Money

By Jason Henry, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Posted: 04/12/15 – 3:23 PM PDT |

DIAMOND BAR — When Republican state Sen. Bob Huff campaigns for Los Angeles County supervisor next year, he’ll use roughly $300,000 he raised for a different race to help him compete.

It’s a common behind-the-scenes practice in California: A politician raises money for one race, only to use the funds for another, according to Bob Stern, former president of the Center for Governmental Studies and a proponent for limiting elected officials to one committee at a time.

“It happens and they’re allowed to do it,” Stern said. “It gives them a great incentive to fundraise, even though they don’t need the money, because later they’ll just transfer the money to another race.”

At a new conference Thursday, Huff announced his plan to seek Michael Antonovich’s seat representing residents of the 5th Supervisorial District. The outsized district stretches west from the county line in Claremont to Simi Valley and north from West Covina to Lancaster.

Although Huff raised $277,892 to run in the 55th Assembly District, a campaign there would have required him to run against close political ally Assemblywoman Ling-Ling Chang. It’s something Huff is not likely to do. He even donated $1,000 from his Assembly campaign to Chang’s committee for the same seat.

Huff said he opened his Assembly committee to raise money for his party, other candidates and for himself while he contemplated what to do after he termed out of the Senate. A run for state Assembly was one possible option, he said.

“When you’re a leader, you have to raise money and you need a vehicle to do it,” Huff said. “You prepare for different alternatives and the Assembly was certainly a logical spot.”

He certainly isn’t alone in the practice, according to experts.

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