The union that represents employees with the Department of Water and Power is partnering with the entertainment industry to spend big money in support of mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel.
Working Californians, which is backed in part by IBEW Local 18, hired campaign veterans Ace Smith and Sean Clegg to run the PAC.
The campaign of Greuel's main rival, City Councilman Eric Garcetti, used the news to make a fundraising pitch to supporters Tuesday:
"A few people with a vested interest in the election, spending unlimited amounts of money to keep change from coming to City Hall is not what we need in Los Angeles. Eric is the progressive candidate that wants to move Los Angeles forward but he can only do that with your help. "
No such independent campaign has filed paperwork in support of Garcetti, according to the Ethics Commission. Through Dec. 31, Garcetti has raised $3.6 million, about $127,000 more than Greuel has garnered.
Unlike individual donors, independent expenditure campaigns do not have contribution limits. That translates into a major financial boost for a candidate, especially in a city where a week’s worth of TV ads typically costs $1 million or more.
Before elected office, Greuel worked in government relations for DreamWorks Studios. A recent analysis by KPCC and NBC 4 found Greuel received one-third (about $277,000) of donations made by donors connected to the entertainment industry. Garcetti, received $488,000 from industry donors, based on numbers filed through Sept. 31, 2012.
Early voting in the spring primary begins on Feb. 4, which means Working Californians’ advertisements will likely come on line in the coming weeks.
In addition to Greuel, the campaign will also support:
- Controller: Dennis Zine
- CD 1: Gil Cedillo
- CD 9: Curren Price
- CD 13: John Choi
The primary is set for March 5. The group will also work in support of Nury Martinez when she runs for the council's Sixth District in the May 21 election.
Greuel is not the only candidate supported by an indpendent PAC. Attorney Kevin James is expected to benefit from the Better Way LA PAC. Another group, Valley-Westside Committee for a Greater Los Angeles, is spending money to support Jan Perry for mayor.