So L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa went to a few gratis NBA games and awards shows, courtesy of some bedfellow developers — stinky and elitist, but we've seen worse.

The aftermath of Ticketgate, however, has far out-stunk the crime itself. Villaraigosa was majorly let off the hook when the Ethics Commission only charged him $42,000 for gifts that had exceeded $50,000 and probably neared $100,000, by our calculations.

Then, as if a cityful of voters wasn't watching, Villaraigosa had the audacity to ask for donations to help him cover the fines…

… because apparently the $232,000 salary we pay him, and the gorgeous Windsor Square mansion we bestowed upon him (albeit, without fence spikes to keep the riff-raff out), doesn't allow for such ethical exorbitance.

Today, Villaraigosa's scandal hurdles itself into a whole new realm of ridiculousness, with a full list of Ticketgate contributors — who, altogether, raised $123,500 to pay the mayor's fines and legal fees. Cleverly, our leading man-about-town set up three separate funds for the donations, thereby allowing him to collect three times the $1,000 cap from each donor.

Sigh. Here they are, with politicians in bold:

  • Nadine Bernecker of Nota Bene Entertainment LLC
  • Willie Brown, Jr., attorney
  • Jim Brulte for Board of Equalization 2014
  • Dario Frommer for Controller 2014
  • Alvin Dworman of Lee National Corp.
  • Ronald P. Estrada, dentist
  • Fabian Nunez for Treasurer 2014
  • Erika Girardi of EJ Global LLC
  • Thomas Girardi, attorney
  • Huntington Park Automotive & Tow, Inc.
  • Ibarra Strategy Group
  • Mark Fabiani, crisis management consultant
  • Cole Frates of Renewable Resources Group
  • Heller Capital Resources Financial & Insurance Services, Inc.
  • Mary Hailey Jameson, homemaker
  • Shelby J. Kaplan of Tricap Corp.
  • Richard Katz Consulting, Inc.
  • Kevin de Leon for Assembly 2018
  • Bernard Klepach of DFASS Group
  • Julliette Klepach, homemaker
  • Ricardo Lara for Assembly 2012
  • Christopher Lehane of CSL Strategies LLC
  • Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP
  • David R. Lira of Girardi & Keese
  • Jacqueline Ann Lira, homemaker
  • Farah Makras, homemaker
  • Medical Buildings of America LLC, Beverly Hills Triangle, Building 1
  • Wendy Mitchell of WM Consulting, Inc.
  • James G. O'Callahan of Girardi & Keese
  • Jonathan Orszag of Compass Lexecon LLC
  • Rica Orszag of Wasserman Foundation
  • Maria Robles, consultant
  • Cheryl Saban, homemaker
  • Haim Saban of Saban Entertainment
  • Eric Smidt of CPI LLC
  • Soto & Sanchez Investments, Inc., I Love LA News & Gift Shops
  • The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites
  • Victor G. Makras of Makras Real Estate
  • Casey Wasserman of Wasserman Media Group LLC
  • Edie Wasserman, homemaker
  • Zenith Insurance Company
  • 1st Step Business Management
  • Rand S. April, attorney
  • Bell Cab Management
  • Nadine Bernecker of Nota Bene Entertainment LLC
  • Meryl Chae, attorney
  • Community Initiative Partners LLC
  • Sean Perry, consultant
  • Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers Assn. of America PAC
  • Hugo Mauricio Soto, consultant
  • The Aptus Group, Inc.
  • TriCap Management, Inc.
  • Bart Williams of Munger Tolles & Olson
  • Zenith Insurance Company

Things that can be assumed of the persons and entities on this list: Either they vehemently support a politician's right to accept conflict-of-interest freebies from those looking to cuddle up with the city, or they're looking for a little love themselves.

Most notable on the list is former Assembly speaker Fabian Nuñez, whose murder-convict son received an infamous sentence commute from former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on his last day in office. Nuñez and Schwarzenegger were close friends; now, it looks like L.A. City Hall might be nearer to that circle than we thought.

The Los Angeles Times raises an eyebrow halfway to the ceiling:

So did state Sen. Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles), who donated $3,000 by tapping a fund-raising committee devoted to an Assembly campaign that won't occur until 2018.

Even one Republican got into the act. Former state Sen. Jim Brulte, who used to represent a portion of the Inland Empire, contributed $1,000 to each of Villaraigosa's three legal defense funds. …

“I contributed because Antonio is my friend and he asked for my help,” said Brulte, now a principal with the firm California Strategies, in an email. …

Others with Sacramento ties who helped out with the defense funds were former Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, who stepped up with $3,000; former Assemblyman Dario Frommer, who also gave $3,000; and Villaraigosa transit advisor Richard Katz, a former state lawmaker who contributed $2,000.

Next thing you know, they'll be paying off each other's pesky ethics fines via text message. LOL; thx Fbn <3


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