OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

Posts Tagged ‘Tom Harman’

AD-74: Land of Small Warchests

Posted by Chris Nguyen on February 3, 2014

Well, campaign finance figures are out, and OC Political will be doing our signature in-depth slicing and dicing of campaign finance numbers in the coming days.  Last week, we had several candidates send over press releases touting their fundraising prowess.  Some even asked us explicitly to post their releases.  We opted not to post any of those until we could examine the numbers ourselves.  Indeed, six months ago, I admonished readers to check the numbers against the press release claims in a post on AD-55.  Some candidates are spinning wildly, but there are other times when candidates’ numbers actually gel well with their press releases.  The only way to figure out which is the case is to look at the numbers.

So on to the numbers…

First up is the race for AD-74 to replace Allan Mansoor, who is leaving the Assembly to run for the 2nd District Supervisor’s seat, being vacated by the termed out John Moorlach.  AD-74 consists of Costa Mesa, Laguna Beach, Laguna Woods, Newport Beach, the southern half of Huntington Beach, and portions of Irvine.  There are four declared Republican candidates: Huntington Beach Mayor Matt Harper, Newport Beach Councilman Keith Curry, Assemblyman Travis Allen’s District Director Emanuel Patrascu, and H&R Block Franchise Associate Karina Onofre.

AD-74 Candidates Matt Harper, Keith Curry, Emanuel Patrascu, and Karina Onofre

AD-74 Candidates Matt Harper, Keith Curry, Emanuel Patrascu, and Karina Onofre

The numbers in AD-74 show this is anybody’s race.  None of the candidates have particularly large warchests.  Multiple candidates in races for other offices have raised more than all the AD-74 candidates combined.  Curry and Patracu have the largest warchests (or perhaps “least small warchests” would be more appropriate).  Patrascu is ahead of Curry by a few thousand dollars, but Curry is raising money at a faster pace.  Patrascu had more donors but Curry’s donors gave larger amounts on average.  Harper is in debt, and Onofre didn’t reach the threshold to trigger electronic filing.  (Actually, Harper didn’t reach the threshold to trigger electronic filing either, but he still opted to file an electronic report.)

Huntington Beach Mayor Matt Harper entered the race the third week of November.  He reported a $4,100 max-out contribution from Karen Harper on December 7.  Matt Harper loaned his own campaign $2,000 on Christmas Eve.

Newport Beach Councilman Keith Curry entered the race the first week of December.  On December 6, he transferred 20 contributions totaling $6,490 from his City Council account to his Assembly account.  During the rest of December, he raised $20,705 from 22 donors, plus another $495 from small unitemized donations.  His donations included $4,100 max-out contributions from the Orange County Business Council‘s BIZPAC and the campaign committee of former Senator Tom Harman.  He also reported $1,000 from Long Beach Councilman Gary DeLong (who was the unsuccessful Republican nominee in CD-47 in 2012 against Alan Lowenthal), $500 from former Newport Beach Mayor Tod Ridgeway, and $250 from Curry’s council colleague, Nancy Gardner.  If Curry can continue his pace of $21,200 per month, he will quickly amass the largest warchest in AD-74.  However, many candidates find their fundraising slows down after an initial burst after their campaigns launch when they pick up their low-hanging fruit donors; can Curry defy the odds?

Emanuel Patrascu, who is Assemblyman Travis Allen‘s District Director and was formerly on the staff of Senator Tom Harman, announced his official November 18 kick-off in September but had been raising money prior to his kick-off.  He reported $25,079 from 41 donors, plus another $1,266 from small unitemized donations.  His donations included $4,100 max-out contributions from businessmen Kieu Hoang and Buddy Molway.  He also reported $500 from Harman’s campaign committee in October and $2,000 in prior reporting periods, for a total of $2,500 from Tom Harman‘s committee.  He also reported $1,000 from former California Republican Party Chairman Mike Schroeder, $250 from the former Assembly campaign committee of Rancho Santa Margarita Councilman Steve Baric (the CRP’s Immediate Past Vice Chair), and $150 from the campaign committee of Westminster Mayor Tri Ta.  Patrascu loaned himself $5,000 on New Year’s Eve, $1,500 in June, and $18,700 in 2012.  He raised $17,600 during the same period that Curry raised $21,200 (Patrascu raised $2,750 after his campaign kick-off but before Curry entered the race).  If Patrascu can continue his pace of $17,600 per month, then he will be able to build a sizeable warchest. As I said with Curry, however, many candidates find their fundraising slows down after an initial burst after their campaigns launch when they pick up their low-hanging fruit donors; can Patrascu defy the odds?

