Council candidates Kelley, Aranda report $13K in contributions

NORWALK -- Norwalk city council candidates Enrique Aranda and Mayor Cheri Kelley added more than $13,000 in previously unreported campaign donations to their financial statements last week, according to the Norwalk city clerk's office. Aranda, who originally reported $14,340 in contributions between July 2012 and Jan. 19, 2013, including a $10,000 self-loan, amended his financial statements over the last two weeks, adding an additional $6,000 in monetary donations.

According to the late contribution reports, Aranda received $2,500 from Whittier-based criminal defense attorney Felipe Plascencia and his wife, Yolanda, on Jan. 31. Just days later Aranda donated $2,000 to his own campaign before receiving a $1,500 contribution from immigration and criminal defense attorney Robert F. Jacobs of Jacobs & Vega, LLC.

Kelley, a real estate sales manager with Home Town Realtors, also provided a campaign finance amendment to the city clerk's office last week. In the contribution statement, Kelley reports a $7,500 donation from the Los Angeles-based California Real Estate Political Action Committee.

On Jan. 31, Kelley also submitted her semi-annual financial statements, which reveal the monetary contributions her campaign received between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2012.

Candidates Aranda, Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District Board President Darryl Adams, and Norwalk Councilman Mike Mendez submitted their semi-annual reports last month on Jan. 24. Community volunteer Candy Martinez said she is not accepting any campaign contributions.

While Kelley collected just two contributions between Jan. 1 -19 from John Bynum of John Bynum Realty ($200) and the 2011 campaign of Norwalk Councilman Marcel Rodarte ($100), she garnered $7,883 in campaign contributions during the statement period covering July - December 2012.

Kelley's largest contributions included $1,000 from Nationwide Environmental Services, $1,000 from John's Sweeper Repair, $500 from Irvine-based Parking Concepts Inc., and $500 from Ken Bayless, general manager of the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District.

Kelley's campaign also received donations from Tom Peters, vice president of TNT Fireworks ($400); U.S. Congresswoman Grace Napolitano ($250); Edward Loftus, owner of the EDLOFT Company ($250); law firm Giardinelli Group, APC ($250); Fullerton-based American Promotional Events ($250); Norwalk-La Mirada Plumbing ($150); and Richard Sneed, owner of Norwalk Records ($100).

The five candidates running to fill the two open seats on the Norwalk City Council will meet this Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 6 p.m. for a candidates' forum at Norwalk City Hall.