'3Ms' lead in campaign donations

City council candidates Mensinger, McCarthy lead their slate. Stephens, Weitzberg top CM4RG ticket in donations.

August 03, 2012|By Joseph Serna

The three members of a political slate backed by a majority of the Costa Mesa City Council is leading in campaign donations, public records show.

In overall campaign funding, Planning Commission Chairman Colin McCarthy led with more than $20,000 in his war chest at the end of June, according to campaign finance disclosures released by the city clerk.

Councilman Steve Mensinger was not far behind, with $17,500.

In a distant third on the so-called "3M Slate" was Councilman Gary Monahan, who has raised about $4,600 through the first half of the year.


Each is seeking to fill one of three open council seats in the November election.

McCarthy had nearly 30 contributors, with just more than half coming from within Costa Mesa. He also gave his campaign a $10,500 loan, about half of his campaign financing so far.

Mensinger had 42 contributors, with roughly half coming from Costa Mesa residents and the other half from outside the city.


Mathews' donations

Parks and Recreation Commissioner Jeff Mathews, who is expected to fill a vacancy on the Planning Commission, donated $1,000 to both the McCarthy and Mensinger campaigns, according to the records.

On June 12, Mathews donated $1,000 to McCarthy's campaign. 

On July 9, McCarthy led a 3-1 vote to recommend to the council that Mathews fill a Planning Commission seat Jim Fitzpatrick vacated earlier in the year. 

An earlier version incorrectly reported that the vote was held June 9.

Both men said there was no relationship between the timing of the legal campaign contribution and the appointment recommendation — just a shared political vision.

"Absolutely not," Mathews said when asked if there was a correlation, adding that he publicly supports the "3M" slate.

"[The donation] had nothing to do with recommending him for the seat," McCarthy added Friday. "He was by far the most qualified."

During discussion at the June 9 meeting, Mathews topped each commissioner's short list to fill the seat. He has been involved in several city groups, including most recently heading the city's Homeless Task Force.

Mathews made his $1,000 donation to Mensinger's reelection campaign June 30.

The council will vote on Mathews' appointment Tuesday.


CM4RG slate

A slate of candidates opposed to the council majority, which is reviewing outsourcing plans opposed by city employees, was still getting started in June, the latest period for which records are available.

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