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Pro-Shriver Super PACs Have Raised Nearly $200,000

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By Daniel Larios
Staff Writer

May 20, 2014 -- In addition to the $850,000 in donations reported by Bobby Shriver’s campaign, the former Santa Monica Mayor can count on the support of two Independent Expenditure Committees (IEs) in his June 3 bid for County Supervisor.

“Friends of Bobby Shriver” and “Citizen’s Committee to Elect Bobby Shriver for LA County Supervisor 2014” had raised a combined total of $188,000 as of May 12, according to the LA County Registrar’s Office.

Both IEs – which under election law cannot communicate or coordinate with the campaign of the candidate they support – are headed by consultants who have worked on major local and national campaigns.

The two committees – which have no limits on how much donors can contribute -- are expected boost the exposure of Shriver, whose campaign is limited to individual donations of $300 each because he rejected the voluntary spending limit of $1.4 million.

“I have no idea what they [the IEs] have raised,” Bill Carrick, Shriver’s campaign manager, told the Lookout. “We don’t have any connection with them at all.”

Other candidates have sounded off on the use of IEs in the Supervisor’s race.

West Hollywood Councilmember and Supervisor candidate John Duran told the Lookout that the committees “allow big business and big labor to insert themselves into the race.”  

“Unlike the Kuehl or Shriver campaigns, I am not being supported by big labor or big business,” he told the Lookout. 

Duran, who is widely considered a dark horse candidate, has reportedly raised more than $300,000 and won the coveted endorsement of the Los Angeles Times last week.

Former Malibu Mayor and Supervisor candidate Pamela Conley-Ulich told the Lookout that the money being poured into the race drowns out the competition.

"Bobby Shriver has told us that he likes 'competition' in our debates, but with the amount of money that is going to poured into the race on his behalf, it feels like we are in a Tour De LA race against Lance Armstrong, but instead of steroids, the drug of choice will be money," she told the Lookout.

Conley-Ulich is running a grassroots campaign, taking a stand against the influence of money and special interest groups in politics, she says. She has raised approximately $8,000 for her bid to become Supervisor.

Former State Senator Sheila Kuehl’s campaign consultant Parke Skelton said it was “bizarre” that Shriver “is complaining that the County campaign reform law is disadvantageous to wealthy candidates when he has not one, but two Super PACs funded by downtown big business and real estate interests.” 

Carrick called Skelton’s statement “untrue” and “disingenuous,” citing a $100,000 donation to one of the two IEs from the United Brotherhood of Carpenters as proof of Shriver’s appeal to labor. 

He also criticized Kuehl’s campaign for taking “super” donations.

“We know that Sheila Kuehl’s campaign supporters were going to set up an IE, but when the donor cap was lifted, they instead put it directly into her campaign,” said Carrick. 

“She has received more than $300,000 from super donors.  She’s taken super donations from a whole bunch of people and organizations, such as the $75,000 contribution from the California Nurses Association.”

“Bobby’s contributions from donors are $300 or less,” he added.

“Friends of Bobby Shriver,” which was established on February 19, has raised about $73,000 since its inception from political action committees and individual donors.

They include the Los Angeles Jobs Political Action Committee (PAC), which contributed $21,000; actor Rob Lowe, who contributed $2,500, and theater producer James Nederlander, who contributed $10,000 to the committee.

The Principal Officer of “Friends” is Alan Arkatov, a former television producer and media consultant for the campaigns of former LA Mayor James Hahn and President Bill Clinton, according to the LA County Registrar’s Office.

As of May 6, “Friends” had spent $4,268.10 on campaign literature and postage, according to the committee’s finance disclosure forms.

The “Citizen’s Committee to Elect Bobby Shriver for LA County Supervisor 2014,” established on March 7, has raised approximately $115,000 from political organizations. 

So far, there have been two large donations -- $100,000 from “Working for Working Americans,” a PAC sponsored by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, and $15,000 from the California Real Estate PAC, sponsored by the California Association of Realtors.

“Citizen’s” principal officer is Kevin M Acebo, a political consultant who managed Yaroslavsky’s re-election campaign for L.A. City Council in 1993 and his successful supervisorial campaign for the Third District in 1994, according to the Registrar’s Office.

“Citizen’s” had spent $57,544.85 on campaign mailers as of May 6.

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