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Hertzberg Leads Pack in Fundraising

Donations to former Assembly speaker's mayoral campaign have outpaced even Hahn's.

August 03, 2004|Noam N. Levey and Patrick McGreevy | Times Staff Writers

Firmly establishing himself as Mayor James K. Hahn's best-funded challenger, former Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg reported Monday that his campaign had raised just under $700,000 in the first six months of the year, outpacing every other candidate, including the mayor.

The Sherman Oaks Democrat, who has been aggressively raising money since he entered the race 2 1/2 months ago, has more than three times as much money as any candidate except Hahn, according to campaign finance reports filed Monday with the city's Ethics Commission.

State Sen. Richard Alarcon, a Sylmar Democrat who in March became the first major candidate to challenge Hahn, reported raising $204,000 in the first half of the year.

And Councilmember Bernard C. Parks reported raising $130,000, $50,000 of which was a loan he made to his campaign in April, shortly after he pulled papers to run.

Hahn, who reported Friday that he had raised $646,000 in the first half of 2004, still has the largest campaign account, with more than $1.5 million.

The mayor's strategists continue to express confidence that he will have more than enough money to fend off his challengers, who now include Councilman Antonio Villaraigosa.

But on Monday, the Hertzberg campaign again touted its success in out-raising the mayor, even while the campaign declined to take money from donors who do business with City Hall.

"We're not taking money from lobbyists. We're not going to take money from people who want to do business with the city," said Hertzberg campaign Chairman Dan Weinstein. "The people who are giving to Bob Hertzberg are giving because they believe in him."

Hertzberg's campaign reports show that he has accepted money from people who work for law firms, such as Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, and other companies that either have city contracts or seek permits from the city.

Weinstein said those donors were giving because they were personal friends of Hertzberg. Hertzberg also received donations from several state lawmakers and $1,000 from the Barona Band of Mission Indians, which operates a casino near San Diego.

Hahn, who has received thousands of dollars from city contractors and those seeking development permits, has proposed banning such donations. But he has said he would not return those donations because the law had not changed.

With a tight race shaping up among five serious contenders, many strategists predict that candidates will have to spend millions of dollars to reach a run-off election.

Three years ago, Hahn and Villaraigosa each raised more than $3 million before the primary.

But Alarcon and Parks said they were unconcerned about their slow fundraising.

"I've always said the campaign is about the people of L.A.," said Alarcon, who has made populist themes central to his campaign.

Alarcon also noted that throughout his political career competitors frequently had raised more money than he had. "I've never been No. 1 in fundraising. What I want to be is number one on election day."

Alarcon said his contributors would reflect the diversity of his east San Fernando Valley district, although he has accepted thousands of dollars from medical industry representatives and attorneys with an interest in Alarcon's work as chairman of the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee and as a member of the Health and Human Services Committee.

His biggest donor was the California Applicants' Attorneys Assn., which represents lawyers for injured workers and contributed $7,000.

Parks too said he was happy with his fundraising progress, noting that he did not really start until July 1.

"We don't pay a lot of attention to what other candidates are doing," the former police chief said. "This is not a sprint. It's a marathon."

Parks said he does not believe he has to raise as much money because he is already well known. But he nonetheless plans to raise about $500,000 a month from now until the March election.

Parks' biggest contributors include Wal-Mart and Paramount Chief Executive Frank Mancuso, who both gave $1,000.

*

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

Fundraising race

Here's a look at mayoral candidates' fundraising in the first six months of the year and their cash on hand June 30.

Richard Alarcon

Money raised: $204,014

Cash on hand: $180,727

James K. Hahn

Money raised: $646,027

Cash on hand: $1,562,832

Bob Hertzberg

Money raised: $699,049

Cash on hand: $670,416

Bernard C. Parks

Money raised: $130,145*

Cash on hand: $65,617

*Includes a $50,000 loan Parks made to his campaign

Source: Los Angeles Ethics Commission reports

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