As the March 5 Los Angeles Mayoral primaries near, frontrunner Eric Garcetti leads in individual contributions with $4.1 million as Greuel leads in interest group funds with $2.5 million.
The five major interest groups backing Greuel are the California Law and Order Independent Expenditure Committee, the Los Angeles Police Protective League, Feliciano Serrano M.D. Inc., the United Firefighters of Los Angeles Local Union #112 and Working Californians. These groups are according to the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission.
“In the future we have to negotiate with labor leaders and the Department of Water and Power,” Greuel said during a debate at CSUN. “Everything needs to be on the table with the cost of living adjustments.”
Working Californians has spent $1.7 million to conduct polls, research, refer to consultants and create television advertisements. Working Californians is backed by local LA unions 11 and 18 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which represents employees of the Department of Water and Power (DWP).
In 2012 Greuel voted to approve $3.9 million to DWP in order to finish building a children’s museum, a decision which came after DWP increased electricity rates.
Garcetti has only recently gained an interest group to work on his behalf. The group called Lots of People Who Support Eric Garcetti for Mayor 2013 has just been created by Rick Jacobs, founder of the Courage Campaign, and Mary Jane Stevenson, who was the California Director for Obama for America 2012 campaign.
The group just spent $3,144 to create the group’s website. Prior to that Lawrence Cimmarusti paid $150 to the Texas Banner Company to create signage for Garcetti.
The California Law and Order Independent Expenditure Committee has used $333,562 to produce television ads, conduct polls and refer to consultants for Greuel.
This committee is sponsored by the Los Angeles Police Protective League. The LAAPL is an organization that protects and promotes the legal rights, working conditions and compensation of LA police officers. LAAPL has worked directly on behalf of Greuel by spending $246,785 on television and radio advertisements as well as consulting.
Greuel’s platform includes public safety. She has repeatedly stated that if she is elected mayor she will hire 2,000 more police officers.
“I believe we are the most under-policed city in the country,” Greuel said.
The United Firefighters of Los Angeles City Local Union #112 has also taken a liking to Greuel because of her focus on public safety and the union has spent $50,000 on radio advertisements. The union represents more than 3,600 members of the LA Fire Department.
Feliciano Serrano M.D. Inc, is a medical practice headed by Dr. Feliciano Serrano. The group has spent $151,630 to buy television commercial spots.
According to the Los Angeles City Contributer’s Guide individual contributors for LA mayoral campaigns can only give a maximum of $1,300 to the candidate of their choice.
But independent groups and the expenditures of those groups do not have that same monetary cap. Money spent by these independent groups can be spent on things such as television ads, polls and research on behalf of the candidate they are endorsing. However, it cannot coordinate or authorize its endorsement in conjunction with the candidate it affects.
With the monetary cap for individual contributions, candidates rely on outside interest groups to work on their behalf.
While Greuel is leading Garcetti in interest group funds, when it comes to individual contributions Garcetti has more.
With $4.1 million, Garcetti has more money in contributions than Greuel’s $4 million. Garcetti, representing Hollywood while on the city council, has brought out many Hollywood actors to contribute to his campaign.
“In my city council district we created 31 new parks and we have a bold plan to clean our community’s water,” Garcetti said.
Tony Denison from the television show “The Closer” and Lisa Adelstein from “House” have contributed $1,300 each. Jake Gyllenhaal, James Denton and Salma Hayek have given $1,000.
But Greuel has also brought out some Hollywood names as well. Actor Tom Hanks has contributed $1,300 to her campaign as has Tobey Maguire.
Famous father and son Hollywood actors Edward J. Begley and Ed Begley Jr. are at odds with their campaign contributions. Ed Begley Sr. has contributed $500 to Greuel’s campaign while his son has contributed $500 to Garcetti’s campaign.
Senators Barbara Boxer and Fran Pavley along with the CSUN Young Democrats have endorsed Greuel for mayor.
The Los Angeles Times and Michael Eisner, for which CSUN’s College of Education is named after, endorsed Garcetti.