Mendoza top spender among senate candidates

DOWNEY − New fundraising reports released ahead of Tuesday’s primary reveal big last minute gains for former Assemblyman Tony Mendoza, one of five candidates hoping to claim victory in the newly-drawn 32nd state Senate district. According to campaign financial statements filed on May 22, Mendoza outraised his competitors for the third consecutive filing period, garnering nearly $144,000 in monetary donations between March 18 and May 17.

Consistent with past filings, Mendoza continued to pull in most of his contributions from large corporations and super PACs based in Sacramento and Los Angeles. Out of the nearly 140 donations filed in the report, only 22 came from donors within the 32nd state Senate district.

Some of Mendoza’s biggest supporters included: 7-Eleven, Inc. ($2,000); American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees - CA People ($4,100); AT&T Inc. and its affiliates ($1,000); Barona Band of Mission Indians ($3,000); CA Federation of Teachers COPE ($4,700); CA State Association of Electrical Workers ($8,200); Disney Worldwide Services, Inc. ($1,000); Faculty for Our University’s Future, a committee sponsored by the California Faculty Association ($8,200); San Gabriel Valley Water Company ($3,000); and Sacramento-based California Nurses Association PAC, which has now given $16,000 to Mendoza.

With the election drawing closer, Mendoza’s expenditures spiked in May as the campaign spent more than $251,000. A majority of the funds paid for campaign consultant SG & A Campaigns as well as polling research, workers’ salaries and campaign literature.

Mendoza also used some of his campaign funds to assist local organizations and fellow democrats running for both municipal and national offices. His civic and political donations included: Miss Artesia Pageant ($400); Norwalk Lions Club ($100); Lions of Pico Rivera ($100); Lena Gonzalez for Long Beach City Council 2014 ($400); Robert Garcia for Long Beach Mayor 2014 ($750); Ted Lieu for Congress ($1,000); and Carl Kemp for Long Beach City Council 2014 ($800).

After three consecutive terms in the state Assembly, Mendoza is hoping to return to Sacramento this fall, however, after a big endorsement from the Los Angeles Newspaper Group last week, Downey councilman Mario Guerra may have the wind at his back.

During the last filing period, Guerra, a Republican, received nearly $44,000 in monetary contributions, mostly comprised of small donations under $500 from local voters and business leaders, including: Alevy & Associates ($3,100); Gabriela R. Barbarena, president and CEO of Aras, Inc. ($500); Robert Friedman, chairman of ($500); Hayk Gevorkyan, owner of DB Lounge in Downey ($500); Sam Entertainment Group LLC ($2,000); Senior Pollo Inc. ($1,000); Lanette Turicchi, owner of Falling Upwards Production ($4,100); and R. Scott Turicchi, president of J2 Global, Inc. ($4,100).

Guerra, who was elected to the Downey City Council in 2006 and serves as president of Independent Cities Association, now has $58,138 cash on hand after his campaign spent roughly $60,300 over the last few months.

The majority of the expenditures included paying back half of the $100,000 loan Guerra made to his campaign last December. The remaining funds were spent on campaign consultant John Van Winkle and staff salaries.

Democratic candidates Carlos Arvizu and Sally Morales Havice have yet to file any campaign financial statements, but Dr. Irella Perez, a trustee on the Whittier City School District board of education, continues to rake in sizable contributions despite the crowded field of contenders.

Perez’s $14,500 in contributions last filing period included donations from: Angela C. Fajardo, a principal with the Inglewood Unified School District ($1,000); Association of California School Administrators PAC ($8,200); National Women’s Political Caucus of California PAC ($500); Fereshteh Taghizadeh, a teacher for the Fullerton Union High School District ($450); and Sacramento-based Women in Power PAC ($4,100).

Reports indicate the Perez campaign spent $15,120 over the last two months on accounting services and campaign literature from Sacramento-based Print Logistics. Perez’s campaign now has more than $87,000 cash on hand, however, it’s not nearly enough to match the $476,000 in Mendoza’s coffers.

This Tuesday, the two top vote-getters in the primary will face off in the general election on Nov. 4.

The newly-drawn 32nd Senate district incorporates the communities of Artesia, Bellflower, Buena Park, Cerritos, Commerce, Downey, Hacienda Heights, Hawaiian Gardens, La Habra Heights, La Mirada, Lakewood, Los Nietos, Montebello, Norwalk, Pico Rivera, Rose Hills, Santa Fe Springs and South Whittier.



Published: May 29, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 07