Vasquez leads in early fundraising

DOWNEY - Campaign finance reports submitted by City Council candidates last week show that Fernando Vasquez, who is vying for Mayor Anne Bayer's District 4 seat, leads his opponents in early campaign fundraising.Vasquez, who announced his candidacy in March, is contending with local attorney Alex Saab and community leader Lee Ann Sears for the District 4 seat, which will soon be vacated by Bayer, who will be termed out of office in November. According to finance reports filed at the city clerk's office on Aug. 2, Vasquez loaned his campaign $4,151.78 during the period covering Jan. 1 - June 30, 2010. Campaign expenditures include a $2,580 payment to Lambert Adouki, a Long Beach-based political consultant and $1,000 to Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk, a Santa Monica law firm. Saab and Sears reported no campaign funds for the six month period; however, additional financial statements are due to the city clerk's office by Oct. 5. In a separate statement of economic interests, Vasquez, a development manager for housing developer National Core, listed three Downey properties tied to his employer: the former Verizon building on Second Street, the Avenue Theatre on Downey Avenue and an apartment complex at 13032 Columbia Way. Saab, founder of the Law Offices of Alex Saab on Paramount Blvd. also reported income from Bank of America and Wells Fargo for work he performed as a real estate agent. Saab reported two transactions for which he was paid "over $10,000" for each transaction. Conversely, Sears did not report economic interests in Downey, nor did she provide any information regarding sources of personal income. Meanwhile, Councilman Mario Guerra, who is running unopposed in District 2, has already collected more than $14,200 in contributions towards his City Council reelection campaign. According to finance reports, Guerra loaned his campaign $10,000 from the onset. "One thing I hate doing is raising money," said Guerra. "So I self-funded it - I loaned a lot of money, but I did raise $4,000." Much of the $4,000 came from local residents, but the reports do indicate a $500 contribution from the Englander, Knabe & Allen political consulting firm and $500 from 7-Eleven corporation. Guerra's expenditures include about $4,600 to Lambert Adouki for consulting services, graphic design work and campaign literature. Since Guerra will run unopposed for his District 2 Council seat, he maintains that any money left over at the end of the campaign will be donated to Downey charities and non-profit organizations. Each candidate, except for Guerra, also submitted a campaign statement that will appear in the official sample ballot. Vasquez, Saab and Sears each paid $800 to have their statements printed in both English and Spanish.

********** Published: August 12, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 17

NewsEric Pierce