Challenger Steve Dicterow trails the three other declared candidates running for Laguna Beach’s City Council in cash on hand for the upcoming campaign as well as in total fundraising, according to campaign disclosure statements released last Thursday.
Dicterow, who decided against seeking re-election in 2006 but has had a change of heart since, has $3,165 in his treasury and collected $5,993 in contributions.
Challenger Robert Whalen possesses the largest campaign warchest with $38,373, outstripping incumbents Verna Rollinger and Jane Egly, reporting $31,983 and $9,317 respectively, in campaign disclosure documents filed by the July 31 deadline.
Though the office is non-partisan and voters are free to cast ballots without regard to geographic districts, both Rollinger and Dicterow campaign signs were visible this week in the windows of the respective local Democratic and Republican headquarters, established within a block of each other in the 1400 block of Coast Highway.
“Democrats have always carried my signs,” Rollinger said by email, sidestepping a question about interjecting party affiliation into a non-partisan race.
“I’m not running as a Republican,” said Dicterow, even though at his initial kick-off party he sought and received the endorsement of the GOP’s Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, expected to represent Laguna as a result of redistricting.
Though his voter registration reads Republican, Dicterow describes himself as a social libertarian, who rejects his party’s traditionally conservative positions on gay marriage and abortion rights, but generally embraces the notion of a minimalist government and individual freedoms. “I’m not an ideologue; I go issue by issue,” he said.
Among Dicterow’s supporters, one dyed-in-the-wool Republican stands out: Irvine attorney Donald H. Segretti, who served jail time for running a political sabotage campaign for Nixon in the 1972 election. He contributed $100.
“Don has done his time,” said Dicterow, who described Segretti as a friend, whose legal specialty is bankruptcy work and with whom he consults over business related legal issues.
Other Dicterow contributors include former council member Cheryl Kinsman and her husband Michael, president of Laguna’s Chamber of Commerce; Fred Sattler, president of the Festival of Arts; and Seven Degrees event center owner Mark Orgill.
Sattler also contributed to Whalen’s campaign along with other locals, former mayor Kathleen Blackburn, real estate investor Bill Shopoff, filmmaker Greg MacGillivray, developer Joe Hanauer, and City Council incumbents Kelly Boyd and Elizabeth Pearson.
Egly’s supporters also include Boyd, Whalen’s campaign treasurer Matt Lawson, Hobie co-owner Mark Christy, Firebrand Media owner Allan Simon and architect Morris Skenderian.
Rollinger’s supporters include former mayor Robert Gentry, green-building consultant Chris Prelitz, Newport Beach’s Women in Leadership PAC and Friendship Shelter founder Colin Henderson among others.
Council critic Eli Grossman announced this week he would not be seeking public office due to economic constraints.