Contributions to the contentious LA County district attorney race reveal divisions in support, a clear fundraising effort

(Illustration from the Los Angeles Times; photo by Getty Images)

Contributions to the contentious LA County district attorney race reveal divisions in support, a clear fundraising campaign

Data and images, 2024 elections, California politics

Gabrielle LaMarr LeMee
Sandhya Kambhampati

February 27, 2024

One week after the primaries, 12 candidates in favor


Los Angeles County




ttorney has raised almost $6.8 million dollars

combined, according to campaign finance data filings

. Some


much more than others. Nathan Hochman, who previously ran for state attorney general as a Republican, has raised more than double the amount of his neighbor.


, former federal prosecutor Jeff Chemerinsky. This year’s race features one of the largest primary fields in the office’s history.


February 26 Monday

George Gascn, who is running for re-election, ha


$435,000 raised. At this point in his 2020 bid, he had raised $341,000 in his candidate committee, but he also got about $2.5 million from outside committees that supported him. However, based on candidate committees alone, he is still far behind the competition.

Less than 5,000 people, organizations so far



PACs political action committees

accountable for the funds raised. Most support a single candidate, but about 100 have given to more than one candidate. Of those who split their support, more than half chose to include it

Deputy Dist. Atty. Erik

Siddall in her contributions.

Criminal justice reformers, labor unions and progressive advocacy groups support Gascn

Many of the major criminal justice reform donors who propelled Gascn to victory in 2020 still support him. Together, Patty Quillin,


philanthropist and wife of Netflix C

said Executive

Reed Hastings


Quinn Delaney, founder of an Oakland-based decriminalization organization


Elizabeth Simons, head of the nonprofit news organization


Marshall Project


and Kaitlyn Krieger, co-founder of a criminal justice reform organization, spent $3.7 million on elections


Gascn in 2020.

And they all support his re-election.

Other advocacy-focused donors include Progressive Era


and the advocacy group Planned Parenthood. Anne Devereux Mills


who worked to succeed




Trikes reform in California


and Anne Rosenbaum Irwin, founder of Smart Justice California


both contributed to his first race and contributed to his re-election campaign.

He has also received contributions from

unions such as

California is long

healthcare provider benefits union, Service Employees International Union Local 2015, Foremen’s Union Local 94 Political Action Fund, Laborers’ Local 300 and


National Union of Health Professionals.

Gascn planned sweeping, reformist changes from the moment he was sworn in, including banning prosecutors

see search

the death penalty, ending the practice of trying juveniles as adults, ending cash bail, and ending the use of sentencing enhancements. Almost all of Gascn’s challengers

has had

said they would reverse some of the changes he made on the first day of his term.





Torney’s office, law enforcement


and surety companies

Since becoming prosecutor, Gascn has been in a battle with members of his own office. Now its internal opposition

is largely



their support


Deputy Dist. Atty. Maria Ramirez, Assistant Dist. Atty. John McKinney, Deputy Dist. Atty. Jonathan Hatami and

Deputy Dist. Atty. Erik

Siddall. McKinney has received the most support from within


office with nearly $18,000 in contributions from 45 employees. Seventy-one members of the district attorney’s staff contributed to a candidate other than Gascn, who himself received only two contributions. But the firm employs almost a thousand lawyers, so this is only a small part of its workforce.

The LA County Assn. of Deputy District Attorneys, the union representing prosecutors under Gascn, endorsed its immediate former vice president




who served with them


advice from


directors for

ten 10


They The union

contributed $7,500 to his candidate committee and $3,000 to Ramirez. The group also donated $1,500 each to McKinney and Hatami. The association has


a tense relationship with Gascn.

Contributions from the police so far


and other members of law enforcement was low, totaling approximately $29.00


Hello Glendale Police Officers

Assoc. Assn.

PAC contributed to LA County Superior Court Judges Debra Archuleta, Hatami and Ramirez. The Burbank police officers

Assoc. Assn.

endorsed and given to Archuleta. The El Monte police officers

Assoc. Assn.

PAC gave to Hatami, who worked in the area.

