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Saturday, February 12, 2005

The Caps are Blown

The LA Times reports today that the labor unions supporting Hahn have busted the caps in the Mayor's race, allowing a free-for-all of campaign spending allowing the candidates to sling mud with greater intensity:

The $2.2-million expenditure cap was eliminated after the union that represents city firefighters reported that it planned to spend $124,080 on a mailer urging that Hahn be elected to a second term.

Because the total planned independent expenditures for Hahn now exceed $200,000, all the candidates in the mayor's race are free to spend as much money as they can raise before the March 8 election.

Hahn is the only immediate beneficiary of the move. The mayor, who has raised the most, had $2.4 million in his campaign treasury at the end of the last reporting period.

Kam Kuwata, a Hahn campaign consultant, said the mayor would now be able to use all of his resources to reach voters on television, through mailers and in other ways.

"Right now, we have a significant advantage in terms of dollars over the other candidates, so we'll be able to communicate our message more thoroughly throughout the entire city," Kuwata said.

Villaraigosa's campaign manager, Ace Smith, said the councilman would now have to continue raising money to remain competitive. "We had hoped to have been done, but we have to keep on going now," Smith said.

But Villaraigosa clearly anticipated that the spending limit would be lifted. This week, his campaign sent out a letter urging supporters to give more money in anticipation of the cap being raised.

"We have just reached the $2.251 million limit, as well, but now it appears that we must raise even more to make certain we can respond to sleazy independent expenditure attacks," the letter said.

Hertzberg spokesman Matt Szabo called the independent expenditures that triggered the lifting of the spending limits "an arrogant disregard for our ethics laws."

Kuwata said Hahn's rivals "knew the rules. They just like to be whiners. They knew this was a possibility."

This must not be part of Hahn's push for ethics reform...


Anonymous Anonymous said:

Apparently no story here; M.A.A.N.

February 13, 2005 6:58 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

How could anyone call the exercise of free speech through independent expenditures anything but glorious. Everyone should respect that we live in a democracy.

February 13, 2005 8:03 PM  

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