Who's Bankrolling Who in the County Supes Race
January 30, 2012
Newly powerful super PACs haven't yet made their way to Monterey County's local races, but contested seats on the County Board of Supervisors are shaping up to be pricy.
Pacific Grove Mayor Carmelita Garcia's campaign manager hopes to raise $250,000 for her race against incumbent Dave Potter, whose cash balance Dec. 31 was $12,000. Garcia can't spend $44,000 left in her Garcia for Assembly committee now that she's opted out of that race, but her campaign team says she's already raised that much toward the supervisorial race. Of the total $50,000 Garcia raised toward her dropped assembly bid, $40,000 came as a loan from business mogul Nader Agha's Moss Landing Commercial Park.
Agha's made it a stated goal to oust Potter, with whom he had a falling out over a $10,000 campaign donation; he sued, alleging Potter used the money for a personal vacation, and they reached a confidential settlement. The state Fair Political Practices Commission found no wrongdoing on Potter's part, but neither party is permitted to speak about their agreement.
Agha's business also gave $5,000 to District 4 incumbent Jane Parker's campaign, which ended 2011 with a $188,000 balance, leaving her more than halfway toward her $350,000 fundraising goal. San Jose-based UCP, the developer that's building homes at East Garrison, also gave $5,000 each to both Parker and Potter.
Parker took in nearly $265,000 in the second half of 2011, with her largest contributions of $25,000 each coming from the Howard & Lynn Ann Classen Trust in Watsonville and the Wheeler Family Trust in Carmel. She also brought in from $10,000 from the Monterey-based North Salinas Valley Fund for Responsible Growth, a corporation registered by Julie Engell, and $11,000 from a Carmel speech pathologist.
District 4 challenger Byrl Smith's Form 460, showing campaign contributions for the second half of 2011, was not yet available Monday.