The latest campaign finance disclosure reports give evidence that the corruption scandals swirling around Sheriff Mike Carona translated into cash for his two key challengers, Bill Hunt and Ralph Martin.
In activity between March 18 and May 20, Hunt and Martin raised a combined $75,000. The two-term incumbent received only $42,000. Individually, Hunt raised almost $39,000 during the period. Contributors gave Martin nearly $36,000.
Still, Carona has a huge lead in cash-on-hand ($322,000) going into the final days of the election. Hunt has $15,000 left. Martin reported $11,000 in the bank, according to his campaign report.
Despite the fund-raising advantage, the sheriff apparently thinks he's going to need more money. In recent weeks, he's made calls demanding that his big donors give more. Martin thinks he knows why. The LA Sheriff's commander says his television campaign commercial–the one that features a photo of Carona embracing a Las Vegas strip club owner and mob associate–has not just captured attention but angered the public.
“People are just blown away when they see their sheriff with that guy,” said Martin.
If a candidate does not get more than 50 percent in the June 6 election, there will be a run-off in November between the top two finalists.
See the Weekly's online Sheriff's Scandal archive for stories about Carona's reign.