Vasquez leads in fundraising

DOWNEY - A second round of campaign financial reports submitted to the city clerk's office on Tuesday reveal that Fernando Vasquez continues to lead his District 4 opponents in campaign contributions while Councilman Mario Guerra, who is running unopposed in District 2, received thousands of dollars from local businesses and residents during the same three-month period.According to the reports, Vasquez, who is contending with local attorney Alex Saab and community leader Lee Ann Sears for Mayor Anne Bayer's District 4 seat, collected nearly $28,350 in campaign donations between July 1 and Sept. 30. Though Vasquez received several donations from family members, the majority of the contributions came from offices, organizations and business people outside the city of Downey. Some notable contributions include: Andale Management Group ($1,500); Allgire General Contractors ($1,000); Van Nuys-based Bluewater Plumbing & Fire ($1,000); Circle City Roofing of Norco ($1,000); the Law Offices of Cordero-Sacks in Encino ($1,000); Fire-N-Ice Heating & Air of Corona ($1,000); El Pescador restaurant ($1,000); attorney Donna Noushkam of Rancho Palos Verdes ($1,000); Nigra Inspections Inc. ($1,000); Prime Healthcare Anaheim LLC ($1,000); Reznick Group ($1,000); Highland Crest Farms in Banning ($500); Laurman Construction in Riverside ($500); and AppleCare Medical Group of Buena Park ($500). However, Robert Jacobs, local attorney and president of Downey Kiwanis, made the largest contribution to Vasquez's campaign, a $2,000 donation made on July 8. According to the reports, Vasquez still owes himself $4,151 for a personal loan he made to his campaign earlier this year. After reporting no campaign donations from Jan. 1 - June 30, Saab's contributions now total nearly $20,600 while Sears reported $5,490 in cash, loans and donated services. According to the paperwork, Saab received monetary support from numerous colleagues, with most contributions falling between $50 and $200. His largest contribution, however, came from the California Real Estate Political Action Committee, which gave Saab's campaign $8,000. Other significant contributions came from Leonard Mata, owner of Mata Properties ($1,000); Dr. Eli Ayoub ($1,000); the Associated General Contractors Political Action Committee ($500); Ron Kolar, owner of L'Abri property management ($500); Vincent Young, owner of Champion Termites ($500); and Ebi Ghaneian, owner of Café N Stuff restaurant ($250). The bulk of Sears' money came from local residents, current and former council members, and her husband, James Sears, who gave $500. Jerry Andrews, owner of Andrews Rancho and former publisher of the Downey Eagle, contributed $300 to Sears' campaign. Other notable donations came from Mambo Grill ($200); Mayor Anne Bayer ($100); and former mayor Diane Boggs ($100). Councilman David Gafin donated $100 to both Sears and Saab. Meanwhile, Councilman Mario Guerra has received generous financial support from residents and businesses alike as he prepares for a second term on the City Council. The financial statements show that Guerra received $24,700 in contributions between July 1 and Oct. 3, all of which will be used to pay back a $31,100 loan Guerra made to his campaign that remains outstanding. Guerra's largest supporters were AppleCare Medical Group, Champion Dodge and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk. Each donated $2,500 to Guerra's campaign. Other companies that made sizable donations to Guerra: Lunday Thagard Co., a producer of petroleum and asphalt materials located on Garfield Avenue in South Gate ($2,000); West Anaheim Medical Center ($1,000); SIMC LLC management office ($1,000); RMI International security firm ($1,000); and Kelterite Corp., an asphalt storage company ($1,000). The financial statements also show $500 contributions from the California Real Estate Political Action Committee; Ecotech, listed as a commercial recycling and disposal company; Coca-Cola Enterprises and Coca-Cola Bottling Co.; Bob's Big Boy in Downey; Downey Nissan; George's Restaurant and Bar in Downey; George Krikorian, owner of Krikorian Theatres; BNSF Railway Company; Goldstar enterprises; AppleCare Medical Group (second contribution); CalMet; Elite Concrete Restoration; Nationwide Environmental Services, a Norwalk-based street sweeping company; and Metroplex Theatres. Guerra said he was "proud" that most of his contributions have come from local businesses and residents. "I am proud that people feel comfortable contributing to me," he said on Tuesday. "It shows that people are validating what I'm doing on the Council." Guerra said after he is reimbursed for the $31,000 loan, the remaining campaign contributions will be donated to Downey charities. Guerra also officially endorsed Alex Saab in the District 4 race on Tuesday. "I think the ethics in our city are above everybody else," Guerra said. "I think Lee Ann Sears is a nice lady, but I think Alex brings more to the table." The final set of campaign financial statements must be submitted to the city clerk's office by Oct. 21.

********** Published: October 7, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 25