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Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Not Your Father's Clean Sweep; James Assembles Impressive Money Team

One of my rubs on candidates such as Walter Moore, Stephen Box, Brad Smith and others who would have made good or even great citizen-candidates has been their unwillingness or inability to raise sufficient money and run a professional campaign.

That being said, candidate for Mayor Kevin James appears to be serious about his run. Earlier this week he announced that he had secured fundraising commitments of over a half million dollars, well ahead of where any other candidate is at this point.

Also impressive is the team that James seems to have assembled so far. The Sister City has a list of James' fundraising committee, each of whom have made $10,000 to $25,000 commitments. Here are a few of the key players:

Makan Delrahim
Delrahim is a partner at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, which he joined in 2005. Previously, he had been the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for International, Policy, and Appellate Matters in the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice. Delrahim was appointed to both the Federal Antitrust Modernization Committee and US Trademark Public Advisory Committee.

Steven E. Sletten
A partner in the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Sletten is a UCLA Law School grad. Sletten has written and lectured extensively on anti-trust law.

David Neuman
Another UCLA grad, television producer Neuman started off as a fellow in the Reagan White House and later moved into the entertainment industry. Neuman has held exec positions at NBC, CNN and most recently was President of Programming at Current TV.

Several others round out the team including various attorneys, entrepreneurs and philanthropic leaders. If the team is able to perform as promised, it's a game changer.

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Anonymous Anonymous said:

Nicely done Kevin. It's about time an outsider had resources to get his message out. Good luck.

April 06, 2011 11:22 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Yawn. It's going to take a lot of money to overcome the boredom factor of this right wing hack.

April 07, 2011 12:43 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

James' move is nothing short of brilliant, and the perfect response to LA Times news schlub Jim Newton who deliberately omitted to mention James in his op-ed roundup of mayoral hopefuls - a bunch of slimy democrat insiders.

To the nay-sayers who love to point out that pledges are not promises, remember that Trutanich raised a ton of money in much the same way - and coincidentally had John Thomas (Kevin James campaign manager) working for him.

If James' fundraising proves as successful as Trutanich's was, the 'Jim Newton Six' will be just as unhappy as Newton's editor come June 30, the date when campaigns report their fundraising.

Way to go Kevin!

April 07, 2011 7:00 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

As much as I respect and support this effort, I fear its not enough.

The few people who do vote in LA are really really really dumb. Extensively so.

Generally borderline intellectually challenged individuals(or elderly...one in the same) who are scared to death that the next person in is going to take away their precious and undeserved rent control protections. And liberal elites who are totally out of touch with anything remotely resembling the very real lifes most people lead.

For proof of these facts, see March's election results.

April 07, 2011 7:59 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

When does Newton hit Tribune Company mandatory retirement?

April 07, 2011 8:31 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Whether or not you like the candidate, how does he propose these donation commitments will jive with the City's individual campaign spending limits? Is the candidate suggesting that these guys have each commited to raising that much from others in $500 increments? If so, good luck. If these commitments will be large personal donations to an independent expenditure fund, they can't be inside the campaign as fundraisers.

April 07, 2011 8:59 AM  

Blogger Jose El Plomero said:

My god Higby...a "game changer"?!? Have you ever run a real campaign? I don't mean going to phone bank or dare I even suggest walking a precient...but I mean being a part of a REAL, WINNING, campaign strategy team...Kevin James is one of a LONG list of fringe candidates that you try to prop up for clikity clicks...so long as that is the end goal here, well played, but at some point you have to come out and call it like it is, not like you wanna see it...

April 07, 2011 10:37 AM  

Blogger Jose El Plomero said:

My god Higby...really a "game changer"!?!? Have you ever been a part of a winning campaign team? Have you ever been on a campaign finance committee that raised more than $100?!? I don't mean attending a clean sweep rally, going to phone bank, walk a precinct or hanging out with David Hernandez...I mean a REAL, WINNING strategy team for a campaign...This is one more of a LONG list of fringe candidates that you try to prop up for your clikity clicks (or for comic value...in which case, you get my props...funny is funny and I love political theater) but at some point you have to call it like it is not like you want to see it...

April 07, 2011 10:45 AM  

Blogger Jose El Plomero said:

Unless this is for comic value...in which case, you get my props...funny is funny and I love political theater

April 07, 2011 10:46 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Lots of money, but WHO will vote for him, or for any right-leaning candidate in the City of L.A.?

Not many. . . might as well be 5 million as $500,000.

The trouble that more-conservative "citizen" candidates will always run into, a problem that no amount of money can overcome, is that L.A. is a liberal, Democrat city -- at least for the long-term forseeable future.

And, while more-liberal candidates can get away with pretending to be something else for as long as they need (primaries, etc.) in order to drag in what they can of non-liberal voters to win in a close race (and be forgiven by their "base' -- just so long as they eventually win) - e.g., Barack Obama, the opposite dynamic will never be true.

Conservatives can't "pretend" to be more liberal and get away with the same kind of "bait-and-switch." Their very limited followings will forgive them nothing that isn't "right" enough for them to digest, and the larger you draw the right-wing circle, the more "sensitive" their stomachs become.

Kevin James is a less likely candidate for citywide office than even some others who've gone up against the status quo here, including Wacko Walter. His being gay will deter some more-conservative voters (the religious right, etc.) from voting for him, and won't sway more liberal ("tolerant") voters either.

He's just a bad "mix" as a candidate. He'll do poorly and use up a lot of money, and never see what hit him until he's being portrayed in the media for another "dwarf" candidate that foooled a handful of very loud supporters to make a lot of noise for a short time.

