A new super PAC has formed to support Eric Garcetti in the May 21 mayoral runoff. The Committee for a Safer Los Angeles filed paperwork this week to start raising money.
The committee is being organized by Brian Van Riper, the consultant who ran Joe Buscaino's San Pedro-area City Council campaign. So far the committee appears to draw from Buscaino's donor base.
"We're just big Eric Garcetti fans doing whatever we can to support him," Van Riper said.
Van Riper said the committee has modest fundraising goals. By midweek, it had reported raising $95,000. Another independent group, Lots of People Who Support Eric Garcetti for Mayor, began raising money in February. That group has reported raising $533,000 to date.
Garcetti and his opponent, Wendy Greuel, both raised about $5 million for the March 5 primary, including public matching funds. But Greuel also benefited from $2.8 million worth of independent spending. Most of that money came from Working Californians, led by the head of the L.A. Department of Water and Power union, and the L.A. Police Protective League.
The two independent groups backing Garcetti hope to offset some of Greuel's outside support in the runoff. Unlike the campaigns, the independent committees are not bound by contribution limits.
In January, Garcetti offered Greuel a pledge to try to eliminate outside spending, but she declined, calling it a "gimmick."