Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Long Beach Democrat Laura Richardson's campaign awash in red ink

Congresswoman Laura Richardson is in trouble.

The publication “Roll Call” already lists her as the lawmaker most likely to lose her seat. Internal polling numbers from her opponent Janice Hahn show Richardson trailing by 16 points, with 30 percent undecided.

And according to the latest report filed with the Federal Election Commission, she owes more than $500,000 to her campaign treasurer, graphic designer, pollster, fundraising consultant, a couple of restaurants, the phone company, and lawyers.

The Long Beach Democrat only has about $68,000 dollars in campaign cash on hand.

During the last quarter, Richardson had to lend her campaign more money than she’d raised in campaign donations. She raised under $7000; she lent the campaign $9000. So far, she’s committed $19,000 of her own money to her reelection bid. 

Among those who contributed to the Richardson campaign last quarter was her mentor, the late Congressman and Lt. Governor Mervyn Dymally. She credits him with encouraging her to run for Congress.

Richardson is running against fellow Democrat, freshman Congresswoman Janice Hahn, in a newly drawn district.

Hahn is also in the red; she owes more than $60,000 than she has on hand. Hahn owes money for polling, printing, advertising, legal fees, and consulting. 

One consultant is longtime Democratic advisor Joe Trippi, who worked on campaigns for Tom Bradley and Alan Cranston and on the presidential runs of Ted Kennedy, Walter Mondale, Gary Hart, Richard Gephardt, Howard Dean and, most recently, John Edwards.

Hahn also owes money to a baseball club that is not the Dodgers.

Her father, the late L.A. County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn, was instrumental in bringing the Dodgers west from Brooklyn. Janice Hahn had a fundraising event in Washington, DC at Nationals Park, where the Washington Nationals play.

It's doubtful the money owed to the baseball team in DC cost her poltically: the Nats were playing the Dodgers that night.

But Hahn's fundraising prospects are better than Richardson's. Last quarter, Hahn raised nearly $180,000. That’s more than 25 times the amount raised by Laura Richardson. 

 

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Baseball and politics: Trash talking about Dodgers-Giants at the DNC

Dodger Stadium

Grant Slater/KPCC

The NL West pennant race is causing a playful rift in the California delegation at the DNC

There was lots of trash talking at Monday's California delegation meeting. Not just about the GOP, but about the Dodgers and Giants.

It might be cast as the usual SF/LA rivalry, but it's a bit more than that. Particularly since the woman who helped deliver the Dodgers to L.A. from Brooklyn is in the house.

Roz Wyman is a lifelong Democrat and party bigwig. Dianne Feinstein stays at her house when she's in LA. But back when she was a 20-something kid just out of college, Wyman won a seat on the L.A. City Council. She and Kenneth Hahn spearheaded the drive to bring the team west. Her good friend, former American Film Institute chief Jean Firstenberg, is also at the Democratic National Convention and is also a Dodger fan.

State party chairman John Burton is also a baseball fan — specifically a Giants fan. And the Dodgers are 4 1/2 games behind the Giants. Or, as L.A. Congressman Xavier Becerra put it: "The Giants are kicking some butt." He promised his beloved Dodgers were "going to make it a race." And one way or another, he predicted, "California's going to win the World Series."

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