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Orange County

NFL Owner Gives Pringle $49,000

November 01, 2002|Jean O. Pasco | Times Staff Writer

The owner of the San Diego Chargers has donated $49,000 to help elect former Assembly Speaker Curt Pringle as mayor of Anaheim.

The contribution is the largest in the hotly contested, four-way mayoral race.

A.G. "Alex" Spanos gave the money to the Lincoln Club of Orange County, the county's wealthiest Republican fund-raising group. The Lincoln Club is distributing mail and paying for phone calls supporting Pringle and critical of candidate Steve Staveley, a Democrat and La Habra's former police chief.

The Lincoln Club kicked in $45,000 toward the effort. Fieldstead & Co., owned by Irvine businessman Howard Ahmanson, added $5,000.

Spanos met Pringle when Pringle served in Sacramento, said attorney Michael Capaldi, who heads the Lincoln Club. "Curt is a Republican hero up and down the state. A lot of folks are interested" in helping him.

Spanos, one of the state's largest developers, didn't return a call to his Stockton office.

Contributions such as Spanos' will become more common as term limits attract retiring state lawmakers to local offices, longtime campaign reformer Shirley Grindle said.

Anaheim Councilwoman Lucille Kring, a Republican also running for the nonpartisan seat, said the name of the Lincoln Club effort -- Anaheim Citizens for Law Enforcement -- is misleading because she has the endorsement of the city's police and fire unions.

"Ninety percent of [Pringle's] money and endorsements are from out of the city," she said. "It's a real telling tale."

Democratic activist Wylie Aitken said one Lincoln Club mailer accused Staveley of being a "tax-and-spend liberal" for supporting a school bond measure passed by 67% of Anaheim voters.

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