Businesswoman Karina Onofre, who previously ran unsuccessfully for Santa Ana City Council in 2012, entered the race Thanksgiving week.  She did not file her campaign finance report electronically, as she did not reach the $25,000 threshold to require electronic filing.

For visual learners:

Candidate 1/1/13-6/30/13
Contributions
7/1/13-12/31/13
Contributions
Transfers Candidate
Loans
Unpaid
Bills
Expenditures Cash on Hand
(COH)
COH Minus
Unpaid Bills
COH Minus
Unpaid Bills
& Loans
Harper N/A $4,100 $0 $2,000 $1,927 $3,916 $2,185 $258 -($1,742)
Curry N/A $21,200 $6,490 $100,000 $0 $681 $127,009 $127,009 $27,009
Patrascu $8,950 $26,345 $0 $26,700 $551 $2,083 $59,942 $59,391 $32,691
Onofre N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Notes: Figures may be off by one dollar due to rounding.

Campaign finance reports for July 1-December 31, 2013 were due last week.

By the way, OC Political probably won’t detail individual donors in most races; it’s just that AD-74 had so few donors, it was doable.  In other races, the data is more voluminous.

Posted in 74th Assembly District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

BOE-4: Harkey’s Campaign Income Higher Than Wyland’s in 2013; Wyland Ahead of Harkey in Cash-on-Hand

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 7, 2013

Senator Mark Wyland & Assemblywoman Diane Harkey

BOE-4 Candidates:
Senator Mark Wyland (R-Escondido) &
Assemblywoman Diane Harkey (R-Dana Point)

With Michelle Steel termed out from her State Board of Equalization seat and running for Orange County Board of Supervisors, there are two major contenders running for Steel’s BOE seat: State Senator Mark Wyland (R-Escondido) and State Assemblywoman Diane Harkey (R-Dana Point).  Wyland and Harkey represent overlapping districts, with Harkey representing South Orange County in the Assembly and Wyland representing both South Orange County and North San Diego County in the Senate.

The massive BOE-4 seat comprises 25% of the state’s population, consisting of all of Orange County, San Diego County, Riverside County, Imperial County, and portions of San Bernardino County.  (In redistricting, the seat was renumbered, as it was previously BOE-3, and consisted of all the territory described above plus more portions of San Bernardino County and small slivers of Los Angeles County.)

Both Wyland and Harkey have loaned their own campaigns $100,000.  Harkey made a single $100,000 loan in 2011 while Wyland loaned his campaign $35,000 in 2011 and then added a $65,000 loan on June 29 this year, just one day before the close of the reporting period.  I’ve written previously about the campaign warchest fiction of $100,000 loans in my post on AD-73 last week (and requoted in my post on AD-55 two days ago):

Generally, $100,000 loans are paper tigers.  They are used to inflate campaign finance figures to impress donors and scare opponents.  However, when the rubber meets the road, 99% of the time, the candidates do not spend their loan money and repay the loans in their entirety after the election.  (The magic of the $100,000 figure for loans is that it is the most state legislative candidates can lend themselves and still get repaid under state law.  If you’re running for the Legislature, and loan yourself $101,000, that extra $1,000 can never be repaid, per the Government Code.)

I also wrote more extensively about $100,000 loans two weeks ago in a post that included information about loans from two AD-73 candidates and one AD-55 candidate.

At the end of 2012, Wyland had $132,049 cash on hand (excluding loans) while Harkey had $10,090.  During the first half of 2013, Wyland raised $88,584 while Harkey raised $81,536 and transferred in $29,650 from her other campaign accounts, giving her a gross increase of $111,186 in non-loan money.

During the January 1-June 30 reporting period, Wyland spent $122,142, with $89,010 (72.9%) going to consultants, professional services, and web costs.  During that same time, Harkey spent $49,419, spending just over half her money ($25,000) on Landslide Communications slate mailers.  Harkey had made previous deposits to Landslide and Continuing the Republican Revolution in 2012.  Neither campaign reported expenditures for any other slate mailers in 2012 or 2013.  Wyland had $2,241 in unpaid bills while Harkey had $1,330.

