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2018 Election: Local groups provide financial support for and against causes and candidates

By BARBARA DIAMOND

September 23 was the deadline for groups to file financial statements, but reports submitted subsequent to that date show substantial donations and expenditures for and against candidates and causes.

Liberate Laguna PAC had reported total donations of $72,403 as of September 23.

On statements covering the period since September 23, cash contributions of $92,502 and nonmonetary contributions of $60,000 raised the total to $152,502.

4GWireless, Mo Honarkar’s Irvine-headquartered business, donated $20,000 on October 9. Dornin Investment Group added $10,000 on October 19. Heisler Building owner Sam Goldstein made $5,000 contributions on October 3 and 19, and Laguna Beach developer Michael Ray contributed $10,000 on October 11 to bring his total investment to $22,000.

Goldstein also filed a 24-hour contribution report on September 30, listing $1,000 contributions to Todd Spitzer, who is running for Orange County District Attorney, and Tom Unger, candidate for the state Senate, and $5,000 to Liberate Laguna. 

Expenditures included payments in October for mailers opposing the elections of former mayor Ann Christoph and incumbent Toni Iseman and support for art gallery owner Peter Blake and Planning Commissioner Sue Kempf.

Supporters and opponents of Measure P, the one percent sales tax increase to fund undergrounding utility poles along major evacuation routes and other fire prevention projects, also increased their war chests. 

Yes on P to protect and keep Laguna Beach Fire Safe was sponsored by Mayor Kelly Boyd, Mayor Pro Tem Rob Zur Schiede and Councilman Bob Whalen. The proposition requires a two-thirds majority vote to pass.

The group raised $27,157 since September 23 an spent $36,736 of the total $64,893 in donations for the calendar year.

Major donors after September 23 included Mohammed “Mo” Honarkar, $5,000 on September 25; Tom Gibbs, $2,000 on September 25; Zur Schmiede For Council, $2,005 on September 30; Mozambique owner, Ivan Spiers, $3,000 on October 9; and Stuart Beal, $2,500 on October 8; 

Expenditures for the period between September 23 and October 20 came to $27,287 and totaled $36,736.17 for the year, as of the later date.

Stop Taxing Our Property, founded by Laguna Beach attorney Jennifer Zeiter to defeat Measure P, raised $8,018.22 between October 1 and October 25, for a total of $11,530.22 for the year to date. An additional $711.66 in nonmonetary contributions was recorded.

Car dealership owner David Wilson and Howard Hills were major donors. The $5,115 contributed by Wilson was spent on direct mailers.

The Laguna Beach Police Employees Association PAC reported spending $7,382.53 each in support of Kempf and Kinsman and $7,382,54 to support Iseman. 

Village Laguna Inc. reported the restoration of $4,100 to its general account from its campaign account. 

“It wasn’t spent so it was returned,” said Johanna Felder, president of community group.

The Rob Zur Schmiede Committee reported as of October 20, pro-rata refunds to donors to his truncated campaign and a $2,005 donation to Yes on P.