San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, beset by a well-funded opponent and a high profile federal case against a wealthy political backer, is laying out big bucks for television spots prior to June's primary election.
The campaign of the failed Republican mayoral candidate, seeking re-election to a fourth term as district attorney, has so far booked a gross total of $72,645 in TV time on ABC affiliate KGTV and CBS affiliate KFMB, according to sales contracts dated March 19 and 20 and posted online by the Federal Communications Commission.
The spots will run from April 28 through the June 3 election, the documents say.
Known as a champion political fundraiser, Dumanis has been hitting up a variety of special interests to raise cash for her battle to hold her seat against challengers Robert Brewer and Terri Wyatt.
As previously reported here, records show that about $21,000 of the Dumanis haul has come from a fundraiser thrown on her behalf by a group of Southern California used car dealers.
Ali Parvaneh, an attorney at the Madison Harbor law firm in Irvine who attended a November 2013 fundraiser for Dumanis and contributed $500 to her reelection bid, said in a telephone interview that the event was set up by used-car interests to lobby Dumanis regarding what they say are abuses of the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act.
"We wanted to bring to her attention the improper usage of the CLRA," Parvaneh said. "Attorneys in San Diego have been using the law to sue automobile dealers...generating lawsuits where none belong, [and] extorting money from automobile dealers.… District attorneys should pursue any attorney who is using the act for extortion."
Dumanis, Parvaneh said, "showed up and listened to what they had to say" but made no commitment to the group regarding their desire for stepped-up prosecutions of alleged offenders.
"She just simply listened and said, ‘Talk to the legislature,’” he said. "We all reached our mutual goals."
Criminal defense attorney Brewer has so far narrowly outraised Dumanis in the current contest, reporting $384,731 in cash contributions last year to Dumanis's $331,989.
Besides her opponents, Dumanis is also grappling with the continuing fallout of the federal case against one of her biggest supporters in her bid for mayor, Mexican national Jose Susumo Azano Matsura, accused of illegally funneling $600,000 to campaign efforts on behalf of San Diego politicos, including Dumanis and fallen Democratic mayor Bob Filner.