Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Tuesday, February 17, 2004


Page 1


Referee Zeidler Top Fundraiser in Judicial Contests, Records Show




Los Angeles Superior Court Referee D. Zeke Zeidler has raised more money for his campaign than any other judicial candidate in Los Angeles County this year, campaign reports show.

Zeidler reported having raised $180,355 and spent $86,556 through Jan. 17 in his bid for the seat being vacated by Judge Rosemary Shumsky. Candidates’ final pre-election reports, covering the period ending this past Saturday, are due later this week.

Zeidler is one of six candidates for the Shumsky seat. The others are Deputy Attorney General Bob Henry, Deputy District Attorneys David Lopez, Craig Mitchell, and Craig Renetzky, and Torrance attorney Michael Shook.

While Zeidler is the top fundraiser, however, reports indicate that Shook is the top spender, having raised $77,500 and spent $102,001, meaning his campaign is more than $24,000 in debt.

The only other candidates for open seats who reported having raised or spent more than $100,000 are Deputy District Attorney Daniel Feldstern, seeking the seat being vacated by Judge Marcus Tucker, and Deputy District Attorney Judith L. Meyer, who hopes to succeed Judge James Wright.

Feldstern reported raising $148,060—not counting $40,000 that went to repay an earlier loan—and spending $69,878. Meyer’s report showed contributions of $148,177 and expenditures of $86,776.

The breakdown by contest:

Office No. 18—Feldstern has raised more than $100,000 above the total of the next-highest candidate, Deputy District Attorney Patrick David Campbell, who raised $15,708, including $14,000 he loaned the campaign, and reported spending of $14,480. The other candidates are Referee Mildred Escobedo, who had raised $5,000 and spent $162, and Deputy City Attorney Miguel A. Dager, who filed a short form indicating he does not intend to raise or spend more than $1,000 for his entire campaign.

Feldstern has financed his campaign primarily through loans. The reports show that he loaned the campaign $20,000 in November and $45,000 in December, and that his father loaned the campaign $60,000 a short time later. The campaign then repaid the candidate $40,000 in January.

His largest donors are BSGL LLC of Newport Beach, which gave $10,000; Marianne Kahn of Beverly Hills, who gave $2,500; and Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Judith L. Champagne and Temple City certified public accountant Steven Tyre, who gave $1,000.

One other jurist, San Diego Superior Court Judge George “Woody” Clarke, donated, kicking in $100. District Attorney Steve Cooley donated $250 from his own campaign fund.

Feldstern’s major expenditure was $65,000 for a candidate statement in the ballot pamphlet. His remaining funds are expected to be used for listing on slate mailers.

Largest Contributors

Campbell’s largest contributors were Granada Hills dry cleaner Hagop Parunyan, who gave $500, and Deputy District Attorney Susan Mintz—the wife of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Mintz—who gave $250. His major expenditure was $10,000 in attorney fees, which went to an unsuccessful bid to be listed as “Prosecutor/Law Professor” on the March 2 ballot.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Yaffe said the title would be misleading because his teaching position, at American College of Law in Orange County, is part-time and the school titles him as an “adjunct professor.”

Escobedo’s largest donor was the Downey firm of Saab & Associates, which gave $1,000. An observer familiar with the campaign, however, said Escobedo bought on to several slate mailers after the report closing date.

Office No. 29—Deputy District Attorney Edward Nison reported raising $100,000, all of it in loans from himself and members of his family, but spending only $402 of it. He has said in recent days that he sees little benefit in spending substantial money in a  primary, and will save his funds for what would be an expensive runoff campaign if he emerges in the top two.

Deputy Attorney General Gus Gomez reported raising $40,222 and spending $39,468. The bulk of his funds came in the form of loans from himself and his wife, state Deputy Attorney General Glynda Gomez; he also reported a $500 donation from Jorge and Maureen Palacios of La Crescenta.

Most of his spending was for slate mailers.

Deputy District Attorney Jeffrey S. Gootman raised $9,360 and spent $8,189. His major donors, giving $1,000 each, were Encino attorney Steven Wax and his wife; Wax’s law firm, Pearlman Borska & Wax; Ralph Berrick of Dallas, Tex., and Frances Gootman of Northridge. Fellow prosecutor and judicial candidate Patrick David Campbell and his wife gave $200.

Deputy District Attorney Lori Jones showed contributions of $3,189, with no expenditures. She has, however, retained campaign consultant Fred Huebscher, who mails out a number of slates and regularly negotiates space for his candidates on other slates.

Her major donor is Dwayne Cox, a Los Angeles physician, who gave $1,000. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Arthur Lew gave $100.

Mack Supported by Public Defenders

Deputy Public Defender C. Edward Mack reported raising $3,440, including a loan of just under $1,400 from himself, and spending $2,486. His major donors were fellow deputy public defenders Sherri Lira and Jonathan Petrak, who gave $250 each. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Meredith Taylor gave $50 and Judge Shari Kreisler Silver $200.

Acton attorney Larry H. Layton filed a short form.

