was then Republican leader in the Assembly. Floyd and Nolan have been bitter adversaries for years.

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