Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Candidate Helen Kim on Way to Setting Judicial Campaign Spending Record
By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer
ALISON MATSUMOTO ESTRADA
Deputy District Attorney Helen Kim appears well on her way to setting a record for campaign spending in a primary, public records show.
Kimís pre-election spending report shows that she had raised more than $853,000 and spent more than $415,000 through May 17. Her next report, showing the balance of her spending through primary day June 3, is not due until July 31.
Kim faces a single opponent, fellow Deputy District Attorney Alison Matsumoto Estrada, so the race is virtually certain to end in the primary. The largest amount ever spent to win a Los Angeles Superior Court seat in a primary is $450,000, which is what then-Deputy District Attorney Sean Coen spent two years ago.
How much of Kimís campaign fund actually goes into the remaining days of the race is up in the air, as much of her funds came in the form of loans from herself and her family, which can be repaid rather than spent. Kimís campaign consultant, Fred Huebscher, declined to comment on the possibility of that happening.
Her other donors include Los Angeles attorney Preston Brooks, who gave $1,500; Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Christine Ewell, a $2,000 contributor; Pasadena attorney Daisy Hu, who gave $1,000; businessman and philanthropist William Borzi, who gave $10,000; Marina Del Rey attorney and congressional candidate David Kanuth, who gave $1,000; Los Angeles attorney Walter Lack, who gave $1,500; John Lee, the president of Soho Fashion, Inc., who gave $5,000; and actor Chris OíDonnell, who gave $1,000.
Much of her spending has gone into slate mail, but she has also put some of it into Internet advertising, and much of it into a mass-mailing campaign featuring magnets with her name and campaign message.
Estrada has been clearly outraised and outspent. Her report shows that she has raised $144,000 in total, and had less than $17,000 in the bank as of 10 days ago.
Of the money she has raised, $60,000 came from her father, a retired scientist, and $20,000 from the unexpended campaign fund of fellow Deputy District Attorney Serena Murillo, who is running unopposed for another open seat. Another unopposed candidate, Deputy District Attorney Chris Frisco, kicked in $3,000.
Other donors to Estrada include attorney Mark Geragos, who gave $2,500 plus an in-kind contribution of more than $1,000; attorney Mark Werksman, who gave $1,000; Superior Court Judge Holly Fujie, who gave $750; Superior Court Judges Teri Schwartz and Gary Tanaka and former District Attorney Steve Cooley, who gave $500 each; retired Superior Court Judge Jon Mayeda, who gave $300; Superior Court Judge Tomson Ong, who gave $250; Judge Jared Moses, who donated $200, as did Alternate Public Defender Janice Fukai; Superior Court Judge Upinder Kalra, who gave $150; and Superior Court Judges Fumiko Wasserman, Gregory Dohi, Valerie Salkin, Fred Fujioka, Timothy Saito, and Howard Halm and Commissioner Robert Kawahara, who gave $100.
Estradaís consultant, David Gould, said his candidate never expected to keep up dollar-for-dollar with Kim, who spent $14,500 on filing fees for eight different seats before settling on the one she wanted to run in. But he said his candidate still has a good chance of election, because she is on about two-thirds of the slates being mailed to voters, as well as the endorsement of the Los Angeles Times.
Both consultants said they expect the race will be close.
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