Office No. 52—In the race with the smallest spending, Workers’ Compensation Judge John Gutierrez leads his opposition, having raised $7,600—all of it in loans from the candidate—and spent $7,400, most of it to hire his campaign consulting firm, Icon Imaging.

Deputy District Attorney Laura Priver reported having raised $4,785 and spent $1,800. Her major donor is her husband, Pasadena attorney Mark Priver, who gave $1,000 and loaned another $1,000. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Terry Green gave $500 and Susan Mintz gave $250.

 The third candidate, Deputy District Attorney Larry Diamond, filed a short form.

Office No. 53—Zeidler and Shook reported raising and spending far more money than opponents Bob Henry, a deputy attorney general, and Lopez and Renetzky. A report could not be located for Deputy District Attorney Craig Mitchell, and a spokesman for the county registrar said Friday that a warning letter will go out this week if a report is not filed.

Mitchell said at a candidate’s forum Sunday that his next-door neighbor is serving as volunteer campaign treasurer and that he thought the report had been filed.

 Zeidler reported $55,000 in loans from his father, restaurateur Marvin Zeidler, along with a $1,000 donation from a family trust. Major donors include Sony Pictures attorney Larry Kohorn, who gave $2,500; Beverly Hills realtor Ronald Bloom, who gave $2,000; and Carol Anderson of Santa Monica, Burbank businesswoman Brenda Greiner, Irvine developer Michael Hayde, Sherman Oaks psychologist Myna Herscher, Liberty Enterprises, Inc. of Woodland Hills, musician Natalie Limonick, attorneys Christopher Marshall, John Quinn, and Jon W. Davidson, and Warner Bros. executive Howard Welinsky, who gave $1,000 each.

His major expenditures have been for a candidate statement and slate mail.

Shook’s money came primarily in the form of loans from his wife, Kere Shook. Most of the funds, apart from the cost of his candidate statement, went to AMAC, a political advertising firm.

Henry reported raising and spending $47 on his campaign, but is expected to be on some slates. Lopez raised $2,284 and spent $2,074. Renetzky reported raising $41,600, most of it in family loans, but spending only $2,654.

Office No. 69—Meyer raised more than $100,000 more than opponents Donna Groman, a Superior Court commissioner, and Carol Najera, a deputy district attorney. State lawyer P. Michael Erwin and Sherman Oaks attorney Mitchell Roth did not have reports on file, according to the registrar’s office.

Roth said Sunday that he thought his report had been filed, and that in any event he would spend less than $10,000 on the campaign. Erwin could not be reached for comment, but had previously told the MetNews he would spend very little money.

Meyer has loaned her campaign $59,000. Meyer’s major donors are Susan Johnston, a Sun Microsystems executive, and Michael Medrano, a Pasadena businessman who gave $1,000. She also reported a number of contributions of between $100 and $500 each from attorneys, including a number in the South Bay area where she works.

Her major spending was for a candidate statement. She also listed payments for slate mail and consulting fees to Cerrell Associates, Inc.

Groman reported raising $39,215 and spending $57,493, leaving the campaign more than $18,000 in debt at the end of the reporting period. Her major donors were Long Beach businesswoman Nancy Millard, who gave $2,000; and Superior Court Commissioner Mitchell Beckloff, her former law partner, high tech entrepreneur/philanthropist David Bohnett, Beverly Hills optometrist Jeffrey Kleinman, Las Vegas physician Robert Kleinman, and Rabbi Lisa Edwards, who gave $1,000 each. 

Several current and former Los Angeles Superior Court judicial officers donated, including Referees Alan Friedenthal, Cynthia Loo and Joan Carney; retired Judges Bernard Kamins, Michael Kanner, Harold Shabo, Alban Niles—now a State Bar Court judge—and Isabel Cohen; Judges Patricia Collins, Stephanie Sautner, John Segal, Steven Van Sicklen, Antonio Barreto, Joseph Biderman, Aviva Bobb, Richard Denner, Allan Goodman, Alan Haber, Katherine Mader, Brett Klein, Luis Lavin, Linda Lefkowitz, Gibson Lee, Michael Nash, Robert O’Neill, Carol Rehm, William Ryan, Keith Schwartz, Shari Silver, and Diana Wheatley; Commissioners Rita Baird, Ann Dobbs, John Green, Victor Greenberg, Thomas Grodin, Marilyn Martinez, Bruce Mitchell, Stuart Rice, Bobbi Tillmon, Melissa Widdifield, and Mark Zuckman; and retired Commissioner Jewell Jones.

Najera reported raising $6,456, including $1,000 she loaned the campaign, and spending $2,856, much of it on slate mail. Her largest donors were Beverly Hills accountant Mark Montgomery, who gave $500; and realtor Paul Conn, Downey attorney Charles E. Frisco Jr., Stephen R. Knott of Fullerton, Long Beach attorney Robert Jacobs, and Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Lyle Mackenzie and Leland Tipton, who gave $250 each.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Jack Hunt gave $100.


Copyright 2004, Metropolitan News Company