Seeking an edge over incumbents, these l. a. city hall candidates are saying no to real estate developer donations – la times

A Los Angeles lawmaker called Monday for the city to move to a public financing system for local elections, saying it would help address fears that wealthy donors buy influence at City Hall.

Councilman Mike Bonin said he wants voters to consider a proposal next year that would allow candidates… How much savings are you allowed on housing benefit (Emily Alpert Reyes and David Zahniser)

Some of the candidates running against Councilmen Mike Bonin, Mitch O’Farrell and Paul Koretz have made developer donation pledges of their own. Www gov housing benefit In response, the mayor and those incumbents have insisted that political contributions have nothing to do with their votes.

“I make my decisions based not on any donations I ever receive, but on the strength of people’s proposals,” Garcetti said last week.

 “I’ve had people who have donated to me whose proposals I’ve rejected, and vice versa.”

Some of the campaigns have dismissed the pledges as a gimmick. Political consultant Parke Skelton, who is running the Koretz campaign in a Westside-to-Encino district, recently called the idea of declining all developer money “ridiculous.”

“There are zillions of different kinds of developers. How do i apply for housing benefit online People who build affordable housing and are good developers,” Skelton said. Housing benefit overpayments “Everyone knows the city needs a certain amount of development in order to exist.”

Nevertheless, Koretz was among a handful of council members who recently proposed banning donations from developers currently or recently seeking city approvals. Do i qualify for housing benefit That proposal was an acknowledgement that many Angelenos think campaign money drives such decisions at City Hall, even as elected officials insist it doesn’t.

Accusations that City Hall has a “pay to play” system for approving development are being made by backers of Measure S, a bitterly contested proposal also on the March ballot that would restrict some large-scale real estate projects.

Two candidates said their pledges were also spurred, in part, by The Times’ investigation into Sea Breeze, a 352-unit apartment project approved by Garcetti and the City Council in 2015. How to apply housing benefit The Times found that donors with ties to the Sea Breeze developer gave more than $600,000 to L.A.-area politicians while his project was being considered.

For the challengers, swearing off developer donations is a way of turning the advantages held by incumbents against them. Who qualifies for housing benefit Most of the candidates who have promised not to accept developer donations have raised only a small fraction of the money that the incumbents have garnered. Change address for housing benefit Schwartz, for example, has taken in roughly one-eighth of the amount collected by Garcetti, reports show.

Campaign donations were also a major issue when Garcetti ran for mayor four years ago. How do you claim housing benefit But that year, in the wake of a major budget crisis, the debate revolved around contributions by city employee unions, some of which had fought efforts to reduce pension benefits and cut the size of the city workforce.

During that campaign, Garcetti attacked his opponent, then-City Controller Wendy Greuel, for her support from the Department of Water and Power’s largest employee union, which poured money into a campaign committee set up to support her candidacy.

This time around, with new multi-story building projects being proposed in Hollywood, Koreatown and the Westside, many candidates are turning their focus to developers.

In an Echo Park-to-Hollywood district, at least two candidates trying to unseat City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, Sylvie Shain and Jessica Salans, have pledged not to accept developer donations. Council tax and housing benefit calculator Shain, a tenant activist, said the pledge will “restore confidence.”

A state agency that enforces campaign finance laws has launched an investigation in response to a Times report on political donations connected to the developer of a Harbor Gateway apartment project.

Attorney Jesse Creed, who is battling Koretz, said developer donations are “corrupting to the process.” Mark Ryavec, a Venice slow-growth advocate who is running against Bonin to represent coastal neighborhoods, said the zoning process is “driven by campaign cash.”

“The public is rightfully disgusted,” Ryavec said. Housing benefit number wigan Both Creed and Ryavec have promised not to take donations from developers with projects pending at City Hall.

Such allegations infuriate some housing activists who say the city needs much more development to drive down rents. Housing benefit documents The demonization of developers is a disturbing trend that stunts growth, said Mark Vallianatos, spokesman for the advocacy group Abundant Housing L.A.

“The idea that this business is especially evil turns people against the very important economic activity that we need much more of,” said Vallianatos, who is also an opponent of Measure S.

Vallianatos and his allies say much more scrutiny should be placed on the political clout of homeowner groups, which prevent large projects from getting approved and dissuade city leaders from changing zoning laws so that denser developments can be built.