As the final days of the City Council election approach, the mysterious Neighborhood Empowerment Coalition continues to report spending money in support of council candidates Ellen Kamei, Ken Rosenberg and Pat Showalter. All three have said they have not cooperated with the NEC and that the mailers have photos and information taken from their websites.
The NEC reported another round of mailers in Oct. 23 campaign spending disclosures, increasing its total spending on mailers for each candidate: $31,896 for Rosenberg, $19,603 for Showalter and $23,340 for Kamei. At least one of the mailers includes all three candidates.
The Long Beach-based group claims on its website to be a coalition of community members but has a Long Beach lawyer specializing in campaign finance as its only known member. It has reported receiving funds from Indian tribes, unions representing ship builders and iron workers, a DMV software company and perhaps most notably, the California Apartment Association.
The CAA is a landlord group opposed to rent control Kamei, Rosenberg and Showalter have all posted the CAA's endorsement on their campaign websites and oppose rent control.
PG&E has also funded the NEC. Rosenberg says his campaign is not funded or endorsed by PG&E, but Kamei and Showalter have taken campaign donations from the energy company.
None of the candidates reported spending their own campaign money over the voluntary limit of $22,689 that all the candidates agreed to at the start of the election, though some are coming close. The top spenders as of Oct. 18 are: Kamei, with $21,872; Rosenberg at $21,644; Greg Unangst at $18,896; and Lisa Matichak with $19,128.