Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley reported Monday that his reelection campaign committee has spent $13,300 for limousine service, $11,837 for flowers and about $44,000 at a Manhattan hotel and expensive Los Angeles restaurants, all as part of its fund-raising effort.
The spending, according to campaign spokeswoman DeeDee Meyers, went for food and entertainment for campaign contributors and for a trip to New York that was offered as a prize for top fund raisers in a campaign Bradley is expected to win easily.
His best financed opponent, Los Angeles City Councilman Nate Holden, in contrast, said his entire spending for this year has been $41,454, most of it going for the purchase of semiautomatic assault rifles he had offered to buy from residents in an effort to get the weapons off the streets.
Cover Two Months
The campaign reports, submitted to the city clerk, cover the first two months of this year and showed Bradley had received $192,165 in that period, and spent $314,004. That left him with a balance of $1,697,370, counting what he had collected previously.
Holden, after spending $41,454, had just $162,872 in the bank. The other well-known mayoral contender, former Los Angeles County Supervisor Baxter Ward, is not accepting campaign contributions.
Seven others also are running for mayor.
The figures in the reports were strong evidence of the one-sidedness of the race.
Bradley has deployed a small-scale political army against his under-financed foes. Meyers said the expenditures had been planned when Bradley thought he would be opposed by City Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky. But the mechanism remained in place even after Yaroslavsky decided not to run.
The mayor has rented computers, hired a computer consultant, employed expensive campaign managers and even paid $30,000 to a polling firm, which told him he would win.
For food, room rentals, transportation and decorations for fund-raising events in Manhattan and Los Angeles, Bradley reported: $13,712 to the Regency Hotel on Park Avenue, $13,300 to Manhattan Limousines, $11,837 to Atlas Floral Decorations of New York, $19,860 to Chasen’s, $5,000 to Ambrosia Catering of Santa Monica, $2,121 to The Regency Club of Westwood and $2,807 to the Friars’ Club.
Meyers said the New York trip was a prize for supporters who raised at least $25,000 each for Bradley’s campaign.
The trip took place in November, during an intense period of fund-raising before Yaroslavsky’s withdrawal.
The supporters were flown to New York, put up at the Regency, taken around the city in limousines and entertained. Although bills for the trip were high, the contributors had brought in about $500,000, Meyers said.
The reports showed campaign manager Christopher Humes received $28,000 and his assistant, Chris Hammong, $15,000.
The polling firm of Fairbank, Bregman & Maullin received $30,000 for a poll that Meyers said was taken in December, when Yaroslavsky was still in the race.
Committee Communication, got $5,291 for printing dinner invitations and $11,249 was paid to rent a computer system from Practical Systems Inc.