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|Garcetti, Greuel Tie for Lead in Fundraising for Mayoral Race|
|Written by San Fernando Valley Sun|
|Thursday, 02 August 2012 03:01|
LOS ANGELES (CNS) - City Controller Wendy Greuel and Councilman Eric Garcetti raised nearly equal amounts of money for their respective mayoral campaigns, putting them well ahead of other candidates eight months before the March primary, documents filed with the City Ethics Commission show.
Garcetti and Greuel each raised about $2.2 million since announcing their candidacies last year, with Garcetti nudging out Greuel by a $322.31 margin. Both candidates have $1.8 million in their campaign war chests.
City Councilwoman Jan Perry, another top contender in the mayor's race, has raised $826,930, less than half of Greuel and Garcetti's haul. Attorney and former radio host Kevin James, the only conservative candidate in the race, has raised $220,000, about onequarter of what Perry raised.
Austin Beutner raised a significant amount of money -- $1.9 million -- before dropping out of the race in May, most of which he returned to donors.
In March, the City Ethics Commission, which sets fundraising limits for mayoral elections, raised the maximum amount donors can give to candidates for citywide offices from $1,000 to $1,300 to account for inflation since the limits were first set in 1990. The increase allowed candidates to hit up donors who had previously maxxed out their contributions for more money.
Political analysts expect voters' attention to be on the presidential campaign through November and for the mayoral race not to heat up until January, after the winter holidays.
Greuel, Garcetti and Perry pledged in June not to take campaign money from Wal- Mart as part of a union-backed initiative to block the world's largest company from opening a neighborhood market on the edge of downtown.
Before making the pledge, Greuel and Garcetti each received a single contribution from Javier Angulo, who is described by both campaigns as Wal- Mart's director of community affairs. Angulo, a longtime Democratic activist who has worked on gay rights campaigns and for California Sen. Barbara Boxer, gave Greuel $250 in March and Garcetti $100 in May.
Greuel returned the donation three days before publicly making the pledge not to accept money from Wal-Mart. Garcetti's campaign initially defended accepting the donation, but said today the campaign will return the money.
"We didn't think it was a big deal,'' said Garcetti campaign spokesman Bill Carrick, who called Angulo a longtime friend of Garcetti's.
Garcetti has a lengthy record of being opposed to Wal-Mart and big box stores, Carrick said. Garcetti sponsored legislation in 2003 barring so-called big box stores over 150,000 square feet.
"His position on this is clear as could be. The idea that he could be influenced by $100 from a longtime friend and Democratic activist, it's all ridiculous. Let's just move on,'' Carrick said.