YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

County Kicks In One-Fifth of Immigration Initiative Funds : Money: Campaign finance reports also show that two committees favoring a commercial airport at El Toro have raised four times more than the opposition.


SANTA ANA — Orange County voters and state legislators are among the top financial donors in California for the "Save Our State" immigration initiative to be voted on statewide in November, according to campaign finance statements filed Tuesday with the registrar of voters' office.

In the local initiative calling for a proposed commercial airport at the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station--an election battle that is expected to match the wealthy business community against the passionate opponents of the proposed South County airport--two political committees organized in favor of the ballot measure have out-raised opponents by a 4-to-1 ratio.

Other campaign reports show Huntington Beach Mayor Linda Moulton Patterson and Councilman Jim Silva nearly starting from scratch in the fund-raising wars as they vie for a seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

Having emptied their wallets to win places in the November runoff election, campaign reports filed Tuesday show an early advantage for Moulton Patterson, who has almost $25,000 cash on hand from a primary campaign that spent $148,433. Silva has just over $4,000 after spending about $141,000 during the campaign.

The emotionally charged statewide campaign for the immigration reform initiative has raised a total of $335,923, with one-fifth of the contributions or loans coming from Orange County.

Among those near the top of the donor list for the immigration measure is Tustin accountant Ron Prince, who loaned the campaign $20,000.

Prince, who conceived of Proposition 187, known as "Save Our State," said Tuesday he decided to back the loan for the campaign "because I believe in it, and it's something that needs to be done, and we have to support it."

The proposition, which has drawn opposition from Roman Catholic Cardinal Roger M. Mahony and Latino rights organizations, would deny numerous public benefits including education and non-emergency health care to illegal immigrants. It also would require public employees and health care workers to identify illegal immigrants and parents of U.S.-born children.

Other top financial backers for the immigration measure from Orange County include: Barbara Coe, an executive secretary for the Anaheim Police Department and chairwoman of the California Coalition for Immigration Reform, who donated $15,000; Container Supply Co., which is owned by state Sen. Rob Hurtt (R-Garden Grove), and which gave $15,000; and state Assemblyman Mickey Conroy (R-Garden Grove), who gave $5,000. State Assemblyman Gil Ferguson (R-Newport Beach) donated $3,000 for a campaign mailer and postage.

Major financial backers for the "Save Our State" initiative from outside Orange County include the California Republican Party, with non-monetary contributions for mailers and postage totaling $86,678; and state Assemblyman Richard L. Mountjoy (R-Monrovia), who gave $25,250.


The local campaign in support of a commercial airport at El Toro has far out-raised money compared to airport opponents, according to the campaign statements.

The Committee for 21,000 New Jobs, which sponsored the El Toro airport initiative, reported $176,636 in contributions since the start of the campaign, and $188,757 in expenditures, including $62,277 in outstanding debts.

Most of the money was spent on an accelerated effort to qualify the initiative for the November ballot. The committee's report showed that sponsors of the initiative hired 36 people for the signature-gathering campaign, with only seven of them residents of Orange County. The group hired signature gatherers from as far away as Stockton, San Diego and Brawley, according to the disclosure statement.

The report also showed that developer George L. Argyros and real estate agent and Newport Beach Mayor Clarence J. Turner, two key backers of the measure, loaned the committee $43,000, with Argyros accounting for $35,000 of the total loan amount. Arnel Development Co., which is owned by Argyros, also has contributed $25,000 to the airport initiative.

Most of the major contributors to the measure were business owners, including Harry S. Rinker of Newport Beach, owner of Rinker Investments, who contributed $7,500 and John Curci also of Newport Beach, part-owner of Curci-Turner Co., who gave $6,000. Fluor Daniel, an Irvine-based construction company, donated $5,000.

There also were some sizable individual contributions: Donna S. Crean, identified as a Newport Beach homemaker, contributed $5,000, and Richard Bertea of Corona del Mar, whose occupation was not listed, gave $5,000.

A second pro-airport committee, the El Toro Initiative Committee, reported raising $6,000, all of it in a loan from Argyros and Arnel Development. Although the committee was listed as separate from the Committee for 21,000 New Jobs, both groups have the same treasurer, Dana W. Reed, and share the same Costa Mesa address.

Los Angeles Times Articles