Shriver’s Rejection of Spending Limits Ups Likely Cost of 3rd District Supervisor Race


Campaign 2014The $422,000 that nine candidates spent to win two seats up for election on the West Hollywood City Council last year might have seemed expensive. But that turns out to be peanuts compared with what candidates for the Los Angeles County 3rd District supervisor’s seat are going to have to shell out for the June primary election.

The Los Angeles Times reported today that former Santa Monica Mayor Bobby Shriver has rejected voluntary spending limits and said he was prepared to put at least $300,000 of his own money into the campaign. The voluntary spending limit would have limited Shriver to spending no more than seventy five cents per voter on his campaign for the 3rd District seat, or a total of $1,479,000. If he had accepted the spending limit, the independently wealthy nephew of President John F. Kennedy would have been able to accept up to $1,500 from any individual donor.

Shriver’s rejection of the spending limit frees his opponents from that spending limit. However, a candidate who, like Shriver, donates $300,000 to his campaign is limited to accepting no more than $300 from a donor. If Shriver follows through with a $300,000 donation to his campaign, his opponents will see their donation limits raised. For example, a candidate who donates no more than $50,000 of his own money can accept an individual donation of up to $15,000 when facing an opponent who spends $300,000 in personal funds.

While Shriver’s rejection of spending limits means no other candidates are bound by them, their real problem will be raising money for what is likely to be an expensive race. Bill Carrick, Shriver’s campaign strategist, told City News Service that most candidates in the Los Angeles mayoral race last year spent about $5 million. “We’re in that same media market,” Carrick said.

West Hollywood City Council member John Duran, in a press release issued today, said he had raised over $130,000 to fund his quest for the 3rd District seat, now held by Zev Yaroslavsky, who is stepping down because of term limits. That indicated Duran has stepped up his fund raising, given that campaign finance filings as of Dec. 31 showed him having raised only $54,000. At the Dec. 31 filing deadline former state legislator Sheila Kuehl, seen as Shriver’s major opponent, had raised $429,000. The next round of campaign contribution disclosures is due Monday. Others who are running are former Malibu Mayor Pamela Conley Ulich, county activist Eric Preven, Doug Fay of Santa Monica, Yuval Kremer of Los Angeles and Rudy Melendez of North Hollywood.

The 3rd District has a population of about 1.9 million people and encompasses West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and other west side towns and unincorporated areas.

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chloe ross
10 years ago

Strikes me that Bobby Shriver of “that” family intends to win the Zev seat. And failing that, he aims to see that his opponents will pay the full fare in their own efforts.

Larry makes a great point about council members and their thrones on the council – yet it begins to look as if those thrones are merely stepping stones to the bridge to nowhere.

Chloe Ross
10 years ago

Looks to me as if Bobby Shriver has the money and political acumen to win this seat. And if he doesn’t – he seems to want to make sure whoever does pay the full far.

As far as the council members and their treasured seats. Think of them as stepping stones on the bridge to nowhere.

Rudolf Martin
Rudolf Martin
10 years ago

It is not a waste of money from the POV of donors, Charlie! they have expectations for a good return on investment even if the candidate they sponsor does not win.
Very good point by Larry Block, considering our council members also have day jobs it is surprising how much energy they have to try to get released from the council seat they fought so hard to keep.

10 years ago

what an incredible waste of money — why don’t you all just donate it to that idiot bullet train (not!) that goes no where which Governor Brown is shoving in our faces

Larry Block
Larry Block
10 years ago

I’m just wondering if John Duran and Jeffrey Prang put as much energy into the Book Fair and the Sunset Music Festival as they have time and energy into their own elections if those 2 city proud events would be cancelled or struggling. After all, we just elected them exactly one year ago and they spent much of this past year running for a new office instead of building a better West Hollywood. If you want a better West Hollywood and a council member who lives and breathes WeHo think of me and log on to

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