So far more than $500,000 in independent money has been spent on Los Angeles City Council races, the City Ethics Commission announced Wednesday.
The vast majority of those independent expenditures — money spent by outside groups on radio, TV, and print ads to support or oppose candidates — is being funneled into the 8th District race between incumbent Bernard Parks and union-backed Forescee Hogan-Rowles.
In 2007 the 8th District race received less than $2000 in outside money, all of which went to support Parks. With almost three weeks still to go, the same district has already pulled in more than $446,000 — more than a 22,000 percent increase.
Even before Jeff Denham was sworn into Congress in January with a promise to "stand up for the community," California's only Republican freshman U.S. representative began surrounding himself with former and current lobbyists from big money political campaigns.
Just after Denham was elected to Congress from California's 19th district in November, he created JEFF PAC and America's New Majority. The creation of JEFF PAC makes him one of only two freshman members of Congress to have already formed a leadership political action committee, or PAC, an organization used to raise money for election campaigns.
Federal Election Commission filings for the two PACs show they have already received contributions from interests that often lobby the very congressional committees Denham sits on — Natural Resources, Transportation and Infrastructure, and Veterans' Affairs.