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Hahn Aide Defends Sacramento Fundraiser

January 25, 2005|Noam N. Levey | Times Staff Writer

Mayor James K. Hahn, who repeatedly denounces three of his opponents as Sacramento politicians, is flying to the state capital today to raise money -- with the help of state legislators and one of the state's most influential lobbyists.

Darius Anderson, a former fundraiser for Gov. Gray Davis whose lobbying clients have included major Los Angeles developers, is presenting the $500-per-person event.

Co-hosts of the fundraiser are three legislators who have voted for legislation that Hahn has lambasted for depriving Los Angeles and other local governments of hundreds of millions of dollars of local tax revenues.

Thanks in part to a compromise reached by Hahn and other state and local leaders last year, Sacramento's ability to tap local government revenues will be more limited.

Hahn campaign advisor Kam Kuwata said there was nothing incongruous about the mayor's plan to raise money from Sacramento politicians.

"We're boastful of all the support we get," said Kuwata, noting that, although Hahn disagrees with their support for the legislation, he will accept their help and contributions.

"If Bob or Antonio want to write us a check, we'd accept it," he added, referring to Bob Hertzberg and Antonio Villaraigosa, two challengers whom Hahn has criticized over their records as Assembly speaker.

But the Richard Alarcon, Hertzberg and Villaraigosa campaigns -- which have also raised money from Sacramento in recent months -- remarked that the mayor's trip seemed odd, given his campaign speeches.

"I don't know how he can talk about Sacramento politicians taking money from the city of Los Angeles and then want to raise money from some of the same politicians," said Alarcon, a Democratic state senator from Sun Valley. "But the mayor is a fundraising machine."

Citing their votes in the Legislature, the mayor has accused Alarcon, Hertzberg and Villaraigosa of taking hundreds of millions of dollars from local governments to balance the state budget, depriving Los Angeles of money to pay for police officers and other local services.

But two of the legislators presenting Hahn's fundraiser this evening have voted for most of the 14 bills since 1997 that the Hahn campaign cites as siphoning money from California's cities. Assemblywoman Betty Karnette (D-Long Beach) voted for 13 of them and Sen. Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles) voted for 11.

Assemblyman Rudy Bermudez (D-Norwalk), another co-host who has been in the Legislature since 2002, voted for two of the bills.

Only Assemblywoman Audra Strickland (R-Thousand Oaks), the fourth legislative co-host of the Hahn fundraiser, has voted for none. She was elected to the Legislature in November.

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