With Tuesday’s primary election looming, incumbent county Supervisor Andrew Do continues to raise campaign cash at a far faster rate than his chief rivals in the race for his First District seat.
Do, a Republican, brought in $74,850 in May, bringing his total for the election cycle to $435,086, according to the most recent campaign finance reports. The reports include all fundraising up to May 21, and contributions of $1,000 or more since that date.
Do’s haul dwarfs the fundraising of Democratic Santa Ana Councilwoman Michele Martinez and Republican Garden Grove Councilman Phat Bui. The reports show Martinez raising a total of $69,167, including $12,222 in May; and Bui’s total at $25,440, with $5,350 coming in May. Bui has also loaned his campaign $152,000 of his own money.
The top two vote-getters in the primary will face off in the November general election.
Like his fellow supervisors, Do has fundraised largely from people and companies who do business with the county and its public health insurance plan CalOptima. In many cases Do has a role in deciding who gets contracts and how much they get paid.
All told, the reports show Do raising at least $107,000 from people and organizations who do business with the county; $36,000 from CalOptima contractors; and $40,000 from local doctors. About 80 percent of all doctors in the county participate in CalOptima programs, according to the agency.
Individual contributions to Do include the maximum of $1,900 from social services contractor Maximus; parking lot contractor Parking Concepts, Inc.; developers of the controversial Esperanza Hills project; and Jim McConnell, the county’s contract lobbyist in Washington, D.C.
McConnell, who hasn’t had his county contract put out to a competitive bid since at least 2002, receives $252,000 per year from the county plus up to $40,000 annually for travel and other expenses.
Martinez has also been fundraising from people and groups who have business before the city of Santa Ana – raising at least $20,000 of her campaign cash from such sources.
This includes three $1,900 donations from people connected to city transportation contractor Cordoba Corp, at least four separate $500 donations from medical marijuana dispensary owners, $1,900 from local developer Michael Harrah, and $1,000 from the local firefighters’ union.
Bui, meanwhile, has done relatively little fundraising beyond his personal campaign loans. Most of his donations are under $300 each, often from people with middle-class jobs like a pharmacist, hair stylist, and public school teacher.
Bui has just four maxed-out $1,900 contributions, compared to over 100 for Do and 18 for Martinez.
Do’s average contribution is $721, Martinez’s is $470, and Bui’s is $397.
Campaign filings also show a $14,000 mailer expenditure against Do by an outside political committee on May 31.
The funding source for California Future Fund PAC’s mailers has not yet been disclosed.
Its only reported contributions in since last July were $5,000 last August from county lobbyist Roger Faubel’s firm and $2,500 the same month from a committee run by county lobbyist Lyle Overby.
Those funds were all spent by the end of last year on expenses not related to Do, according to the committee’s filings, leaving the funding source of the anti-Do mailers a mystery for the time being.
The May 31 mailers against Do were the only independent expenditure reported in the First District race as of Friday.
Clarification: This article has been updated to explain that last year’s independent committee donations from Roger Faubel and Lyle Overby’s organizations were not spent on the anti-Do mailers, according to campaign filings. It has also been updated to clarify that Roger Faubel is a lobbyist and to remove a reference to him being a county contractor. Faubel says his county contract work ended in 2014.
News intern Kaitlin Washburn and senior reporter Tracy Wood contributed data analysis to this report.
Nick Gerda covers county government for Voice of OC. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.