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Top Harman Donors Are Herself, Her Husband

Election: Finance report, filed late, shows some contributions of $25,000 and above--and a $4.25-million loan.

March 31, 1998|DAN MORAIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

SACRAMENTO — Multimillionaire Rep. Jane Harman, filing her first campaign finance statement a week late, reported Monday that she received several donations of $25,000 and above, but none that came close to the $4.25 million she and her husband loaned her campaign for governor.

Harman (D-Torrance), a late entry in the race for the Democratic nomination, reported raising a total of $4.5 million--including the money she and her husband loaned the campaign, plus $300,000 she transferred from her congressional campaign committee.

She reported spending $4 million through March 17, the cutoff for the latest campaign finance report. By far the bulk of the money she spent--$3.9 million--went to Morris & Carrick, the New York-based firm that is producing her television ads.

Morris & Carrick, in turn, spent slightly more than $3 million of that to purchase commercial time on television stations across the state.

The deadline for mailing campaign finance reports was March 23. Other candidates for governor filed their fund-raising and spending reports last week.

Shirley Washington, spokeswoman for Secretary of State Bill Jones, said Harman's report was not postmarked until Friday. As a result, Washington said, Harman will be fined $50, the maximum $10-a-day-fine for such violations authorized by state campaign finance law.

Harman campaign manager Kam Kuwata said the campaign sent the report by certified mail on time. When the secretary of state did not receive it, the campaign mailed it again Friday, Kuwata said.

"We faxed it and sent it a second time," Kuwata said. "We have a certified receipt."

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The primary campaign spending by Harman and multimillionaire rival Al Checchi, a former Northwest Airlines chairman, will shatter state records.

The third Democrat chasing the nomination is Lt. Gov. Gray Davis, a career public official who is raising all his money from outside sources, as is Atty. Gen. Dan Lungren, the one major Republican candidate for governor.

Harman made much of her money working as a lawyer in Washington, D.C., before she was elected to Congress in 1992. She is married to Sidney Harman, the wealthy founder of Harman International Industries, a major audio equipment manufacturer.

However, unlike Checchi, who vows to pay all his own costs, Harman is turning to donors to help her finance at least part of her campaign.

In the opening days of her campaign, Harman received $50,000 donations from her father, Adolf N. Lakes of San Francisco, and from Stanley A. Weiss of London. Weiss is chief executive of a firm called American Premier and is a friend of her husband, Kuwata said.

A third $50,000 donation came from Mary Raiser of Washington, D.C. Raiser is the widow of a lawyer from the law firm of Jones, Day, where Harman worked before being elected to Congress.

Harman received $25,000 donations from John Moores, co-owner of the San Diego Padres baseball team, and Peg Yorkin, of Peg Yorkin Productions in Los Angeles. She received $10,000 from Bernard Girod, president of Harman International.

Kuwata said Harman has not decided whether she will forgive the loan she and her husband made to her campaign, or raise money from outside donors to repay it.

Kuwata said the Harman campaign is using a telemarketing effort to raise money from small donors. By March 17, however, the campaign received only $550 from donors who gave less than $100.

Garry South, campaign manager for Davis, charged that Harman, like Checchi, will have no choice but to spend her own money.

"They set up a fund-raising operation as a way of deflecting criticism that she is spending her millions, like Checchi," South said. "The fund-raising operation is a false front."

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