ELECTIONS ’88 : ORANGE COUNTY : Green’s War Chest Hits $1 Million in Crucial Senate Race

Times Staff Writer

In what may prove to be the year’s most expensive legislative race in California, state Sen. Cecil N. Green (D-Norwalk) has raised more than $1 million in his bid to win reelection in the 33rd District, according to campaign finance statements filed Thursday.

Green’s primary benefactor is Senate President Pro Tem David A. Roberti, the powerful Los Angeles Democrat who has loaned or contributed $254,943 to Green’s campaign in hope of retaining the seat and maintaining control of Senate. Both Republicans and Democrats have targeted the race, believing that they can win the blue-collar suburban district that covers northwest Orange County and southeast Los Angeles County.

Green’s GOP opponent, former Cerritos councilman Don Knabe, a top aide to Los Angeles County Supervisor Deane Dana, has received $653,790 in contributions, nearly half of it from state Republican leaders or party political action groups, according to campaign finance records.

In the 72nd Assembly District, another swing district targeted by both parties, Republican Curt Pringle had raised $618,659 in cash and non-monetary contributions as of Oct. 22, including $223,115 in cash and in-kind contributions since Oct. 1, campaign finance statements showed.


The campaign disclosure statements, which cover all contributions and spending for legislative candidates since July 1, had to be filed by midnight Thursday with the secretary of state’s office. It is the last required statement before the Nov. 8 election, although any contribution received by a candidate of more than $1,000 before Election Day must be reported within 24 hours to the secretary of state’s office.

During the Oct. 1-22 reporting period, Pringle raised $91,431 in cash, including $7,500 from state Sen. Edward R. Royce (R-Anaheim), $5,000 from a Sacramento-based apartment owners political action committee and $3,000 from the Orange County Chamber of Commerce.

Pringle also received $131,684 in non-monetary goods and services, including $126,600 from the state Republican party, the bulk of it for production, printing and mailing of mailers on Pringle’s behalf. The state party has spent $202,077 on Pringle’s mail, one the GOP’s primary tactics in the race.

Pringle, chairman of the Garden Grove Planning Commission, reported $78,012 cash on hand as of Oct. 22, contrasted with $29,258 for his Democratic opponent, Christian F. (Rick) Thierbach. The two are running for the seat vacated when Assemblyman Richard E. Longshore (R-Santa Ana) died June 8.


Thierbach, an Anaheim resident and a prosecutor with Riverside County’s district attorney’s office, has raised $556,040 in cash and in-kind contributions, including $257,455 in cash and non-monetary contributions received Oct. 1-22.

During that period, Thierbach raised $158,164 in cash, including $40,000 from Assemblyman Richard Katz (D-Sepulveda), $10,000 from the California Peace Officers Assn. and $5,000 from the California Trial Lawyers political action committee. He also received $17,000 from Assembly Democrats, a political group that has contributed $137,494 in cash and in-kind services to Thierbach since the campaign began.

Mail and Consulting Services

Since Oct. 1, the Democratic State Central Committee has given Thierbach’s campaign $64,936 in mail and consulting services.

In the 33rd State Senate District, Democratic incumbent Green--a four-term Norwalk city councilman before winning the Senate post in a May, 1987, special election--received $433,856 in cash and in-kind contributions in Oct. 1-22. His cash contributions totaled $287,232, including $47,000 from five Democrats in the Senate and $5,000 each from Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-Panorama City) and Rep. Mel Levine (D-Santa Monica).

Green also received non-monetary contributions of $42,365 from the state Democratic Central Committee and $84,943 from political groups controlled by Roberti. Roberti, who pumped nearly $1.1 million into Green’s upset victory in the special election last year, has also loaned Green’s campaign $150,000.

2 Candidates Spent $3 Million

In that race, Green defeated Assemblyman Wayne Grisham (R-Norwalk) in a bitter contest in which the two candidates spent $3 million, a record for a state legislative election.


Green’s opponent this time, Knabe, has raised $653,790, including $172,227 since Oct. 1. He has received $78,864 in cash, including $25,000 from Supervisor Dana.

The state GOP also contributed $74,671 in non-monetary services, mostly mail. The state party has contributed a total of $185,537 since the campaign began.