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Candidates scramble to raise money

New rules mean that grassroots outreach efforts are increasingly important.

March 29, 2011|By Melanie Hicken,

CITY HALL — Fundraising for Tuesday’s Glendale City Council race remains far behind the levels reached in 2007, the last time two seats on the council were up for grabs, but it has advanced significantly from where it was just four weeks ago.

As of March 19, former Glendale City Councilman Rafi Manoukian had the largest campaign war chest, with $32,156 raised between Jan. 1 and March 19, according to the latest campaign finance filings filed with the city clerk’s office. That total is nearly 75% less than the roughly $121,000 Manoukian raised for the same period in his 2007 campaign, in which he ultimately lost his seat.

Manoukian, who could not be reached for comment Tuesday, has said he is taking a more grassroots approach to this campaign and putting less of a focus on building up a massive war chest.


Incumbent Councilmen John Drayman and Dave Weaver were close behind, with $26,293 and $23,808, respectively, according to the filings, while challengers Garen Mailyan, Chahe Keuroghelian and Mike Mohill trail with $7,790, $3,000 and $1,420, respectively.

While the latest fundraising totals show an improvement to last month’s figures — when Weaver led the field with roughly $9,000 raised — the totals are still dramatically lower than the 2007 campaign.

The six candidates have raised a combined $94,467, less than a third of the money raised during the same time period of the 2007 campaign, according to campaign disclosure forms.

Candidates have attributed the anemic levels to the protracted recession, but also to stricter campaign finance rules, which include a $1,000 limit on contributions, passed by the City Council in 2008. While the regulations affected a portion of the 2009 election fundraising period, the election on April 5 is the first cycle to come entirely under the new rules.

“I said it when we adopted these new regulations, it was going to dramatically affect council elections,” Weaver said on Monday.

The latest disclosure forms show that more than 70% of Weaver’s campaign cash has come from individuals and businesses located outside the city of Glendale or La Crescenta, compared to roughly a third for Manoukian and roughly a quarter for Drayman.

Weaver said the new rules have forced him to expand his fundraising reach, adding that companies that do business with the city are barred from donating.

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