First District County Supervisor Salud Carbajal, who is expected to breeze his way to re-election after his opponent dropped out of the race, decided to start spreading his ample campaign wealth by giving $10,000 to Doreen Farr on Monday.
The incumbent Farr is in a tight battle to hold onto the county’s swing seat, the 3rd District, which encompasses parts of Goleta, all of UCSB, Isla Vista, the Gaviota Coast, Santa Ynez, Guadalupe, and more.
Her opponent, Steve Pappas, is heavily financed by Santa Ynez Valley Journal owner Nancy Crawford-Hall, who not only funded a majority of his failed 2008 campaign against Farr but has thus far contributed more than 70 percent of the $152,199 he has reported in contributions. Pappas, however, has reported no late contributions since the latest filings, which came out last week.
Subsequent to the May 24 financial filings, each candidate must report within 24 hours any contributions of $1,000 or more.
Also giving a nice chunk of change to Farr is L.A. real estate magnate Rick Caruso. Caruso, who is trying to build a new luxury Miramar Hotel in Montecito, gave Farr $5,000.
Recently, Caruso approached the county proposing they implement a hotel tax rebate program to jump start luxury hotel development. Caruso has said that with the current financial climate, it would be foolhardy to build his $170 million hotel. A rebate program — under which he would receive a kickback of the hotel tax for a certain amount of time — would make the Miramar project more attractive to potential financiers, Caruso has indicated.
The Board of Supervisors is set to hear potential variations of a hotel tax rebate program in the coming months.
Farr, who had a fundraiser in the valley over the weekend featuring a performance from musician Jackson Browne, also received $1,500 from the California Real Estate PAC.
Meanwhile, Farr this week received the endorsement of the Daily Nexus, UCSB’s student newspaper, four years after Pappas received the nod from the paper. Since then, Pappas has done little to endear student voters.
After being badly beaten by Farr in Isla Vista and UCSB precincts, Pappas claimed there was widespread voter fraud. He filed a contest to the election, asking a judge to throw out all of the votes in more than a dozen I.V. and UCSB precincts, an action which would’ve handed him the election. In this week’s endorsement, the Nexus calls Pappas’s allegations “misleading.”
He has lost at every turn, as the trial judge and appellate court both ruled against him, saying there was no voter fraud, and the District Attorney’s Office declined to file criminal charges. He is appealing a superior court’s decision that he owes Farr $525,000 in legal fees.
Election Day is Tuesday.