Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Thursday, October 7, 2010


Page 1


Records Show:

Superior Court Candidates Have Spent More Than $1 Million


By SHERRI M. OKAMOTO, Staff Writer


The four candidates seeking two open seats on the Los Angeles Superior Court on the Nov. 2 runoff ballot have now spent a total of more than $1 million on their campaigns, the latest campaign spending reports show.

The high spender, by a wide margin, is Mark Ameli, who has reported raising over half a million dollars in his bid for the seat vacated by retired Judge Emily Stevens. Reports covering the three months ending last Thursday were due Tuesday.

Ameli, who is facing off against Superior Court Referee Randy Hammock,  raised over $212,000 last year, and has garnered an additional $300,000 this year, and still has more than $37,000 on hand.

Latest Spending

Ameli claimed total contributions of $37,548 and expenditures of over $218,000 during the most recent period. Hammock, who has spent more than $180,000 and reported having $108,000 still on hand, reported receiving only $1,649 and spending $78,500 between July 1 and the end of September.

While both campaigns have been largely financed by the candidates and their families, Ameli reported receiving several donations from individuals or law firms in Beverly Hills, where the candidate maintains his practice.

The candidate reported spending heavily on campaign literature, which appear to include at least 20 slate mailers.

Hammock’s donors during the past three months included Judges Jon Takasugi, Deborah Andrews, Michael Nash, Ralph Hofer and Rudolph Diaz, Commissioner Marilyn Kading-Martinez and Referee Sheri Sobel,  contributing $100 each.

His primary expenses were buying space on four slate mailers.

Deputy Los Angeles City Tom Griego, who is vying with Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Alan Schneider for the position now occupied by Judge William R. Pounders, has also spent liberally on his campaign, laying out nearly $64,000 in this most recent reporting period and over $193,000 so far this year.

Outstanding Debts

However Griego’s spending appears to have outpaced his fundraising, since he listed outstanding debts of $55,840, far exceeding his cash balance of $773.

He said he has raised $89,439 in 2010, with $8,299 coming during the recent  reporting period from four attorneys and three other individuals.

A campaign report for Schneider could not be obtained yesterday. Under state law, the report would be considered timely if it was postmarked by Tuesday.

Schneider finished first out of a field of four candidates in the June 8 primary election with 44 percent of the vote. Griego garnered 30 percent. Hammock drew 21.98 percent of the vote in an eight-way primary contest, while Ameli received 14.46 percent.

They will appear on the Nov. 2 ballot with the respective designations of “Gang Homicide Prosecutor,” “Criminal Prosecutor,” “Superior Court Referee” and “Litigator/Mediator/Arbitrator.”


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