While Harkey had more campaign income than Wyland and Wyland outspent Harkey in 2013, Wyland’s $121,959 cash advantage from 2012 leaves him with more cash on hand.

Although I have been critical of candidates who loan their campaigns $100,000 because they do not spend it, BOE 4 may be one of the rare exceptions.  When you subtract the $100,000 loans, Wyland still has $96,250, but Harkey has actually spent $29,472 of the loan; I’m sure she hopes to raise it back, but at this point she’s already spent a chunk of the loan.

In a demonstration of just how difficult it is to raise money for BOE and how expensive everything is for the massive district that covers 25% of the state’s population, I’ll note the BOE accounts of Tom Harman and Lou Correa.  While neither Harman nor Correa is running for BOE, they each opened BOE accounts as a place to park their campaign funds for 2014.  Harman had $76,767 at the end of 2012, raised literally nothing in 2013, spent $8,979, and has $67,788 cash on hand – or 70% of Wyland’s current cash-on-hand minus unpaid bills and loans.  Correa had $85,400 at the end of 2012, raised $55,500 in 2013, spent $11,930 ($6,924 in expenditures and $5,006 in unpaid bills), and has $128,970 cash-on-hand minus unpaid bills – or 134% of Wyland’s cash-on-hand minus unpaid bills and loans (Correa has no loans).

For visual learners:

Candidate 12/31/12
Cash Balance
Minus Loans
Contributions Transfers Non-
Candidate
Loans
Candidate
Loans
Unpaid
Bills
Expenditures Cash on Hand
(COH)
COH Minus
Unpaid Bills
COH Minus
Unpaid Bills
& Loans
Wyland $132,049 $88,584 $0 $4,100 $100,000 $2,241 $122,142 $202,591 $200,350 $96,250
Harkey $10,090 $81,536 $29,650 $0 $100,000 $1,330 $49,419 $71,858 $70,528 -$29,472
People Not Actually Running for BOE
Harman $76,767 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $8,979 $67,788 $67,788 $67,788
Correa $85,400 $55,500 $0 $0 $0 $5,006 $6,924 $133,976 $128,970 $128,970
Notes: Figures may be off by one dollar due to rounding.

Campaign finance reports for January 1-June 30, 2013 were due last week.

It’s early yet, but Wyland’s definitely ahead of Harkey in the money game, though Harkey’s definitely spent more efficiently than Wyland, by locking up two major slate vendors in this race, which may well be won solely on slates.

(UPDATE – August 18, 7:25 AM): An OC Political reader asked how much was available for Harkey and Wyland to transfer from other committees since both are sitting state legislators.  Once unpaid bills are accounted for, Wyland still has $2,083 in his Senate officeholder account ($7,659 if you ignore his unpaid bills) while Harkey has $71,782 in her Senate account ($75,674 if you ignore her unpaid bills) and $53,231 in her Assembly account (that account has no unpaid bills).

For visual learners:

Candidate Committee Unpaid
Bills
Cash on Hand
(COH)
COH Minus
Unpaid Bills
Wyland 2010 Officeholder $5,576 $7,659 $2,083
Harkey for Senate 2014 $3,892 $75,674 $71,782
Harkey for Assembly 2012 $0 $53,231 $53,231

I haven’t gone line-by-line to determine how much is transferable, but assuming for the sake of argument that the entire amount is transferable, Harkey has $125,013 available while Wyland has $2,083.

If both candidates clean out their legislative accounts in favor of their BOE accounts, Wyland has $98,333 cash on hand (once unpaid bills and loans are accounted for), and Harkey has $95,541.  This leaves Wyland with a $2,792 cash-on-hand advantage – in a district that is 1/4 of the State of California, an utterly meaningless cash advantage in virtually any race let alone one covering such a huge swath of the state (for comparison, imagine a statewide race where once candidate had an $11,168 cash-on-hand advantage).

What I concluded in the original post still rings true, though with one word changed: “It’s early yet, but Wyland’s definitely slightly ahead of Harkey in the money game, though Harkey’s definitely spent more efficiently than Wyland, by locking up two major slate vendors in this race, which may well be won solely on slates.”

