$75,000 Labor-Backed Indie Campaign Surfaces In 8th District Backing Thrash-Ntuk
|(Feb. 1, 2020, 7:05 a.m.) -- A second organized-labor-funded independent campaign (not run by a candidate but supportive of a candidate) has surfaced seeking to influence the outcome of LB 2020 City Council elections.
In the 8th Council district, a "Committee on Behalf of Working Families To Support Tunua Thrash-Ntuk For Council," Sponsored By Labor Organizations," the campaign is funded with $75,000 in two Jan. 27 contributions: $50,000 from "United Food and Commercial Workers Active Ballot Club (California)" based in Washington, D.C. and $25,000 from "Dignity California SEIU Local 2015 PAC (based in Sacramento.) Eighth district Council incumbent Al Austin, seeking a third term, faces challenges from Ms. Thrash-Ntuk as well as Reform Ticket candidate Juan Ovalle.
As previously reported by LBREPORT.com, in the 6th Council district, an organized labor PAC has surfaced funded by the UniteHere! union for an independent campaign run by the L.A. County Federation of Labor to support electing challenger Suely Saro..
The common element: in both races, incumbents Austin (8th) and Andrews (6th) cast Sept. 19, 2017 votes against Council enactment of "Claudia's Law," a hotel-worker protective ordinance that would have assisted labor efforts to organize unrepresented LB hotel workers. The measure was opposed by LB hotel industry/hospitality interests, narrowly failed on a
Councilman Austin's vote infuriated a number of his traditional organized labor allies (he has long-time labor ties and is currently a business agent for AFSCME (a government employee union.) Like Andrews, Austin retains the endorsements by LB's politically active police and firefighter union PACs and Mayor Robert Garcia and his political allies.
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In addition to the $75,000 independent campaign funded by the UFCW and SEIU unions, Ms. Thrash-Ntuk, the executive director of an L.A. based non-profit that has facilitated affordable (subsidized) housing, reported (as of Jan. 18) $97,971 cash on hand in her own campaign.
As of Jan. 18, incumbent Austin had $35,141 cash on hand. Mr. Ovalle, running as an independent challenging a number of City Hall practices, had $16,632 and his campaign says it took in an estimated $8,000 from a well-attended Jan. 22 fundraiser that when combined with matching funds should deliver roughly $12,000 more for a competitive campaign.
Vote by mail ballots begin flying Feb. 3. If no candidate receives 50%+1 in the March 5, 2020 race, the top two finishers proceed to a November 2020 runoff.
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