HUNTINGTON BEACH : Campaign Coffers Not Overflowing

With three City Council incumbents declining to run for reelection this year, city election campaign fund raising has been unusually inactive during the first half of 1990, according to candidates' financial disclosure forms submitted Monday.

No council member or candidate reported raising more than $6,500 from January through June, although four seats will be contested in the Nov. 6 election.

The pace of contributions was so slow that Councilwoman Grace Winchell, who traditionally runs tight-budget, grass-roots campaigns, was one of the top two money gatherers during the first six months of the year, collecting $6,475, according to her financial statement. That total was equaled by Councilman John Erskine, who announced Friday that he will not seek reelection when his term expires in November.

Winchell's latest contributions brought her total donations during the past fiscal year to $8,475, according to her statement. By July 1, five months before the election, she reported having $4,866 in her campaign coffers.

Most of Winchell's contributions came from individuals, including several leading organizers of the city's environmental activist groups. The only business or organization from which she reported receiving money was Amigos de Bolsa Chica, which gave $300.

Erskine reported raising $10,559 since July, 1989, with only the $6,475 he raised during 1990 left in his campaign chest.

Erskine, who has not said what he intends to do with his remaining campaign money, collected at least $1,275 from development-oriented businesses or individuals, according to his financial reports. Another $900 of his contributions came from four enterprises or individuals connected with Rainbow Disposal Co., the city's rubbish collector. Rainbow interests also gave $375 to Winchell.

Mayor Thomas J. Mays and Councilmen Wes Bannister, both of whose terms expire in November, are forgoing the council race to run for statewide offices. Mays is the Republican nominee for an Assembly seat that represents much of Huntington Beach and Long Beach. Bannister is the GOP candidate for state insurance commissioner.

Mays reported transferring $23,780 from his council campaign coffers to his Assembly race fund, as allowed under state campaign financing regulations. Before closing out his council fund, he reported raising $4,215, composed chiefly of donations less than $100 and a $1,500 contribution from a Los Angeles-based political action committee.

Bannister reported raising no money for his council fund during the past fiscal year, ending June with $306 in his coffers. He did not report having transferred any residual council funds to his state campaign.

Councilman Jim Silva, whose term runs until November, 1992, reported collecting $1,600 during the first half of 1990, including $1,000 from four Red Onion Restaurant officials.

Neither Mayor Pro Tem Peter M. Green nor Councilman Don MacAllister, both of whom also have two years left in their council terms, reported raising any money during the fiscal year that ended June 30.

Two challengers for council seats, Linda Moulton-Patterson and Anthony Passammante, have established campaign funds, but neither reported raising any money during the first half of the year.

Meanwhile, City Attorney Gail C. Hutton, who under the City Charter must face election every four years, reported no fund-raising activity the first six months of the year, but collected $32,665 during the last half of 1989. By the end of June, however, she reported having depleted her campaign fund. Hutton is being challenged this year by Santa Ana-based attorney Paul Eugene Mann.

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