Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, October 13, 2004


Page 1


Meyer, Zeidler Are Top Spenders Heading Into Judicial Runoffs


By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer/Appellate Courts


Superior Court Referee D. Zeke Zeidler and Deputy District Attorney Judith Levey Meyer have substantially outspent the rest of the candidates seeking election to the Los Angeles Superior Court on Nov. 2, campaign spending reports show.

Zeidler’s reports for this year and last show that he raised $288,269 and spent $236,209 through Sept. 30. Opponent David Lopez, a deputy district attorney who entered the race after Zeidler had already raised his first $100,000, was slightly in the hole, having raised $26,481 and spent $26,531. 

Zeidler and Lopez are running to succeed Judge Rosemary Shumsky, who did not file for re-election.

Zeidler’s most recent report shows that he has added to his lead in fundraising by bringing in more than $32,000 since July 1, enabling him to repay $10,000 in loans, which are not included in his total. The campaign still has $20,000 in loans outstanding.

Judges Donate

Among Zeidler’s recent donors are three Los Angeles Superior Court judges—James Brandlin, who has given him a total of $100 this election cycle; Sandra Thompson, who has given $200; and Veronica McBeth, a $100 donor.

Also giving were former District Attorney Gil Garcetti, whose occupation is listed as “Photographer” and who gave $250; the law firm of Girardi & Keese, which gave $2,500, in addition to individual contributions of $250 each by attorneys Thomas Girardi, Amy Solomon, and John Girardi; Superior Court Commissioner Martin Gladstein, who gave $100; and Commissioner Brian Petraborg, who has given a total of $300.

Judge David Wesley, who won re-election in the primary and wound up with a $35,000 campaign surplus, gave $1,000 of it to Zeidler, $1,000 to Meyer, and $250 to Deputy District Attorney Laura Priver, who is vying with Workers’ Compensation Judge John Gutierrez for the seat from which Judge Nancy Brown retired in January.

Wesley, Meyer, and Zeidler have all used the same consulting firm, Cerrell Associates Inc., in this year’s elections. Priver is legal adviser to the criminal grand jury, which Wesley oversees in his capacity as supervising judge of the criminal courts.

Meyer, who faces Superior Court Commissioner Donna Groman for the seat now held by the retiring Judge James Wright, reported spending $246,812 of the $283,098 she raised through Sept. 30.

Candidate Statement

Meyer did not list the $31,500 she spent to have a candidate statement in the ballot pamphlet—by law such expenditures need not be itemized if paid out of the candidate’s personal funds—so her fundraising total actually comes to more than $314,000.

Meyer has invested heavily in her judicial aspirations, loaning the campaign more than $84,000 in the last three months.

Her most recent report also shows donations of more than $20,000 since July 1. Givers include Judge Mark Arnold, a $100 donor; Commissioner Burt Barnett, who has contributed a total of $350; Commissioner Douglas Carnahan, who gave $100; and Girardi & Keese, which pitched in $1,000.

Like other high-spending judicial candidates, Meyer has spent heavily on slate mail as well as on the candidate statements. She also paid $10,000 in legal fees to the Los Angeles firm of Reed & Davidson, which represented her in a partially successful challenge to the language of Groman’s candidate statement.

Groman raised $166,673 and spent $158,579, including the cost of her candidate statement. The Meyer-Groman contest is the only one in which both candidates paid for a statement. 

Groman loaned her campaign $50,000 and raised nearly $19,500 during the most recent reporting period. She had previously loaned the effort $13,500.

Groman’s report covering the last three months shows donations from, among others, Superior Court Commissioner William Torres, who has now given a total of $350; Commissioner Rita J. Baird, who gave $300; Superior Court spokesman Allan H. Parachini, a $150 donor; and actress Susan Sarandon, who contributed $500.

‘Bundled’ Contributions

She was also the beneficiary of $1,600 in donations from various local chapters of the National Women’s Political Caucus, and of $950 in “bundled” contributions collected by the Washington, D.C.-based Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.

Outside of Meyer and Groman, the only runoff candidate spending more than $100,000 was Deputy Attorney General Gus Gomez, who has raised $148,424 and spent $121,761. Gomez is running against Deputy District Attorney Lori Jones for the seat of Judge Richard Hubbell, who did not run for another term.

Contributors to Gomez include Superior Court Commissioner Bruce Mitchell, who has donated $150. Gomez and his wife, Deputy Attorney General Glynda Gomez, have loaned $37,000 to the campaign.

Jones said her campaign treasurer, Mary Ellen Padilla, filed her report yesterday, one week late. She said she would fax a copy to the MetNews, but it had not been received as of last evening.

Padilla did not return a phone call.

In the contest for Brown’s seat, Priver has outraised Gutierrez $65,658 to $36,574 and outspent him $53,005 to $34,104. Contributors to Priver include  Superior Court Judge Barbara Johnson, who gave $100; District Attorney Steve Cooley, who gave $250 from his officeholder account; and retired Superior Court Judge Eric Younger, who gave $200.

There is also a runoff to succeed Judge Marcus Tucker, who is not running for re-election. Deputy District Attorney Pat Campbell and Referee Mildred Escobedo are seeking the seat.

Campbell’s reports show total fundraising of $89,191—including loans of $61,000 from the candidate and his wife—and expenditures of $72,575, compared to $97,043 in contributions and $70,822 in expenditures for Escobedo.

Campbell’s recent donors include Superior Court Commissioner Dennis Mulcahy, who gave $100.

Escobedo, who has given $44,000 to her own campaign, has received contributions from several of her fellow bench officers, including Judge Philip L. Soto, who donated $350; Judges Rudolph Diaz, Philip S. Gutierrez and Patricia J. Titus and Referee Peter P. Espinoza, who gave $250 each; Judges John L. Henning, C. Robert Simpson Jr., and Rolf Treu and Commissioner Robert Applegate, who gave $200 each; Commissioner H. Kirkland Jones, who gave $150; and Judges Conrad Aragon, Kevin Brazile, Michael D. Carter, Margaret Henry, Tammy Ryu, Mary Thornton House and John Sandoz and Commissioner John Green, who gave $100 each.

Other donors included former Rio Hondo Municipal Court Judge J.B. Casas, who gave $300; former Referee F. Filmore Jaffee, who donated $100; and retired  Superior Court Judge H. Randolph Moore Jr., who gave $500.

Escobedo also received surplus funds transfers from the campaigns of two members of Congress and one member of the state Senate. The campaign committee of Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Los Angeles, gave $1,000; that of Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Garden Grove, $500; and that of Sen. Martha M. Escutia, D-Norwalk, $750.

A committee controlled by Assemblyman Marco Firebaugh, D-South Gate, gave $1,000.


Copyright 2004, Metropolitan News Company