A group supporting Bobby Shriver's bid to fill the office being vacated by Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky has received $100,000 from a national trade union.
The United Brotherhood of Carpenters gave the contribution to the Citizens Committee to Elect Bobby Shriver, one of two independent expenditure committees set up to support Shriver's campaign.
Independent committees can accept unlimited contributions as long as they don't coordinate their actions with a candidate's campaign. The primary election is June 3.
Bill Carrick, Shriver's chief consultant, said the candidate wasn't aware of the contribution but welcomed the support of the private-sector union. The United Brotherhood of Carpenters represents half a million workers in the construction trade across the nation, but does not represent any county employees.
"Obviously he loves having the support of them and all the folks they represent," Carrick said. "It's a great union."
Shriver, a businessman and former Santa Monica mayor, is competing for the Westside and San Fernando Valley seat held by Yaroslavsky, who is leaving office after 20 years, having served the maximum number of terms allowed.
In late March, Shriver emerged as the fundraising leader among eight candidates vying for the seat, reporting $847,700. His chief rival, former state lawmaker Sheila Kuehl, raised $717,000.
The $100,000 contribution by the carpenters union will pay for "mass communications" to win voter support for Shriver, said Eric Hacopian, one of the organizers of the independent group.
"There's a lot of interest by a lot of people to help Bobby in this election," Hacopian said. "We approached the carpenters union and they agreed to help us."
Kuehl has also received a large donation — $75,000 from the California Nurses Assn. A spokeswoman for the group said it appreciated Kuehl's state legislation setting nurse-to-patient ratios and her two attempts to enact a universal healthcare law in California.
Shriver and Kuehl are both liberal Democrats in the nonpartisan race. Kuehl has picked up significant support from unions, women's groups and environmental clubs, while Shriver increasingly is getting backing from business organizations.