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L.A. Council runoff: Buscaino outraises Furutani, gets union help

December 9, 2011 |  3:30 pm

LAPD Officer Joe Buscaino outpaced state Assemblyman Warren Furutani in campaign fundraising in the month after they came in first and second in a November primary election for an open Los Angeles City Council seat. 

According to financial reports released by the city’s Ethics Commission, Buscaino raised $115,814 and Furutani raised $70,823 between Nov. 3 and Dec. 3. The pair, who will square off in a runoff election Jan. 17, also each received an additional $30,000 in matching funds from the city during that period.

Both candidates received $100,000 in matching funds before the primary election. Candidates are eligible to receive up to $150,000 from the city.

Buscaino, a political novice, and Furutani, a Gardena Democrat who served on the Los Angeles Board of Education and the Los Angeles Community College District board before heading to the Legislature, are vying to represent the 15th Council District, which stretches from San Pedro to Watts. It has been vacant since former Councilwoman Janice Hahn was elected to Congress in a special election in July.

Over the last month, Buscaino benefited from a large chunk of independent spending by the Los Angeles Police Protective League. The union paid $75,000 for a television ad in which an announcer praises Buscaino as a veteran officer who "has seen firsthand the devastating effects of unemployment in our community." The announcer says Buscaino "serves as a senior lead officer in the Harbor Area" -- a statement that isn't quite true. While Buscaino did serve for several years in that capacity, he has been on leave from the Los Angeles Police Department since September.

Buscaino and Furutani will appear Tuesday at a candidates forum presented by the Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council. The event will be held at the Port of Los Angeles High School.


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-- Kate Linthicum at Los Angeles City Hall