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Shriver Raises $850,000 from Thousands of Donors for L.A. County Supervisor Bid

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By Jason Islas
Lookout reporter

Editor's note: This article has been updated to clarify information about the number of donors to the Kuehl campaign.

March 25, 2014 -- Former Santa Monica mayor Bobby Shriver has raised $850,000 from nearly 2,000 donors, surpassing in fundraising his main rival in the race for L.A. County Supervisor.

Documents filed with the L.A. County Registrar Monday show that since he announced his bid in January, Shriver has received donations totaling $550,000 in $300 increments. That comes in addition to $300,000 of his own money that Shriver donated to his campaign earlier this month.

Combined, Shriver's total surpasses the $800,000 former State legislator Sheila Kuehl has raised since she announced her candidacy for Supervisor a year ago.

“These donors reflect Bobby's work in so many different fields,” said Shriver's chief campaign strategist Bill Carrick.

“In my years of campaign experience, I have never seen such an outpouring of support so quickly in a campaign,” said Carrick, who has worked on the campaigns of U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein, former L.A. mayor Richard Riordan and former president Bill Clinton, among others.

On the list of donors are Bill and Melinda Gates, Steven Spielberg, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, Leonard Nimoy, Warren Buffet, J.J. Abrams, Chevy Chase, Wolfgang Puck and fellow Santa Monica residents Frank Gehry and Larry David.

There are also numerous local Santa Monica leaders, including Parks and Recreation Chair Phil Brock, Santa Monica City Attorney Marsha Moutrie and former Lookout columnist Frank Gruber.

Many of the donors supported Shriver when he first ran for Santa Monica City Council in 2004 and again in 2008. He won landslide victories each time, having raised record amounts for his two campaigns. (“Shriver Shatters Fundraising Record,” February 3, 2005)

“These donors include people with whom I've worked over the years in business and the non-profit world,” Shriver said. “Many of our donors are friends and some are family. I'm inspired and grateful to each of them for their support.”

Shriver's announcement comes days after the Los Angeles County Democratic Club, the Pacific Palisades Democratic Club and Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights -- the bayside city's single most influential political organization -- endorsed Kuehl, Shriver's main rival in the race to replace Zev Yaroslavsky on the powerful five-member County Board of Supervisors.

Shriver has been limited to accepting donations of no more than $300 per person since he opted not to abide by the County's voluntary $1.4 million spending cap.

Carrick said that the $1.4 million cap would not allow Shriver to get his message out to the 2 million people who reside in the Third District, which includes Malibu, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Calabasas and San Fernando, as well as parts of Los Angeles.

Kuehl, former Malibu mayor Pamela Conley Ulich and West Hollywood City Councilmember John Duran all opted to abide by the limit, which, under a 2004 campaign finance law, allows them to accept donations of as much as $1,500 per person.

Shriver's recent announcement that he would donate $300,000 of his own money to his campaign, however, has eliminated donation limits for his rivals, though the $300 donation limit still applies to him. (“Shriver Donates $300,000 to his Bid for L.A. County Supervisor,” March 17, 2014)

According to campaign finance disclosure forms, the California Nurses Association gave Kuehl her single largest donation: $75,000.

Kuehl's campaign told The Lookout Tuesday that Kuehl had more than 2,500 donations from 1,939 donors, since some of the donors gave multiple times.

However, about 890 of those donations do not appear on Kuehl's filings because they were under $100.

Kuehl has argued that Shriver's personal wealth gives him an unfair advantage in the race. Shriver, however, has gotten more donors in ten weeks than have contributed to Kuehl's campaign since last March.

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