Circling the News received an email titled “Grassroots Kickoff and Fundraiser,” announcing that CD-11 Councilman Mike Bonin has launched his fundraising for re-election in 2022.
The text reads: “Councilmember Mike Bonin is not your typical public official, and that often gets him into hot water. Most politicians are afraid of controversy but Mike works to confront our biggest challenges head-on and tackle the thorniest issues. It’s not always pretty, but we all know that’s the only way we’ll ever meaningfully address the major crises that LA is facing.
“Join Co-Hosts Ruben Aronin, Annie Bickerton, Jessica Craven, Greg Ericksen, Naomi Goldman, Rev. Zach Hoover, Sarah Jakle, Josh Kamensky, David Levitus, Marty Longbine, Loraine Lundquist, Faizah Malik, Christine Margiotta, Lulu Mickelson, Sam Prater, Meghan Sahli Wells, Ingrid Steinberg, Eric Stockel, Allison Thomas, Teresa Wang, Brooke Wirtschafter & Jonathan Yang on May 10 at 7 p.m. Zoom.”
The levels to participate include: $800 Host; $500 Co-Host; $250 Champion; $114 Sustainer; $50 Supporter and $20.22 Friend.
The invite continued, “LA Residents: As part of an effort to reduce the influence of special interests, the Los Angeles Public Matching Funds Program will match your first $114 in contributions at a rate of 6 to 1.”
As many readers may remember, CTN recently wrote an opinion piece urging Palisadian activist Maryam Zar to run for Bonin’s seat.
This, of course, would be a daunting challenge. All the emails that the Councilman has accumulated during his first two terms in office mean he can send fundraising information unabated to thousands of potential voters.
Additionally, the most a single person can give to a campaign is $800. But there is a lovely legal loophole. Residents, nonprofits, developers and lobbyists can contribute unlimited amounts to a Mayor’s or Councilmember’s nonprofit fund.
Bonin’s nonprofit is Los Angeles Forward and the donations to that nonprofit can be found on the L.A. City Ethics website (ethics.lacity.org).
Unless they are multi-millionaires, most newcomers running for political office against a well-funded incumbent are severely handicapped because of the incumbent’s fundraising capacity and extensive mailing lists.