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CALIFORNIA

Greuel top fundraiser in mayoral race

The city controller collected $518,000 in the first six months of 2011. She's trailed by Councilwoman Perry.

August 02, 2011|David Zahniser

Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel pulled ahead of her early opponents in fundraising for the 2013 mayoral race, outperforming Councilwoman Jan Perry, former mayoral aide Austin Beutner and radio host Kevin James, according to reports filed Monday.

Greuel collected more than $518,000, according to contribution statements covering the first six months of the year. She said her sizable haul showed that people want someone who can bring "needed reforms" to City Hall.

"There has been such a tremendous outpouring of support all across the city, and that response has led to this strong fundraising showing," she said.

Other potential candidates to succeed Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, including county Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, City Council President Eric Garcetti and developer Rick Caruso, have yet to form fundraising committees.

Councilwoman Jan Perry reported collecting more than $456,000. Perry consultant Eric Hacopian said the sum demonstrates the councilwoman's ability to run an aggressive campaign.

Beutner consultant Sean Clegg said his candidate performed more strongly than Greuel and Perry because his money -- $405,000-- was raised over a shorter period of time.

"Austin Beutner is clearly setting the pace," he said.

When Beutner submitted his reports last week, he showed money from a number of people aligned with Villaraigosa, including former Mayor Richard Riordan. Beutner spent 15 months as Villaraigosa's "jobs czar," overseeing such agencies as the Department of Water and Power and the Department of Building and Safety.

Greuel has shown her own considerable mayoral ties. She received $1,000 from Ari Swiller, who has been a close friend, campaign fundraiser and advisor to Villaraigosa. Swiller's wife, Martha, who has been a Villaraigosa appointee, also gave $1,000. Charles Stringer, Swiller's colleague at Renewable Resources Group, gave $100.

Richard Katz, a top transit advisor to Villaraigosa, gave Greuel $1,000. So did Jonathan Parfrey, one of Villaraigosa's appointees on the DWP board.

Greuel's take included $2,300 from employees of Loeb & Loeb, a law firm that lobbies City Hall on behalf of such clients as Casden Properties. She received $2,000 from Peter Lowy, an executive at the shopping mall company Westfield, and his wife. That company has had business before the city in the San Fernando Valley and Century City.

Meanwhile, a major portion of Perry's donations came from real estate interests in and around her district, which stretches from downtown to South Los Angeles. She received at least $4,000 from executives with Thomas Properties Group, co-developer of the planned Wilshire Grand Hotel, a project approved earlier this year with heavy support from Perry.

Perry and her colleagues voted in March to provide the project up to $249 million in subsidies.

She also received at least $2,000 from employees of AC Martin, an architectural firm on the Wilshire Grand team.

Another $4,000 came from employees of Gensler, the firm designing the $1.2-billion NFL stadium planned in Perry's district.

Perry received $2,000 from billionaire Eli Broad and his wife.

Perry endorsed the redevelopment agency's decision earlier this year to spend up to $52 million on parking and other public facilities around the planned downtown Broad museum.

The Broads also gave $2,000 to Beutner, who was overseeing the redevelopment agency at the time of the critical vote.

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david.zahniser@latimes.com

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