EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated after WEHOville discovered a flaw in the City of West Hollywood’s Netfile online campaign finance filing system in which spending for or against particular candidates by an independent expenditure committee associated with Unite Here Local 11, the hotel and restaurant workers union, did not appear in a download of Unite Here Local 11 campaign finance data.
For Mayor John D’Amico, a vote wasn’t cheap in the March 2019 West Hollywood City Council election. According to the most recent campaign expense filings, D’Amico’s campaign and two independent campaign committees that backed him spent an average of $64 for each of the 2,441 votes cast for his re-election.
However, the discovery by WEHOville of new campaign spending data after the initial publication of this story shows the cost for Councilmember Lindsey Horvath, who led the 11 candidates running for three seats with 3,949 votes, was actually more — $65 a vote. For the other incumbent, Lauren Meister, each of her 3,616 votes cost $18.
James Duke Mason, who lost in what was his second run for office, paid $43 for each of his 1,331 votes. For Sepi Shyne, a newcomer whose 2,300 votes put her in fourth place and just behind D’Amico, the cost was an average of $18 a vote. Marquita Thomas came in at fifth place with 1,080 votes with an average cost of $13 each.
Brendan Hood’s 482 votes cost him less than 30 cents each. And perennial candidate Tom Demille and newcomers Jack Cline and Eric Jon Schmidt spent nothing and got almost nothing, with 336, 243, and 167 votes respectively.
The campaign finance reports, whose deadline for filing was July 31, show Horvath’s campaign and the independent expenditure committees that campaigned for
The independent expenditures committees involved in the March election, which by law may not coordinate their efforts with the candidates they support, were West Hollywood Alliance for Continued Progress Supporting John D’Amico, Lindsey Horvath, and Lauren Meister for City Council 2019, West Hollywood United to Support Lindsey Horvath and John D’Amico for Council 2019, and the Unite Here Local 11 Political Action Committee. Unite Here also waged an unsuccessful campaign to get voters to approve a measure on the ballot to rescind the West Hollywood City Council’s approval of the Arts Club on Sunset Boulevard.
D’Amico’s campaign and the two independent campaign committees that included his name spent a total of $155,666 ($109.753 by D’Amico’s campaign and $45,912 by the independent committees.) However, D’Amico also faced a major spending campaign against him by the Unite Here Local 11 PAC, which spent $34,907 on mailers and door-to-door campaigns urging residents not to vote for him. Mason’s campaign spent $57,555 and Meister’s campaign and the two independent committees backing her spent a total of $66,322, with $11,037 coming from the Unite Here Local 11 PAC and $3,982 from the West Hollywood Alliance for Continuing Progress independent expenditure committee.
West Hollywood United to Support Lindsey Horvath and John D’Amico for Council 2019, spent a total of $103,422 on the two candidates. The Unite Here Local 11 PAC spent a total of $74,000 for Horvath, Meister, and Shyne and against D’Amico. (That doesn’t include the money
In the coming days WEHOville will do an in-depth analysis of where the donations came from and how the money was spent. We also will report and analyze spending on Measure B, the unsuccessful effort to force the City Council to rescind its approval of the Arts Club on Sunset Boulevard.