WESTSIDE – Former Santa Monica Mayor Bobby Shriver has received nearly $1.9 in contributions to his supervisor campaign, with $1 million of that coming from his own pocket.
The primary election in the race to replace termed-out Third District Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky will be held this Tuesday.
Former State Senator and Assemblywoman, Sheila Kuehl, follows Shriver in contributions with more than $1.2 million.
Thanks to a 1996 law, Shiver’s decision to donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to his own campaign means that anyone else who wants to donate to Shriver is capped at $300. It also means that there’s no limit to how much the other candidates can accept.
He got into politics in 2004 at the age of 50 after a dispute with City Hall over the height of his hedges. He served on the Santa Monica City Council until 2012 and announced his candidacy for Supervisor in January of 2014.
Shriver, whose uncle was former President John F. Kennedy, recently boasted that he raised the $880,000 through more than 3,200 contributions of $300 or less.
Actors Tom Hanks, Rob Lowe, Chevy Chase, Harvey Keitel, and Larry David donated to the campaign, as did musicians Tom Petty and Quincy Jones. Blockbuster director Steven Spielberg also donated to Shriver’s campaign.
Shriver has more than half a million dollars on hand, he said.
“Our campaign is unique in that we have not received any outside ‘super’ donations from individuals or organizations,” said Shriver’s campaign strategist Bill Carrick in a release. “In the case of one of our opponents, a single contribution of $75,000 from an outside interest group was accepted along with many additional, individual contributions in the tens of thousands of dollar range. We are in great shape for the finish of this race on June 3.”
Kuehl, a longtime Santa Monica resident, received $75,000 from the California Nurses Association. She announced her candidacy in January of 2013.
While Shriver might not have received any direct donations of greater than $300, two unaffiliated committees have collected more than $265,000 in support of his run for office.
Shriver is restricted from speaking or coordinating with the donating parties but there’s no limit to how much they can spend on things like independent mailers and television ads that support his campaign.
One group, Working for Working Americans, gave $100,000 to The Citizen’s Committee to Elect Bobby Shriver for LA County Supervisor 2014. Working for Working Americans is backed by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters.
Oriole Bird LCC gave $50,000 to Friends of Bobby Shriver. It’s unclear what the company does.
“Mr. Shriver is not allowed, by law, to accept any contributions over $300 because he has put so much of his own money into the race,” Kuehl told the Daily Press. “The two Independent expenditure committees have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and provide a way for large donors, like the Carpenters Union, to give much, much more than the nurses gave me.”
None of the other candidates have benefited from independent expenditures.
John Duran, a West Hollywood councilmember, has raised more than $340,000 according to his most recent campaign disclosure statement.
Former Malibu Mayor Pamela Ulich has criticized all the money entering the campaign. She’d raised just under $8,000 as of her last filing in March.