Antonio Villaraigosa's Fundraiser o' the Day
It's Day 3 of the great Antonio Villaraigosa fundraiser marathon -- 11 events in nine days -- and our man in City Hall, David Zahniser, is back with the details. In this installment, a two-fer that packs a punch. Take it away, Dave:
Villaraigosa had a noon re-election event in downtown Los Angeles, then flew up to San Francisco for a 6 p.m. appearance with former Assembly Speaker Willie Brown and Darius Anderson, president of the lobbying firm Platinum Advisors. (A bit more on that tomorrow.)
The noon fundraiser was co-hosted by developer David Chang and Kerman Maddox, a consultant whose firm earned some cash when it worked on Villaraigosa’s grand plan to gain more control over Los Angeles Unified School District.
Dakota Communications, Maddox's lobbying and consulting firm, has such clients as Los Angeles World Airports and Westfield, the shopping mall owner. Last year, the firm entered the spotlight when it represented Home Depot as the hardware giant waged a bitter fight to open in Sunland-Tujunga.
Home Depot gave Dakota nearly $308,000 last year to lobby City Hall, according to reports filed with the city’s Ethics Commission. During that campaign, a Dakota memo surfaced showing that the firm planned to charge Home Depot roughly $24,000 to transport 150 supporters in orange T-shirts to City Hall to speak on behalf of the project.
In the memo, Dakota also promised to submit an op-ed piece to various newspapers that told a "wonderfully sincere and compelling story" about the Home Depot’s commitment to Los Angeles in the aftermath of the 1992 riots.
Although Home Depot is still working to get building permits in Sunland-Tujunga, Dakota no longer represents the company.
See you back tomorrow for Day 4 of our look at Antonio Villaraigosa's fundraising.
--Veronique de Turenne
Photo: Los Angeles Times