Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Tuesday, June 6, 2006


Page 1


Two Judicial Candidates Top $100,000 Mark in Campaign Spending




Two Los Angeles Superior Court candidates in today’s primary have topped the $100,000 mark in campaign spending, reports show, with several others close to that mark.

Los Angeles Assistant City Attorney Susan Lopez-Giss, at $111, 731.73 was the high spender at the conclusion of the last pre-election filing period, which ended May 20. The next reports are due at the end of July and cover the period ending June 30.

Close behind Lopez-Giss was Encino attorney Stephen M. Feldman, who had spent $110, 745, 79.

Lopez-Giss is vying with Deputy City Attorney Richard Kraft for the seat being vacated by Judge Larry S. Knupp. Feldman is seeking the seat last held by Judge Michael Knight, who has retired.

Heavy Loans

Much of Lopez-Giss’ funds are in the form of loans—$22,000 from the candidate; $30,000 from her husband, Superior Court Judge Harvey Giss; and $22,000 from the Ziegler Family Trust of Beverly Hills. She has also raised a substantial amount in contributions, many from attorneys.

Among the larger donors are Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michae Pastor, who gave $1,000; attorney and venture capitalist William Wardlaw, who is married to Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Kim M. Wardlaw, $2,000; West Los Angeles attorney David Elden, $1,000; and the law firm of Guzin and Steier, $1,000.

Her opponent, Kraft, reported spending $66,076.68, of which $50,000 was loaned to the campaign by the candidate. Pasadena attorney Tom Medrano donated $5,000.

Both Lopez-Giss and Kraft reported spending the bulk of their funds on slate mail.

Feldman’s campaign is being funded primarily with a $95,000 loan from his wife, the candidate reported. He is one of six candidates for the Knight seat.

Only one of his opponents, Daviann L. Mitchell, is in the ballpark with Feldman when it comes to spending. Mitchell reported spending $70,487.79, of which $50,000 was borrowed from A.M.A.R., Inc. of Santa Clarita.

Among her major donors are Lancaster attorney Rex Parris, who gave $2,500, and Reno, Nev. investor Karel M. Simms, who gave nearly $2,220.

Both Feldman and Mitchell reported spending the bulk of their money on slate mail, although Feldman also spent $8,000 on campaign signs.

Other Candidates

Among the other candidates for the Knight seat, which is Office No. 18, the one who has spent the most is Administrative Law Judge John Gutierrez, who has spent $22,000. The other candidates in the race, North Hills attorney Richard M. Nixon; Pasadena attorney David Crawford III; and Los Angeles Deputy City Attorney Richard Loomis, filed short forms indicated they had not raised nor spent more than $1,000—excluding their filing fees—and did not intend to do so.

Three other candidates reported spending in excess of $80,000—attorney/businesswoman Lynn Dianne Olson, Los Angeles Deputy City Attorney Dan Lowenthal; and Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Alan Friedenthal.

Olson is challenging Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Dzintra Janavs, the only incumbent to draw an opponent this year. Olson reported lending her campaign $90,000, of which about $85,000 had been spent, nearly all of it on slate mail.

Janavs reported raising $30,000, most of it from lawyers and judges. About 100 current and former judges donated to her campaign, with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Daniel T. Oki kicking in $2,000 in leftover funds from his successful re-election race two years ago.

Judge Roy Paul, who raised money two years ago in anticipation of a challenge that never came, gave Janavs $1,000 of that; while Judge David Wesley gave $500 from surplus remaining after he beat back a challenge two years ago.


Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company