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Major Contributor Throws His Support Behind Three Candidates for Council

March 15, 1992|RON RUSSELL | TIMES STAFF WRITER

MALIBU — Although the recent $500 and $1,000 donations by 11 show business moguls to the Malibu Grassroots Movement has been the talk of Malibu politics of late, they are small change compared to what motion picture advertiser Brian Fox says he plans to do.

Fox says he has given $4,000 of his time, and in the coming weeks will donate $6,000 worth of ad space in a Malibu newspaper to promote the three candidates endorsed by the Malibu Grassroots Movement: Councilwoman Carolyn Van Horn and contenders Joan House and Jeff Kramer.

The first such ad appeared in the Malibu Surfside News late last week.

"The next election is a lot more important than the first one," said Fox, a Malibu resident who heads B. D. Fox, a Santa Monica advertising firm. "Whoever sits on the next City Council will leave an imprint on Malibu for years to come."

Fox said the ad space is owed to him as part payment for his having redesigned the weekly newspaper last year, adding that he could think of no better way to use it than to promote candidates he believes will take a tougher stance against development.

It isn't the first time Fox has focused his attention on the local political scene.

In 1990, during Malibu's first municipal election, he took out full-page ads in local newspapers for several weeks, attacking several candidates as pro-development wolves in sheep's clothing who would do the bidding of developers if elected.

None of the candidates targeted by the ads won, and Fox's campaign was widely believed to have played a role in their defeat.

Not counting help from Fox, the Malibu Grassroots Movement has reported having raised more than $15,000 to unseat council members Mike Caggiano and Missy Zeitsoff.

Its chief donors include some of the most powerful figures in show business, including H. Peter Guber, chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment; Robert Daly, chairman of Warner Bros. Studios, and Jeffrey Katzenberg, chairman of Walt Disney Co.

A city ordinance prohibiting campaign contributions of more than $500 by anyone except the candidates themselves took effect in January. Those who contributed $1,000 to the Malibu Grassroots Movement did so before the law took effect. The organization had to return $500 to producer Jon Peters when his $1,000 contribution arrived after the deadline.

Meanwhile, campaign finance statements filed last week showed that none of the 20 candidates in the April 14 election have raised much money.

For the period that ended Feb. 29, House, with $8,910, and Emily Harlow, with $7,100, reported the most contributions. But $6,000 of Harlow's war chest was her own money, and $4,800 of House's funds were from herself or relatives.

Among the incumbents, Van Horn raised $5,545 and Caggiano $3,933. Zeitsoff, was among several candidates who had still not filed the required campaign finance statements. The others were Dennis Sinclair, Paula Login and Jefferson (Zuma Jay) Wagner.

Discounting money the candidates lent or contributed to themselves, other big fund-raisers for the period were Kramer, with $5,450; Frank Basso, with $4,485, and Paul Grisanti, with $4,375. Charles J. (Chip) Post's contributions of $1,325 included $500 of his own funds.

Eight candidates said they either have not received or do not expect to receive more than $1,000 in contributions, the threshold set by law for requiring detailed disclosure.

Those candidates were Sam Birenbaum, Jack Corrodi, Kim DeVane, C. J. Kraft, Edward J. Roberts, Charles Stern, Greg Ball and Jeffrey Jennings.

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