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Money matters in 2012 election

April 29, 2011|By Bill Kisliuk, bill.kisliuk@latimes.com
  • Rep. Brad Sherman, 29th Congressional District, at a candidates forum in the council chambers of Burbank City Hall on Wednesday, October 27, 2010. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer)
Rep. Brad Sherman, 29th Congressional District, at a…

The landscape for the 2012 election is uncertain for local members of Congress, but Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) has the biggest war chest for whatever battle he has to wage.

Sherman has nearly $3.1 million in his campaign account, far more than his legislative neighbor, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), or the next legislative neighbor over, Rep. David Dreier (R-San Dimas), whose district includes La Cañada Flintridge.

With the election 18 months away, it is too early to know who will challenge the incumbents. And with the California Citizen’s Redistricting Commission expected to draw new political boundaries later this year, the lawmakers do not know the exact territory they hope to represent.

Los Angeles County may lose a congressional district, as the population has grown in the Inland Empire and Central Valley. Dreier’s territory may go farther into San Bernardino County. Schiff, in a fundraising letter, told potential donors his new district may include traditionally Republican communities to the east. Burbank, shared by Sherman and Schiff, may be placed in a single district.

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Sherman raised $157,000 in the filing period that closed March 31, according to the Federal Election Commission. Several donors gave $5,000, including the American Crystal Sugar Co. PAC; the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers PAC; the Israel Project; and executives with Manhattan Beach life sciences investment firm Emergent Medical Partners.

Schiff raised $216,000 in the first three months of the year and has $1.9 million on hand. He received $10,000 each last quarter from executives with Spanish-language network Univision; the family of Nelson Rising, who formerly ran downtown commercial developer MPG Office Trust; and arts producer Joan Quinn and her husband John Quinn, an attorney.

Dreier raised just $14,000 in the quarter and his campaign account has $729,000. But Dreier raised more than $1.2 million for his 2010 race and traditionally has received strong backing from the construction and defense industries.

State Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) is running for Congress in what is presumptively Dreier’s district. He took in $93,000 from January through March, and has $117,000 in his congressional account. ActBlue, a political action committee supporting Democratic candidates around the country, gave Portantino roughly $27,000.

Political boundaries are being drawn

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