Candidates for the office of Los Angeles mayor are getting nearly half of their campaign money (42 percent) from out of town and nearly one-fifth of
it their city-raised funds (18 percent) from ritzy Westside neighborhoods, according to a California Common Cause report released today.
If you think that special interests control national politics, then this data seems to show that L.A. is microcosm of the big money that flows to Washington.
Kathay Feng, the group's executive director:
When our mayoral candidates are raising nearly a fifth of their [city-raised, not total funds] money from zip codes that represent 4% of the city's population, it's a wake-up call to Angelenos.
Those areas include Brentwood, Westwood, Century City, Pacific Palisades, Rancho Park, according to the org.
Other areas with big contributions included such outside-the-city places as Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, which gave a combined $353,844 to the hopefuls.
Those hopefuls include council members Eric Garcetti and Jan Perry, city controller Wendy Greuel, and former radio talk-show host Kevin James.
The group wants to see taxpayer-funded matching donations at a rate of four dollars for every one dollar raised, which it says would allow candidates to seek dollars from everyday citizens instead of just rich people on the Westside.
Anjuli Kronheim, California Common Cause's Los Angeles organizer:
We support the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission's recommended changes to the matching funds program that would incentivize candidates to fundraise from Angelenos. Additionally, by increasing the donation match rate from 1:1 to 4:1, candidates would not just chase donors who can give the maximum amount. We think these changes are crucial.