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Candidates take different fundraising paths

Gabel-Luddy leads Frutos in donations as council campaign nears end.

April 01, 2011|By Gretchen Meier, gretchen.meier@latimes.com

With just a few days left until the April 12 deadline for Burbank’s mail-in election, the most recent financial disclosures by City Council candidates Bob Frutos and Emily Gabel-Luddy reveal differing strategies for raising funds.

Nearly neck-and-neck in fundraising for the most recent disclosure period between Feb. 17 and March 26, Frutos raised slightly more than $6,000, bringing his total to $15,587, while Gabel-Luddy added $5,049 to reach $21,696 as the pair heads into April. The totals include funds raised during both the primary and general elections.

The majority of Frutos’ money has come from Burbank citizens, while many of Gabel-Luddy’s financial supporters are from outside the city’s boundaries.

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“I wanted to make sure I had complete transparency and the people of Burbank see that I am the right choice for City Council,” said Frutos, a 24-year member of Los Angeles Police Department and current Burbank Police Commission chairman. “This clearly demonstrates that my whole campaign is based around being the candidate of Burbank.”

Gabel-Luddy, a former city planner for the city of Los Angeles and current Burbank Planning Board Member, acknowledged that a number of her contributors are not Burbank voters, but instead are family members, friends, former co-workers and people she has met over the last 20 years, including a number of architects and developers.

“When I first talked about running for office, a lot of people asked how they could help,” she said. “Since they couldn’t vote for me, they’ve offered to do other things, like host fundraisers or meet-and-greets.”

The Burbank Municipal Code limits the amount contributors can donate to local campaigns to $250 per contributor per election. The primary and general elections are considered separate contests under the rule.

A little fewer than half of Gabel-Luddy’s 79 individual, corporate and business contributors donated the maximum, with Warner Bros. and the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters writing checks for $250 in both the primary and election elections.

“I think it’s a healthy cap and many of my contributions are below that cap,” Gabel-Luddy said. “I think it’s an appropriate one for Burbank.”

Only 25 out of Frutos’ 69 contributors gave the $250 maximum. A total of six — including the Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros. and four Burbank residents — contributed $250 in both elections.

“I think it speaks volumes that small businesses that are struggling in this economy have stepped up and contributed to my campaign,” Frutos said. “It shows the quality of leadership people are working for.”
 
 

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