His defeat will make Rudy Martinez's recent debacle look "close" by comparison.

April 07, 2011 2:05 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Trutanich won handily and he was as conservative as they come - way more so than Kevin James, who may be a conservative but is also openly gay and a libertarian. James has a much wider appeal than Truantanich and money will not be a problem $500k or $5M. He'll easily get first place in the primaries as the rest of the field tears apart the democrat vote. What's interesting is the November run off. There James will face the best of the rest, and given how divisive the democrat primary will be, the democrat victor will have a ton of enemy voters who will switch to James. I predict Kevin James will win this election in 2013, but given the truly awful state of local politics, I really wonder what good he will be able to do? Maybe he will be the start a movement where real candidates oust the career politicians.

April 07, 2011 3:44 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

In response to the "anonymous" genius who thinks that the limits are $500 and that $25k and $10k fundraising commitments are pie in the sky or illegal.

1) Don't forget that James is an attorney and is probably KEENLY aware of the law. He has raised money and volunteered for many campaigns for many years.

2)You get an "F" on the facts. The limits are $1000 per person - $1000 per couple. NOT $500 per person. $10k is not rocket science to raise over 2 years(the race is in 2013). To raise $10k -- just in case the math confuses you - again - it is simply a matter of someone "maxing out" as a couple and getting four other couples to do the same.

See if you can figure out how a $25k commitment might be realized.

Furthermore -- James seems to have a broad range of supporters who sound perfectly capable of pulling together people at $25 or $50 or $100 per donation.

Just sayin'

April 07, 2011 6:18 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

"Furthermore -- James SEEMS to have a broad range of supporters . . ." (emphasis added)

CORRECTION, James SAYS he has a broad range of supporters...

(Just because you've been fooled doesn't mean there are any such facts in evidence, or that the rest of us have to believe that B.S.).

If Kevin James had a "broad range of supporters" - would he REALLY have been broadcasting on the graveyard shift on a third-rate talk station for these past many months (now relegated to SUNDAY a.m. for only one hour. (Mind you, SUNDAY a.m., on a CHRISTIAN radio station owned by people who themselves GO TO CHURCH Sunday a.m., so that tells you how UN-important his show is!)

"Just sayin'"

(BY THE WAY, what percentage of candidates ZAPPED by the City Ethics commission in recent years for FINANCE VIOLATIONS do ya suppose have ALSO been attorneys? 50 percent, 75 percent, 100 percent? Any way you cut it, MOST have been "keenly aware" of the law, as well!)

"Just sayin'"

April 08, 2011 11:51 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


It's usually the "keenly aware" lawyers that think they can skirt the law and get away with stuff.

Us plain folk just obey the laws, without trying to loophole out of the consequences.

April 08, 2011 1:52 PM  

Anonymous Sandra Fagan said:

Where do you think Kevin got a lot of his supporters? I've been a listener of his show for about 8 years now, I am a part of his TEAM and there's many more listeners like me who haved signed on with me, dedicated and fed-up Angelenos who have had enough and have found someone who WILL turn this city around!!! I have contributed $1,000 to his campaign already. This is no longer a committment, but money in his fund and I still want to do more and will!!! The rest of The TEAM are as dedicated to this cause as I am, maybe more! Kevin will run his campaign, as well as his Mayoral Term in office BY THE LAW!!! It's who he is!!! He will be FOR THE PEOPLE OF LA and the City itself. He is not in it to fill his pockets, like the status quo! He LOVES this city and wants to see it prosper and be returned to what it used to be, before AR and his Machine started using City Hall as their Pot Of Gold at the end of the rainbow!!! Well, it's starting to rain again City Hall and there's a new man on the horizon and this time the Pot Of Gold will be given back to the people and used to upgrade the city!!! His being a lawyer is no more than a MAJOR added benefit!!! Contribute and Vote for Kevin James For Mayor, Angelenos!!! Let him show you what he's got!!!! By the way, why do you all choose to be Anonymous? Put your name out there. Don't be SHY!!!

April 09, 2011 1:44 PM  

Anonymous Sandra Fagan said:

To Anonymous- April 8 11:51am. Kevin's Sunday show at 9am for 1 hour has just been recently added to his regular early morning show that is on Monday through Friday, 12:00am to 3:00am. It's not a Step Down for him, it's a Step Up!!! As far as church goes, Kevin also goes to church and as far as it being a time slot noone is listening to because of being in church, YOU'RE WRONG!!! He is preceded by Chris Wallace's show at 8am. Do you think the same way about his show? I recommend you listen in to the show and then see if it's something noone wants to listen to! This Sunday they're having the candidates who are running for Jane Harman's seat, live in the studio. I think that should be something people would want to listen to, if you care about the condition this state is in and want to make it better! Tune in this Sunday, 9am and see what you think!!!

April 09, 2011 2:13 PM  

Anonymous Barbara from Valencia said:

We will follow this closely, because it is the only chance that commuters have. Good luck Kevin.

April 10, 2011 3:51 PM  

Anonymous Sandra Fagan said:

Correction: On my April 9th comment I was referring to AV( Antonio Villaraigosa) and his Machine, not AR. Sorry!

April 11, 2011 7:36 PM  

Anonymous g said:


April 13, 2011 5:01 PM  

Anonymous Sandra Fagan said:

What are the two sides, g? Can you tell us more specifically the two sides you see?

April 14, 2011 3:49 PM  

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