ELECTIONS / LOS ANGELES CITY COUNCIL : Picus Rival Leading in Campaign Funds Race : City Council: Laura Chick has raised $52,000 in her bid to unseat her former boss in District 3. Raymond J. Magana leads green-paper chase in District 7.
With help from a group of City Hall heavy-hitters that include associates of her husband, who is a city airport commissioner, candidate Laura Chick has raised $52,000 in her campaign to unseat Los Angeles City Councilwoman Joy Picus in the April 20 election.
Disclosure reports filed Monday with the city Ethics Commission show that Chick, a former aide to Picus, was far and away the most successful fund-raiser of 21 candidates running for two City Council seats based wholly in the San Fernando Valley and has tapped into City Hall insiders who normally give to incumbents.
Chick is seeking to oust Picus from the District 3 seat representing the southwestern Valley, a seat she has held since 1977.
Picus had not submitted a financial statement to the Ethics Commission as of 5 p.m. Monday, the deadline for filing the documents--but she did not previously file the report required of a candidate who reaches $50,000 in contributions, indicating she has raised less than that.
The reports due Monday were to reveal the campaign fund-raising activities of candidates between July 1 and Dec. 31 of 1992. Several candidates for the two Valley seats up for grabs had not started raising funds or had only just begun before Dec. 31.
In the race to replace District 7 Councilman Ernani Bernardi in the northeast Valley, Sylmar attorney Raymond J. Magana sprinted to an early fund-raising lead.
Magana, a former aide to Bernardi, reported raising $31,505. He is among a dozen candidates seeking to replace Bernardi in the heavily Latino district. Bernardi, 81, is stepping aside to run for mayor.
Among the well-known contributors to Chick’s war chest were attorney Johnnie Cochran and Kaiser Permanente executive Leland Wong, both of whom sit on the city’s five-member Airport Commission with Chick’s husband, Robert Chick, an insurance company executive.
Robert Chick is president of the Airport Commission, a powerful panel whose members are appointed by the mayor.
Cochran’s wife and his father also contributed to Chick’s campaign, as did Jerry Epstein, a former airport commissioner, and Steve Greenberg, son of the late Sam Greenberg, longtime airport commissioner and owner of Sam’s U-Drive in Van Nuys.
Among the other City Hall insiders contributing to Chick’s campaign were library commissioner Sanford Paris, owner of industrial parks; Harbor Commissioner Ron Lushing, a real estate investor; attorney Dan Garcia, a Warner Bros. executive and former president of the city Planning Commission; attorney Peter Kelly, former chairman of the state Democratic Party; Lucy Gage, wife of former deputy mayor Mike Gage; and Steve Afriat, a prominent City Hall political consultant who worked for the owners of the controversial Warner Ridge property in their successful fight with Picus.
Other candidates for the Picus seat who filed financial reports by Monday were Woodland Hills businessman David Moles, who reported raising $4,385, and Robert Gross, head of the Woodland Hills Homeowners Organization, who reported $200.
Five other District 3 candidates had not filed reports as of Monday. They were: Michael McGarrity, a Woodland Hills businessman; Morton S. Diamond, a Canoga Park man who ran against Picus in 1989; Dennis Zine, a Los Angeles Police Department sergeant; Glenn Christopher Trujillo Bailey, an elected member of a conservation board; and Charles Dana Nixon III, a Woodland Hills builder.
Picus aides said Monday that her financial statement was complete, but they declined to make it available to The Times. Failure to submit the statement by Feb. 1 is punishable by a fine, but if Picus mailed the statement with a Feb. 1 postmark, that will qualify as meeting the deadline.
In the District 7 race, Anne Finn, widow of former Councilman Howard Finn, raised the second largest war chest, $30,075. Of her total, $25,000 was a personal loan to her campaign. Placing third, with $11,875, was Richard Alarcon, Mayor Tom Bradley’s Valley liaison officer.
City Fire Capt. Lyle Hall, who came in second to Bernardi in a 1989 runoff election, was a distant fourth in fund raising. Hall raised $6,500, including a $4,500 loan from himself.
Magana, a former Bernardi aide, attracted numerous contributions from builders, attorneys and real estate agents in the district. Among his individual givers were Garcia and well-known anti-gang activist Efren (Shorty) Olvera.
Magana also received money from organized labor, including $250 from Jerry D. Shrieves, president of the United Auto Workers local that represented workers at the now-closed General Motors assembly plant in Panorama City, which lies in the 7th District.
The Laborers International Union, which includes a Valley-based local that represents many Latino construction workers, contributed $500; the District Council of Carpenters gave another $500.
Magana said his total shows “that people see me as a viable candidate.” He said his union contributions indicate that Hall, one of his chief rivals, is losing labor support, one of Hall’s key strengths against Bernardi in 1989. Organized labor, Magana asserted, recognizes that the district’s population is heavily Latino and that key neighborhoods that backed Hall in 1989 have since been reapportioned into a different district.
“I think there’s a lot of skepticism on people’s part on whether or not they ought to contribute to Lyle Hall,” he said.
Hall denied that, saying his labor support is “as strong as it ever was.” He said he recently garnered the backing of the Valley Labor Political Education Committee, a group of AFL-CIO union locals in the Valley.
Finn said that although most of her money is a loan from herself, she expects to pull in funds from individuals “in due time.” Finn said she does not enjoy asking people for money but that her campaign has a couple of fund-raisers planned.
Alarcon, the Bradley aide, drew contributions from family members, City Hall associates and several local business firms.
He received $500 from Sherman Oaks attorney Ben Reznik, who often represents developers in city zoning matters. Like Magana, Alarcon received $500 from Daniel Garcia, the Warner Bros. executive.
Alarcon’s other donors included prominent criminal defense attorney James Blatt of Encino, who gave $100, and Fausto Capobianco, former top local aide to Rep. Howard Berman (D-Panorama City), who kicked in $125. Berman is supporting his top local assistant, Rose Castaneda, in the race.
Leroy Chase, director of the Boys & Girls Club of San Fernando Valley, raised $6,340, including $6,100 in cash he contributed to his campaign.
Former produce wholesaler Al Dib reported $1,050 in contributions, including a $1,000 loan from himself.
Castaneda, city librarian Jose Galvan, job-training counselor Irene Tovar, elementary school teacher Henry R. Villafana and Sharon Humphrey-Peterson reported raising no money during the period.
Candidate Sandra L. Hubbard could not be reached for comment Monday.