Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Final Campaign Report:
More Than $555,000 Spent on Reuben’s Failed L.A. Superior Court Campaign
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The campaign committee for Timothy Reuben spent in excess of half a million dollars on the Westside attorney’s ill-fated bid in the March 3 primary for election to the Los Angeles Superior Court, with nearly all of the funds coming from the candidate, himself, in contributions and loans, according to final finance documents filed with the Office of Secretary of State.
Those reports were due on Friday.
Reuben was trounced in a two-person race by Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Sherry L. Powell, who received 62.94 percent of the vote. Her committee spent $32,428.66 this year, according to its statement filed July 24; it reported no expenditures for the previous calendar year.
For 2020, Reuben’s committee reported expenditures of $550,679.30; it previously told of spending $4,908.65 in 2019.
Social Media Advertising
The $555,587.95 spent by the Reuben campaign is more than 113 times what his rival’s campaign unit paid out, largely to social media companies.
The losing candidate has attributed the outcome to legislation passed in 2017 which, he claims, has given an election advantage to deputy district attorneys. However, the bill, SB 235, is not generally so viewed; it bars fanciful designations used previously, such as “Child Molestation Prosecutor,” prescribing the use of the actual office title.
Despite having superior finances, Reuben’s election disadvantages were substantial: his opponent was a female and a prosecutor, and she had strong backing from the LGBTQ community.
Top Spenders Lose
In four other races, the top spender lost. Looking at expenditures from Jan. 1 through June 30:
Criminal defense lawyer Troy Slaten, billed on the ballot as “Attorney/Legal Commentator,” had the second costliest judicial campaign in the primary: $303,214.47, his committee’s report, filed Thursday, shows. He lost to Adan Montalban, identified, in accordance with SB 235, as “Deputy District Attorney, County of Los Angeles,” who garnered 63.14 percent of the vote, but whose committee spent only $8,025.
In a three-person race, Sherri Onica Valle Cole, with the designation of “Attorney-at-Law,” came in third despite her committee spending $100,006.70 this year (and $93,437.18 last year); “Attorney/Mediator” Tom Parsekian, placed second, with spending of $85,106.23; and winning the race outright was Deputy District Attorney Manuel A. Almada, whose committee paid out $42,941.50.
In another three-person race, a $107,024.92 pay-out to vendors did not land “Attorney” Robert F. Jacobs a spot on the November ballot; to the contrary, with 11.29 percent of the vote, he made the worst showing of all of the judicial candidates. “Attorney/Law Professor” Myanna Dellinger, whose committee shelled out $78,068.27, and Deputy District Attorney Steve Morgan, whose committee spent $37,359.31, are in the run-off.
Facing a run-off are Deputy District Attorney Scott Andrew Yang, whose effort on the primary cost $64,282.46, and “Attorney/Adjunct Professor” David D. Diamond, whose committee used $12,047.53 of the funds in its coffers. Placing third was “Attorney/Radio Producer” Caree Annette Harper, whose committee spent slightly more than Yang’s: $65,457.83.
Three candidates did not wage meaningful campaigns. Two of them—Klint James MacKay, an “Administrative Law Judge, California Department of Social Services,” and “Lawyer” Mark MacCarley did not file campaign finance reports, which are not required of candidates who did not take in $2,000 or more.
MacKay is—apparently on the strength of the word “Judge” in his ballot designation—in a run-off with Deputy District Attorney David A. Berger, whose committee spent $80,860.25. Deputy District Attorney Nick C. Rina, whose committee made payments of $5,691.84, came in third.
MacCarley virtually abandoned his campaign after a Los Angeles Superior Court judge disallowed his desired ballot designation of “Retired Army General.” Deputy District Attorney Kenneth M. Fuller won the contest; “Attorney at Law” Bruce A. Moss came in third.
A former San Bernardino attorney named “Judge Mike Cummins,” a one-time Shasta Superior Court judge—described on the ballot as “Retired Counselor-at-Law”—has reported spending “$0.00,” though his committee took in $2,000 (from Cummins). He lost to Deputy District Attorney Emily Cole, who scored the highest percentage of votes of any of the judicial candidates: 84.99 percent.
Linda Sun, a “Deputy Attorney General, State of California,” defeated Deputy District Attorney Robert “Bob” Villa. Sun’s committee spent $202,391.71; Villa’s campaign paid out $61,422.26.
Copyright 2020, Metropolitan News Company