Posted in Board of Equalization | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Former Cypress Councilwoman’s Husband Files for Council Seat

Posted by Chris Nguyen on July 23, 2012

Lydia Sondhi

Former Cypress City Councilwoman Lydia Sondhi

Cypress City Council Candidate Jay Sondhi

Lydia Sondhi (R-Cypress) served on her City Council from 1998 until terming out in 2006.  Councilmen Phil Luebben and Todd Seymore are termed out this year, creating the first open seats on the Cypress Council since Sondhi, Frank McCoy, and Mike McGill all termed out in 2006.

Sondhi’s husband, Jay Sondhi, pulled papers for Council on the first day papers could be pulled, Monday, July 16, and then filed them on Friday, July 20.

The Law Offices of Jay Sondhi are located in Cypress. Sondhi graduated from the University of Missouri Law School and was admitted to the California Bar in 1986.  He was a corporate attorney who spent two decades in insurance.  He’s now a legal consultant for insurance companies.  Sondhi is a Cypress Chamber Board Member, the Treasurer of the Cypress Police Foundation, the President-Elect of the Cypress Kiwanis, and a former President of the Cypress Boys & Girls Club.

Lydia Sondhi was Mayor Pro Tem of Cypress in 2001 and Mayor in both 2002 and 2006.  (She was on the Cypress Council during the City’s effort to seize land owned by Cottonwood Church to give to Costco, but she did not vote on the issue due to a conflict of interest from her home’s proximity to the land in question.)  She came in third out of ten candidates for three council seats when Frank McCoy, Mike McGill, and she all won their first council terms in 1998 (future Councilman Todd Seymore came in ninth out of ten).  She came in third out of eight candidates for three council seats when McGill, McCoy, and she were all re-elected in 2002.  She has been a Professor of Consumer Affairs at California State University Long Beach since 1986 and previously served on the executive board of the California Faculty Association, the CSU professors’ union.

It looks like Sondhi will be downplaying his wife’s prior council tenure during the campaign, as the press release announcing his candidacy only made this brief half-sentence mention of his wife: “Jay Sondhi is married to Lydia Sondhi and has lived in Cypress for 26 years.”

Sondhi likely realizes Orange Countians aren’t exactly keen about electing spouses of living elected officials:

  • In 2010, Sandra Crandall didn’t even mention her husband’s name in her campaign biography in her successful bid for the Fountain Valley School Board.  Her husband, Larry, has been on the Fountain Valley City Council since 1998 and was on the school board from 1990-1998.
  • In 2009, Linda Ackerman made an unsuccessful bid for the State Assembly.  The press coverage of that race repeatedly mentioned her husband, former Senate Republican Leader Dick Ackerman.
  • In 2006, Dianne Harman made an unsuccessful bid for the State Assembly.  The press coverage of that race repeatedly mentioned that the incumbent, Tom Harman, was her husband.
  • In 2004, Gayle Pacheco made an unsuccessful bid for the State Assembly.  Bob Huff came in first in all three counties but Pacheco came in third in Orange County while coming in second in both Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties.  (Villa Park Councilman Bill MacAloney came in second in Orange County and third in the other two.)  Her campaign’s press releases repeatedly mentioned that the incumbent, Bob Pacheco, was her husband.
  • In 1980, Beverly Nestande made an unsuccessful bid for the State Assembly seat vacated by her husband, Bruce, when he won a seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

(Widows and widowers are rarely tested, as relatively few Orange County officials have died in office in seats where special elections were held to fill the vacancies; OC’s dead elected officials have generally held offices where vacancies are filled by appointment.)

While a number of political spouses have been successful in California politics (George and Sharon Runner, Tony and Audra Strickland, Judy Chu and Mike Eng, and Ted and Beth Gaines), few have been successful in Orange County.

Posted in Cypress | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Invitation to Steven Choi for Mayor Campaign Kickoff Fundraiser

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on March 8, 2012

This came over the wire from the Steven Choi for Mayor campaign…

You are cordially invited to join
Steven Choi for Mayor 2012
Kickoff Fundraiser

Thursday, March 8, 2012
6:00 PM-8:30 PM

Caspian Persian Restaurant
www.caspianrestaurant.com
14100 Culver Dr.
Irvine, CA 92606

Keynote Speakers:
Assemblyman (ret.) Todd Spitzer
Councilman Jeff Lalloway

Honorary Host Committee: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Fundraising, Irvine | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »