February 21, 2024 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Column: Independent Expenditures Committee Launched to Raise $300,000 for Park Effort in CD-11!

By Nick Antonicello

A new Independent Expenditure Committee calling themselves “The Committee to elect Traci Park to fix Homelessness (ID# 1450455)”, has been formulated by previous donors of the unsuccessful 2021 Recall Bonin campaign. 

The new committee has set a target of $300,000 to assist Park in what is regarded the most competitive of all of LA’s city council races. 

While unsuccessful, the recall effort was able to secure some 95% of the required signatures to get placed on the ballot. The 2021 effort gathered nearly 26,000 signatures and was the primary reason for Bonin’s departure from his race for reelection to a third and final term. 

Bonin has endorsed Darling. 

On the Committee’s contribution form, they are soliciting significant dollar amounts beginning at $5,000 to $50,000. The law firm of Reed & Davidson is heading up the fundraising effort as per the solicitation. The firm specializes in ballot measures, campaign compliance and independent expenditure committees. 

Independent expenditure committees can raise unlimited amounts of money as opposed to a candidate committee that are limited in the amount a donor may contribute. 

The Committee is describing Park’s opponent, Venice civil rights lawyer and renter’s rights advocate Erin Darling as the “hand-picked” candidate of the outgoing Bonin, and have described Darling as being supported by the DSA (www.dsa-la.org) who they describe as a “radical organization” that endorses strong unions and worker protections as well as decreasing the influence of money in politics according to their website.  

Darling has stated numerous times he does not support the abolition or defunding of the LAPD, but a better deployment strategy that emphasizes fighting crime. 

According to the web address, the DSA has not endorsed Darling.

The new Park Committee wants to use the money raised for the following efforts: 

  • Slate mailers and voter guide advertising
  • Targeted direct mail 
  • Outreach via texting to 100,000 voters

Two contacts for the effort include Kat Connolly of Connolly Consulting and one Dan Weinstein. 

The Park campaign outspent Darling in the June Primary by a 10-1 margin and had about an eight month head start before he entered the race. Despite the huge money advantage, Darling bested Park with a comfortable first-place finish in the June Primary shocking many political observers. 

Darling, a life-long Venetian who attended law school with Senators Ben Allen and Henry Stern has the endorsement of the Los Angeles Times, the LA County Democratic Party, the powerful Teachers union (UTLA), the Sierra Club, Democratic Assembly members Tina McKinnor and Richard Bloom, LA County Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Holly Mitchell, LAUSD board member Jackie Goldberg, LA Councilmember-elect Eunisses Hernandez, former LA Councilmember Ruth Galanter as well as longtime climate change advocate and Oscar winning actress, Jane Fonda. 

Darling has also wracked up labor and union endorsements from the United Steelworkers, International Long Shoreman’s and the SEIU. 

Darling has described Park, a former Republican as “the most conservative candidate on the ballot here in LA in 2022,” and is emphasizing his 5-point plan to end street encampments and homelessness while making climate change an important component of his progressive platform. 

Park has relied heavily on independent expenditures from the Los Angeles Police Protective League as well as the United Firefighters, Local 112 and the powerful Apartment Owner’s lobby. Park has also received the endorsement of former LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, LA City Controller Ron Galperin, California Treasurer Fiona Ma and California Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis.

Nick Antonicello is a longtime Venetian who is covering the race for LA City Council in CD-11 to succeed the outgoing Mike Bonin. Antonicello has filed more stories on the CD-11 race then any other media outlet. Have a take or a tip? Contact Antonicello via e-mail at nantoni@mindspring.com

in Opinion
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