In the 2020 race, law enforcement organizations, including the California Correctional Peace Officers Assn.,


Los Angeles Police Protective League




Peace Officers Investigations Assn. of California has spent millions to defeat his opponent, Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey. These organizations have not yet run any candidate campaigns this year.

Gascn instructed his prosecutors to no longer seek cash bail

in the front

all crimes and not

violent crimes, a policy recently adopted by the Los Angeles


Superior Court, although it is currently facing a lawsuit.

Hatami has been an outspoken opponent

to from


wide no bail


without bail

and Sat

ID card

that he would push for no bail

in the front

not all

violent crimes and



in the front

all crimes and violent crimes. Hatami has received approximately $17,000 from bail bonds companies and their employees.

Real estate and finance back Hochman

As in his 2022 campaign for

California one



Eneral against Rob Bonta, Hochman has received financial support from real estate and financial interests. More than that


people working in the real estate industry contributed $792,000

to Hochman

. About

sixty 60

Asset management investors and bankers contributed $118,000



[Graphic: Bar chart of real estate contributions]

Gerald Marcil,




onor and major real estate owner


is by far Hochman’s biggest supporter.

Through himself, his family and his companies, with his own contributions, but also through his family and his companies,

Marcil has donated nearly $550,000 to the committees supporting Hochman. He is also a major opponent of Gascn. Marcil spent $1.3 million on it

the Gascns

recall campaign and contributed to Hochman’s attorney general campaign.

Other industry donors include Bradley Mindlin, founder of real estate investment firm Oro Capital Advisors, and his wife


Lisa Mindlin, who did


contributed $44,000. Jeffrey A. Kaplan,


attorney and mobile home park owner, and his wife


Tracy Kaplan


gave $12,000



Owners of real estate development companies

Bryan, Marc and Marshall Ezralow

of their self-proclaimed real estate development company

gave a total of $19,000.

The real estate investment industry also played a role in the

remembering versus effort to remember

Gascn, but some of

Gascns from the public prosecutor

biggest opponents

from this industry in the field

have yet to return

for an opponent a rival

. Geoffrey Palmer, a billionaire real estate developer and major Republican donor


$2.2 million spent on Gascn recall

effort attempt

and $116,000 to support Hochman’s run for attorney general.

Douglas Emmett Properties,


a real estate investment firm co-founded and chaired by Dan Emmett and one of the largest owners of office buildings in Southern California, spent nearly $580,000 on the recall and $100,000 on Hochman’s attorney general.

Neither has contributed to any candidate this cycle.

Real estate developer and former Los Angeles mayoral candidate Rick Caruso gave $7,500 to Siddall. Caruso had previously endorsed the effort to recall Gascn and donated $45,000 to support his opponent


Lacey. Caruso had also organized a fundraiser to support Gascn ahead of the 2020 elections.

Chemerinsky’s growing support

More than one

a third of Chemerinsky’s support comes from working lawyers.

About approximately

380 attorneys in Southern California


from a wide range of companies and government agencies have donated nearly $370,000

in total

to his campaign.

Chemerinsky’s father, Erwin, a well

respected lawyer and dean of Berkeley Law, gave $7,500, the maximum contribution to a candidate committee. Jumpsuit, Jef


has received $30,000 from dozens of contributions from law professors and others in the academic community, more than any other candidate.

His greatest contribution comes from Charlene Marsh of Dallas,


who gave $42,500.

Many of Gascn’s major supporters remain largely silent

The Gascn 2020 elections and recall attempt raised a significant portion of the millions


was big

dollar donors. So far, most of these individuals have contributed only a fraction

of their previous donations

or not at all, perhaps hampered by the lack of an external committee without contribution limits.

George Soros


democratic mega

donor and founder of Open Society Foundations


$2.25 million spent

are Gascns

last November race.

Steven Robinson, owner of a craft brewery in Anaheim and husband of Janet Crown, a billionaire member of the Chicago-based Crown family, has funneled nearly $100,000


to the attempt to recall Gascn. He and Crown spent $12,000 supporting Siddall


$3,000 to Hochman.

Gascn is expected to make it to the primaries, so perhaps his former supporters will wait for the second half of the race to see who he will face.


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