Lots of money, Little suport

I trotted down to Irvine city hall and plunked over $23.80 for the full financial disclosures of all the candidates for Irvine City Hall next month.

The Register did me a favor (and saved me a ton of time) by breaking down how much money each candidate snagged and what percentage of it came from Irvine. Here is the link.

Before I really get started, I have stated on this board before that I was uncomfortable with the amount of outside money raised by Irvine candidates and this would include Sukhee Kang who is atop theleader board with nearly $144K raised.

John Duong came in second with $101K, but as the Register noted, only 13.5 percent of Duong’s contributions (in the amount of about $13.7K) came from Irvine. 42 of his 306 donors are Irvine voters and of those 42 are Mr. Duong and his wife ($390 each), Councilmember Shea ($100), candidate Bill Mavity ($390). Mavity also wrote a check to Shea for $390 while Shea wrote a check to Mavity for $100 (c’mon Christina, don’t you believe in your own candidates?).

Many of the Irvine only contributions are husband and wife teams and don’t represent the “huge response from Irvine residents” that Bartett described in his post “Irvine Money Chase.” Huge is a relative term here and Allen’s post (or should I say, “George’s” post?) is misleading once you look at the financial statements and many voters here won’t (Allen, you continue to whine about the Hometown Vote Guide as being illegal and unethical and partisan when your slate of candidates has signed up for the “OC Republican Leadership Voter Guide”– so again, I pose to you, partisan politics for Republicans = good; partisan politics for anyone else = bad?).

If memory serves me right, Councilmember Shea’s contributions pale in comparison to her previous races for office and Mr. Mavity has raised less than $8K himself, and is floating a loan in excess of $20K for his own campaign.

So let’s strip outside funding away from a moment. Based on Irvine-only contributions (and inlcuding all loans made by candidates to their own campaigns), here’s the real leader board:

Beth Krom: $45,524.00
Suhkee Kang: $36,826
Bill Mavity, $20,491
Christina Shea: $19,426
Mary Ann Gaido: $16,005
and dead last, John Duong with $13,705

Take away the loans paid to a candidate’s campaign from their own checkbook, Krom still holds more than a 2-to-1 advantage over Duong. Mavity would drop below Duong.

Mr. Duong walked my neighborhood last week; good territory for him with lots of Republicans. I missed him or he didn’t knock on my door.

But the reaction from my neighbors who sought me out afterwards was priceless: “He’s just 33! He says he was a Bush (43) appointee and worked for (Pete) Wilson, can you believe that?!” (HT to my neighbor Jeff for telling the story which such gusto and laughter). I told Jeff, it’s true.

It’s pretty bad when a liberal Dem has to confirm basic facts about a Republican candidate to a Republican voter.

Duong has little financial support from the voters he needs votes from to win. I expect the mud to start flinging soon with the war chest he’s built up.

And while Duong continues to retell his boat people story to each of my neighbors, well, that was 24-25 years ago and he has done quite well for himself since then.

But Beth Krom is running a city, raising three kids and attending to a husband who is disabled and is active with her own aging parents who have relocated here from Western New York. It is something to have done something courageous once in your life, but its quite another to show courage every single day. And she does.

I would love to restrict this election cycle to contributions only from Irvine voters. But it won’t be the case.


  1. Why do so many of us want to call the Repug candidate for Mayor “Long” John Duong?
    It is simply irrisistable

  2. Thanks for all that due diligence there Dan. BTW, my full name is George Allan Bartlett. I’m 6’0, brown eyes, light brown hair, male, 36 years old, and still live in the city where I grew up. Is that helpfull? I go by my middle name Allan. I knew you were just dying to know that weren’t you? LOL.

    Since you’re counting dollars from only Irvine residents Dan, how do you explain the hundreds of thousands of soft unreportable money that Larry has raised from those evil corporations and businesses in this and past years campaign war chests? That’s alright, you don’t have to answer that. You’re trying to have your cake and eat it too. I understand. Look I know you guys are scared to death in this election that we Republicans might actually use our 14 point registration edge to our benefit. You guys would do the same thing if the tables were reversed. Just get off your high horse “outside donations” screed.

  3. The fact is that Agran, Krom and Kang are doing a good job taking care of the city of Irvine.

    Most voters still like their city council races to be non partisan. If that was not the case – Irvine would be dominated by Reeps.

    Flush the money boys, I think the good people of Irvine like the representation they have in Agran Krom and Kang.

  4. You’re barking up the wrong tree Allan; Larry has been investigated more than any active politician in Orange County and there aren’t any charges against him. I don’t think thereis any “there,” there, because officials surely would have found it by now….

    You want to chat soft money; bring it on. How much has the Lincoln Club spent on Irvine races over the past decade…you defended the IRC which simply aims to add lots of soft money to Republican causes. How much outside soft money will the GOP bring into this race before its over? And Duong’s documents are loaded with donations from developers too (but I guess they’re not evil if they donate to Republicans are they?)

    C’mon; voters really don’t make up their minds because of a direct mail piece do they? Your criticism of Hometown Voter’s Guide is a smokescreen to hide the fact that Republicans have lost the last three mayoral contests here; there’s bo positive message. What are you running on? Traffic issues. Bu-wa-hahahahaha.

    If you read the last line of my post, I said I wish there was *no* outside money in this race and I mean it.

    Stop trying to make this race about Larry; he is NOT on the ballot this year. Beth is. I think you’re mad because I actually went and looked at the documents (and I see two examples were the contribution limit to Duong was exceeded, but more on that later) and found your post to be exceedingly rosy. Someone doesn’t come out of nowhere and raise that much money in this city that fast and voters here might get the wrong impression. Truth is, if Duong were elected, all the outside contributions would mke him more beholden to contributors than voters. And while the dollars are a tribute to your fundraising machine, they can’t vote. People do. Irvine residents do. And Beth has done a good job and deserves re-election.

    As far as your bio goes, think you are lucky to have grown up here.

    I have lived her for 9-1/2 years (aout three times longer than John). My hometown, Rome, NY, is very patriotic and historically significant; the Stars and Stripes flew for the first time in the face of the enemy. The bloodiest battle of the Revolution was fought there. And the author of the Pledge of Allegiance is buried there (he was a socialist BTW; Francis Bellamy…look it up). When my family visit me, they remind me I live in what amounts to a resort.

    Since I’m raising my kids here (and doing boy scouts, girl scouts, soccer, baseball, basketball, et al), this is my *home* now and I care about the character of the people who govern here (I have met Larry and spoken to him several times since 1999 and I don’t se the demon you see). I find Republicans here are not used to being challenged which is why THIS SITE rocks.

    But hey, as long as you don’t call me “Macaca” we’re cool.

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