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Group Backing Pacheco Alters Spending Reports

March 01, 2003|Matea Gold | Times Staff Writer

A political committee supporting the reelection of City Councilman Nick Pacheco amended its reports to the city this week about how much it has spent on a campaign on his behalf.

Mothers for Nick told the Los Angeles Ethics Commission on Wednesday that the independent expenditure reports it filed in late January should reflect only an expenditure of $27,420 for 50,000 pieces of campaign literature, according to Barbara Freeman, the commission's director of outreach.

Last week, the group's reports reflected expenditures of $36,085 for 100,000 pieces of literature.

That amount raised questions because Mothers for Nick is closely tied to a nonprofit organization, the Madres del Este de Los Angeles-Santa Isabel, that recently received $36,500 in public funds from Pacheco's office.

The district attorney's office has launched an inquiry into the relationship between the two groups, as has the Ethics Commission. Both organizations have vehemently denied that they funneled public money into the political campaign.

Esperanza Vielma, campaign director of Mothers for Nick, said the group's independent expenditure reports reflected the printing costs of some mailers currently being distributed, along with other mailers the group plans to distribute. As of this week, the group had reported contributions of only about $4,725.

Freeman said individuals or groups are required only to file reports about independent expenditures within 24 hours of actually incurring a cost.

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