Pillars of the Community leader Laila Aziz
Democratic state senate leader Toni Atkins, a shoo-in for reelection this coming November, nevertheless raised $1.2 million in campaign cash between January 2, 2019, and June 30 of this year, according to online state disclosure filing data.
Labor unions topped the list of Atkins givers, with the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, the California Teachers Association, and the California State Council of Service Employees each coming up with $9300.
The next tier of biggest single givers included the Western States Council of Sheet Metal Workers PAC and the UFCW Western Staters Council Candidates PAC with $8800 each.
The California State Retirees PAC gave $7200 on June 20. Other recent donors included oil giant BP North America's employees PAC, which kicked in $2500 on June 17, Sempra Energy, with $4700 June 9, and the Farmers Group insurance giant, with $2500 June 11.
Insurance companies have been under fire by consumer advocacy group Consumer Watchdog for allegedly trying to ramrod an industry-backed bill through the state senate, per an August 8 Union-Tribune account, and have called on Atkins to intervene.
Besides Farmers, other insurance industry players donating to the Atkins re-election fund include Allstate ($3500); Independent Insurance PAC ($2000); Liberty Mutual ($1500); Mercury General ($4700); Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company PAC ($3000); Pacific Association of Domestic Insurance Companies PAC, ($1000); Pacific Life ($1500); Personal Insurance Federation Agents and Employees ($5300); the Guardian Life Insurance Company of America PAC ($1000); the Travelers Indemnity Company ($2500); Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company ($6400); and the Association of California Life and Health Insurance Companies PAC ($1000).
With not much of a race in Atkins's senate district, the Democrat has been funneling much of her campaign cash to political causes including the California Democratic Party ($77,600); the San Diego County Democratic Party ($40,000); and Friends of Terra Lawson-Remer, an independent campaign committing fund backing Democrat Lawson-Remer over incumbent Republican Kristin Gaspar for county supervisor. ($30,000).
On February 25 of this year, former state senator Christine Kehoe received $805 for hotel and airfare to cover what was described as a "victory fund board meeting."
In addition, Police defunding advocacy group Pillars of the Community got $10,000 on June 17.
"Aziz said communities like La Jolla can continue to call the police” said TV station KNSD in a June 30 profile of Pillars leader Laila Aziz.
“She wanted tax dollars that would be spent patrolling her neighborhood to fund a youth drop-in center, counseling and a community council that would oversee the community."
"We want that money going to youth violence," Aziz told the station. "We want to attack youth violence with best practices and prevent it. Let us build our infrastructure to keep our people safe. The police are just as unsafe for us as any other thing that we look at as crime."