Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Mike Feuer Campaign Disputes Claim It Received Illegal Donations
By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer
The campaign of Los Angeles mayoral candidate Michael Feuer yesterday disputed claims by an opponent and a political blogger that several of its donors made financial contributions that violate local law.
Scott Johnson, posting Saturday on “Mayor Sam’s Sister City,” alleged that several Feuer donors, violated Measure H—the initiative restricting who can donate to city campaigns and how much—and its implementing regulations.
The donors, including current Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Holly Fujie, were allegedly barred from contributing because they were executives of Bet Tzedek Legal Services when it was bidding for, or within a year of its receiving, a city contract.
City attorney candidate Greg Smith repeated the allegation Monday at a candidate’s debate in Hollywood, according to accounts on both the Mayor Sam and Los Angeles Dragnet blogs. Feuer did not respond at that time, the blogs said, but his campaign provided the following statement:
“The donations identified in the blog are lawful. Although not addressed in the blog, one contribution was made in error and returned. Anyone who tries to score cheap political points at the expense of the poor, the elderly, Holocaust survivors and disabled people who are Bet Tzedek’s clients should be ashamed.”
A campaign spokesperson declined to answer MetNews questions about the donations.
The city prohibits contractors, bidders for contracts, and officers of organizations that are contractors or are bidding for contracts from donating to city candidates if the amount of the contract or proposed contract exceeds $100,000.
The law applies to the “chair, president, chief executive officer, chief operating officer, or the functional equivalent of those positions” of a bidder or contractor.
Johnson said in his original post that Bet Tzedek officials gave at least $18,000 to the campaign at a time that the nonprofit legal services provider—of which Feuer is himself a former chief executive—was bidding for a contract to provide services to the city Department of Aging, or within one year of the signing of the contract on Aug. 11, 2011, the blackout period provided by city law.
Smith said Monday that the amount exceeded $30,000, and Johnson yesterday said he had identified additional donors whom he said were covered by the law, backing up Smith’s accusation.
Smith and Feuer are among three candidates challenging incumbent Carmen Trutanich. The other is attorney Noel Weiss.
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