Former Los Angeles mayor raises tens of thousands for possible run, records show
SACRAMENTO (AP) – Although he hasn’t officially announced plans to run for governor, former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan is collecting tens of thousands of dollars from political donors, campaign records show.
A new law recently signed by Gov. Gray Davis requires campaigns to report contributions of $5,000 or more to the secretary of state within 10 days. That’s given a new glimpse into Riordan’s fund-raising.
In four days in September, Republican Riordan raised at least $385,000 in large contributions.
The largest contribution, $100,000, came from Alex Spanos, owner of the San Diego Chargers football team and a longtime Republican activist. Riordan is expected to announce his candidacy in October.
Riordan, a wealthy businessman with a history of self-financing large chunks of his campaigns, is considered Davis’ most financially daunting opponent. Davis had raised $30.5 million by the midpoint of this year, setting a pace for the governor’s race next year to become one of the most expensive in the nation’s history.
In the past, candidates and campaign committees were only required to disclose contributions twice a year, in July and January, during non-election years. They had to report more often in election years.
But the new campaign finance reporting requirements mean large contributions are being made public almost daily, and candidates must report donations for the third quarter of the year by Oct. 10.
The new law led Davis adviser Garry South to send a memo to the governor’s contributors telling them any contributions they make to Riordan would be easy to detect.
Dan Schnur, a Riordan adviser, called the letter a ”ham-handed attempt to threaten potential donors with political retribution.” Smith said he was only trying to explain the new requirements to donors.
As of the midyear reporting period, Republican candidate William E. Simon Jr. had raised $3.1 million. Secretary of State Bill Jones, another GOP candidate for governor, had raised roughly $1 million.
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