Bernson Raises $195,775 in Reelection Bid : Finances: Much of the money came from one fund-raiser. Some came from developers of the controversial Porter Ranch project.


Los Angeles City Councilman Hal Bernson’s reelection committee has raised $195,775 over the last half of 1990, according to financial reports filed with the city clerk.

Most of the money came from a fund-raiser at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, according to Bernson Reelection 91 Committee reports filed Jan. 23.

At least $5,000 came from developers of the controversial Porter Ranch residential and commercial project, their business allies and family members. Bernson’s support of the 1,300-acre development is a leading issue in the campaign.

Seven rivals are challenging him in the April 9 election, the most the three-term incumbent has faced.


Giving the maximum allowed contribution of $500 were Porter Ranch developer Nathan Shapell; his financial partners in the project, brothers Norman and Irving Feintech of Liberty Building Co., and another Feintech family member, Evelyn Feintech.

Also giving $500 each were Larry Calemine, a developer working on the Porter Ranch project; his wife, Camille Calemine; Porter Ranch spokesman Paul Clarke; two top executives at ETI Inc., the engineering firm for the project, and Dan Garcia, the city’s former Planning Commission president who was involved in drafting a key environmental study of the project.

Involvement of Porter Ranch interests in Bernson’s political fund raising is not new. The Times reported in 1989 that Bernson had received $50,380 between 1982 and March, 1989, from developers, consultants and lobbyists involved in the $2-billion project.

The most recent reports describe financial activities, including contributions and expenditures, from July 1 to Dec. 31.


Many of Bernson’s other contributors were developers. As chairman of the council’s powerful Planning and Land Use Management Committee, Bernson is in a position to know many building industry representatives.

Other contributors included:

* Interests associated with Watt Industries, a firm seeking to build a large office complex on the north side of the Cal State Northridge campus. Watt Pac, Watt Pacific, Watt/Parker Inc. and North Campus Associates gave a total of $2,000.

* The executives and spouses of executives at Lycon Group, a San Fernando Valley-based development company active in building single-family houses in Bernson’s district, gave a combined $2,000.


* Employees of ex-Councilman Art Snyder’s law firm gave a total of $1,500, while their spouses contributed another $1,000. Snyder’s firm represents numerous developers, including Watt Industries.

* Five labor unions representing city employees gave a total of $2,500.

* Five employees of Ken Spiker & Associates, a major lobbying firm for real estate interests at City Hall, gave a combined $2,500.

The contributions were added to $36,994 in the reelection committee’s coffers at the start of the reporting period. Bernson spent $83,618 during the six months, leaving $167,262 on hand for the campaign, according to the reports.


Expenditures included $7,829 to Cerrell & Associates, his Democratic political consultant, and $14,800 to Lawrence Research, a public opinion polling group.