Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, January 6, 2002


Page 1


Most Judicial Candidates Lagging in Fund Raising


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Fund raising by Los Angeles County judicial candidates is lagging in comparison with past years, records show.

Traditionally, there have been several candidates with warchests in the $50,000 to $100,000 bracket by the end of the next-to-last pre-election filing period.

For this year’s earliest-ever primary, however, that period ended Jan. 19 with—as the MetNews reported yesterday—only three of the 21 judicial candidates having raised that much money, all with the inclusion of large sums of the candidates’ personal funds, reports filed with the registrar-recorder show.

State Bar Court Judge Paul Bacigalupo and Deputy District Attorney David Gelfound are the well-funded candidates for Office No. 67, the seat from which Judge David Finkel is due to retire today. Superior Court Commissioner Steven Lubell and trial lawyer David Crawford III trail in that race, finance reports show.

The leader among judicial candidates in funds, with nearly $90,000—two-thirds of it his own—is Judge C. Robert Simpson Jr., seeking reelection to Office No. 90. His opponent, Kenneth Wright, raised less than $3,000 as of the end of the reporting period.

In other races:

Office No. 2—Santa Monica attorney Joseph Deering—whose report due Jan. 24 had not yet been filed as of yesterday, a check with the registrar-recorder revealed—raised nearly $32,000 through Dec. 31 for his campaign to succeed retired Judge Michael Pirosh. The bulk of the money, $26,000, was a loan from the candidate, whose largest donor was Santa Monica attorney Gordon Gitlen, who gave $500. Deering is the only candidate besides Bacigalupo to pay nearly $28,000 to put a candidate statement in the sample ballot pamphlet.

Deputy District Attorney Hank Goldberg reported that he had loaned his campaign $20,000 and raised no other money.

The third candidate, Workers’ Compensation Judge Donald Renetzky, reported loaning $33,000 to his campaign and raising about $3,000 more in contributions. His largest contributor was veteran Los Angeles attorney Pauline Nightingale, who gave $1,000.

Office No. 39—Deputy District Attorney Richard Naranjo did not have a report on file for the most recent period. His previous filing showed contributions of less than $2,000, and expenditures of a little over $500.

Deputy District Attorney Craig Renetzky, who is Donald Renetzky’s son, reported total fund raising of $5,300—a $5,000 loan from his mother and $300 from himself.

Acton attorney Larry H. Layton did not have a report for the second period on file. His first report showed that he had raised $200.

Office No. 40—Judge Floyd Baxter reported funding his campaign with a $20,000 loan from his family trust and $550 in contributions, none from lawyers or fellow judges. His opponent, former Newhall Municipal Court Commissioner Ross Stucker, filed a short form, indicating that he paid his own filing fee and does not intend to raise or spend more than $1,000 beyond that.

Office No. 53—Mid-Wilshire practitioner Robert Harrison showed contributions of a little more than $17,000, including a personal loan to the campaign of over $16,000.

Deputy District Attorney Lauren Weis showed a total of $5,800, including a $5,000 loan from herself. Her largest contributors were her ex-boss, former District Attorney Gil Garcetti, who gave $500 and prominent lawyer Johnnie L. Cochran, who gave $150.

Former Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Richard Espinoza and Covina lawyer H. Don Christian did not have reports on file. Christian previously told the MetNews he intended to spend no money on the race.

The contest is to succeed Judge Michael Kanner.

Office No. 100—Workers’ Compensation Judge John C. Gutierrez reported contributions of $3,400. His largest donor, San Fernando lawyer Raymond Magana, gave $800.

Deputy District Attorney Richard Walmark reported raising a little more than $3,000, with fellow prosecutor Steven Frankland the largest contributor with $600. The third candidate, Encino lawyer Thomas Warden, did not have a report on file.


Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company