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VENTURA COUNTY NEWS

Late Money Pours Into Key Local Contests

Politics: Both parties and a religious broadcaster are among the top contributors. Main beneficiaries are 37th Assembly District candidates.

November 03, 2000|DARYL KELLEY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Sponsoring a last-minute advertising blitz, Republican and Democratic party leaders have contributed $374,000 over the last 10 days to push donations in the super-heated 37th Assembly District race to about $1.6 million. And counting.

Meanwhile, Camarillo religious broadcaster Edward Atsinger III and a political action committee he sponsors have made large new contributions to three local conservative Republicans--supervisorial candidate Jim Monahan, Assemblyman Tony Strickland and state Senate candidate Tom McClintock.

In the race for the 37th District, which stretches from Thousand Oaks to Oxnard, Strickland (R-Thousand Oaks) and challenger Roz McGrath, a Somis teacher, have collected $460,525 since their last financial report Oct. 21.

More than 90% of McGrath's $239,000 in late money came from the Democratic Party, while about 70% of Strickland's $222,000 was from Republican Assembly colleagues or the state Republican Party.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday November 4, 2000 Ventura County Edition Metro Part B Page 3 Zones Desk 1 inches; 29 words Type of Material: Correction
Campaign contribution--The Times on Friday inaccurately reported the amount of a late contribution to the James Monahan supervisorial campaign. The Building Industry Assn. donated $2,000 on Oct. 26.

And much more is expected before the election Tuesday.

The late contributions pushed Strickland's fund-raising to nearly $1 million and edged McGrath's over $600,000.

That compares with the $400,000-plus campaigns each waged in their first matchup in 1998.

"I'm going to be getting whatever it takes to win," McGrath said.

Her campaign manager, Phil Giarrizzo, estimated that McGrath will receive an additional $300,000, mostly in Democratic Party mailers and radio ads, by election day.

He expects Strickland, who could not be reached for comment, to spend at least $1.2 million.

In all, spending will top $2 million, Giarrizzo said.

"It's a full-scale campaign that's still on the move," he said.

All of McGrath's late contributions came from Democratic sources except for $17,500 from labor unions.

Strickland's were more varied, with $40,000 from Christian conservatives and $26,250 from groups as diverse Indian tribes, health insurance groups and real estate, energy and railroad PACs.

Atsinger, a founding member of the California Independent Business PAC that has pumped millions into conservative campaigns, gave $100,000 each to the Proposition 38 school voucher campaign and to the Assembly Republican Caucus.

Atsinger contributed $36,700 to McClintock, a Northridge assemblyman seeking to replace retiring state Sen. Cathie Wright (R-Simi Valley). Atsinger also loaned McClintock $100,000 for the March primary. In all, McClintock reported $50,000 in late contributions. Democrat Daniel Gonzalez, a Simi Valley lawyer, is opposing McClintock.

Atsinger's business PAC gave Strickland $10,000 last week and loaned him $10,000 more this week. Atsinger had already made a $100,000 loan and a $10,000 contribution to the Strickland campaign. In addition, Christian financier Howard F. Ahmanson Jr.--another founding member of the independent business PAC--gave Strickland a late contribution of $20,000 through his Irvine-based Fieldstead Co.

The independent business PAC also reported this week a $5,000 contribution to Jim Monahan, a Ventura businessman who is running against environmentalist and educator Steve Bennett to replace retiring 1st District Supervisor Susan Lacey.

Monahan's other late contributions were $1,000 from the California Real Estate PAC and $7,192 from the Building Industry Assn. of Southern California.

Bennett reported no late contributions because he set a voluntary contribution limit of $500 per donor. Only late contributions of $1,000 or more must be reported.

Supervisor Kathy Long has received just three late contributions: $1,000 from herself, $1,000 from Laborers for Equality and Progress and $2,000 from the California Real Estate PAC.

In another local legislative race, Assemblywoman Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) reported late contributions of about $126,500, including about $84,000 from Democratic sources. Challenger Robin Sullivan, a Santa Paula councilwoman, reported late contributions of $16,000, none from the Republican Party but $11,500 from Assemblyman Roy Ashburn (R-Bakersfield).

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Times staff writer David Kelly contributed to this report.

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