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Shriver Leads Fundraising Race

By Jorge Casuso

Oct. 6 -- Thanks to nearly 350 contributions -- some from major celebrities and power brokers -- challenger Bobby Shriver leads the fundraising race for City Council, garnering more than $100,000, according to the latest campaign finance disclosure statements.

Raised in less than one month -- and with a list of contributors that include Clint Eastwood, Michael Ovitz and David Geffen -- Shriver's $105,085 puts him on a pace to easily set a fundraising record since individual contributions were capped nearly 20 years ago.

In fact, Shriver, a member of the Kennedy family, amassed more than double what Santa Monicans for Renetrs' Rights raised in the latest filing period, which began on July 1 and ended September 30. By comparison, the politically powerful tenants group raised $35,240, bringing its total to date to $118,144.

Of the other seven candidates who had submitted their financial statements by 5:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon (if mailed, the documents must bear a Tuesday post date), Michael Feinstein raised the second largest sum, followed by Matteo Dinolfo.

Feinstein, who is running as an independent after failing to win the SMRR endorsement, has raised $56,533, thanks in large part to a $36,744 loan and donations from nearly 200 contributors, nearly all of them from Santa Monica.

So far, Feinstein -- who was the top vote getter four years ago -- has spent $24,399, leaving him with an ending cash balance of $31,945 in his quest for a third council term.

Dinolfo, a physician who made an impressive showing in the council race two years ago, has raised $37,089, thanks to contributions from 163 supporters, most of whom gave the maximum $250. Sixty-five of the contributors are from Santa Monica.

Dinolfo, who, like Shriver, received the endorsement of the Chamber of Commerece, has spent $10,069, leaving him with $27,866 in hand and $16,950 in outstanding debts.

SMRR candidate Patricia Hofman has raised $9,473, including a $1,500 loan. The former school board president had $5,650 in hand after spending $3,637.

The two SMRR incumbents -- Mayor Richard Bloom and Councilman Ken Genser -- had raised $1,099 and $1,425 respectively. Bloom has spent no money, while Genser spent $560, leaving him with $1,166 in his campaign coffers as he seeks a record fifth term.

SMRR candidates don't need to raise large amounts of cash, since they can count on the group's hefty war chest and well-oiled political machine to run an independent campaign on their behalf.

The two members on the "Team for Change" slate, David Cole and Bill Bauer, raised $4,636 and $4,477 respectively. Cole, who made an unsuccessful bid for council four years ago spent $1,764, leaving him with $2,872. Bauer, a local political columnist, spent $2,003, leaving him with $2,474.

For his record pace, Shriver relied on 342 contributors, only 94 of whom live in Santa Monica. They included Housing and Urban Development head Henry Cisneros; Susan A. Buffet, daughter of billionaire Warren Buffet, and School Superintendent John Deasy.

Shriver spent $96,944, but had $74,051 in unpaid bills, leaving him with a cash balance of $82,192.

SMRR posted an ending balance of $57,549, after having spent a total of $89,067, $41,560 during the latest filing period.

Councilman Herb Katz, who has been a major fundraiser in his three previous council bids, and Maria Loya, a political newcomer who was the top vote getter at the SMRR convention, were among the candidates whose statements had not reached the City Clerk's office by the end of the work day Tuesday.


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