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Greuel Takes Lead in Fund-Raising in Council Race

Politics: She wins an endorsement from Councilman LaBonge and continued support from the entertainment industry in her run against Tony Cardenas.

January 25, 2002|PATRICK McGREEVY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Six weeks before the election, Los Angeles City Council candidate Wendy Greuel has taken a fund-raising lead over opponent Tony Cardenas and picked up the endorsement of Councilman Tom LaBonge.

Greuel, an executive at DreamWorks SKG, got a big boost from entertainment industry donors, who helped her bring in much of the $58,100 she collected by Jan. 19, the close of the most recent reporting period.

Cardenas, a Democratic assemblyman from Mission Hills, reported he raised $47,550, although he has a fund-raiser planned next month by top executives of the Walt Disney Co.

Both candidates have also received $20,000 in matching funds from the city.

They are competing in the March 5 runoff to fill the 2nd Council District seat vacated in October by the resignation of Joel Wachs. Cardenas finished ahead of Greuel in the Dec. 11 primary. The 2nd District covers much of the eastern San Fernando Valley.

Although a fund-raiser by her employer is planned for February, Greuel's campaign already received 18 contributions this month from entertainment industry sources, including DreamWorks partners David Geffen, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg, as well as the latter's wife, actress Kate Capshaw Spielberg.

Greuel, a Van Nuys resident, also received contributions from political figures, including Los Angeles school board member Marlene Canter, Community College board member Georgia Mercer, Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Los Angeles), former Assemblyman Richard Katz and former Los Angeles City Councilwoman Joy Picus.

The Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters also backed Greuel. She and Cardenas both received support from a host of developers, lobbyists, attorneys and city contractors, including the firm Fleishman-Hillard Inc.

Cardenas reported contributions from businessman Alfred Mann, Rep. Howard Berman (D-Panorama City), and Democratic Assembly members John Dutra of Fremont, Edward Chavez of La Puente and Joe Canciamilla of Pittsburg.

He also reported campaign donations from two Native American tribes that operate casinos: the Pechanga Band of Mission Indians and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians.

LaBonge is the ninth City Council member to back Greuel's candidacy in a race that has divided the panel and could influence a power struggle for the council presidency. Current City Council President Alex Padilla and three other council members are backing Cardenas in the race.

LaBonge, who was recently elected to the 4th District seat, said he has known Greuel for two decades.

"Since we worked together over 20 years ago on [former Mayor] Tom Bradley's Youth Advisory Council, she has gained a wealth of experience in public service and private industry to make her a highly capable and effective member of the Los Angeles City Council," LaBonge said.

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