By Bonnie Donovan
The special election for the 3rd District Council seat has two main candidates: Oscar Gutierrez and Michael Vidal. By simply looking at the campaign contributions they have received to date it becomes clear that one candidate, if elected, will be able to be independent while the other will be deeply beholden to politicians, special interest groups, and political action committees (PACs).
Excluding mailers and other promotional advertising paid for by the Democratic Party Oscar Gutierrez has received $17,050.00 in campaign donations to date. 73% ($12,500.00) of these contributions are from politicians, unions and PACs. Contributions have come from: Mayor Cathy Murillo ($5,000.00), Councilmember Gregg Hart ($2,000.00), three Unions ($4,500.00) and a non-partisan PAC ($1,000.00).
In contrast, Michael Vidal has received $10,800.00 in campaign contributions to date with only 19% ($2,000.00) coming from a PAC with the remaining 81% coming from individuals.
It is clear that one candidate will be beholden to special interest groups and politicians who helped get them elected while the other will not be.