John Erickson’s Campaign Reports $61,000 in Donations

John Erickson

John Erickson’s campaign for West Hollywood City Council has attracted $60,856 in donations according to a report filed yesterday.

The report, which covers the period from Jan. 1 to June 30, shows donations of $100 or more from 168 people.  Twenty-five of them made the maximum donation of $1,000.  Donations of less than $100 totalled $3,588.  The report doesn’t disclose the names or number of those donors.

Thirty of the donors to Erickson’s campaign were West Hollywood residents.

The top donors to Erickson’s campaign include seven members of Jason Illoulian’s family, who each gave the maximum of $1,000. Illoulian’s Faring is a major real estate developer in West Hollywood. Cobby Pourtavosi, a partner with Jason Illoulian in the Calma cannabis business and president of Capital Insight, a WeHo-based developer, also donated $1,000.

Other major donors who work in real estate or lobby or advocate for real estate developers include Brian Rosenstein of Brookhill Corp., a commercial real estate development firm, who gave $1,000. Another $1,000 donor was Kate Hennigan Ohanesian, co-owner of ColLAborate, a marketing and lobbying organization with a number of real estate development clients. ColLAborate helped the California Apartment Association defeat Prop. 10, the 2018 ballot measure that would have given cities the power to adopt rent control on any type of rental housing, thus repealing the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act.

Erickson received a donation of $200 from West Hollywood City Councilmember John D’Amico and $250 from Mayor Lindsey Horvath. His campaign also was the recipient of a $100 contribution from L.A. County Assessor Jeffrey Prang and $500 from Abbe Land (both former West Hollywood City Council members).

Erickson served as deputy to Land when she was on the City Council. His campaign has drawn contributions from other City Hall employees, including staff attorneys Jonathan Holub ($100) and Alison Regan ($125). A member of the city’s Planning Commission, he has received donations from fellow Planning Commissioners Rogerio Carvalheiro ($100) and Stacey Jones ($350).

Erickson, who recently stepped down as president of the Hollywood Chapter of the National Organization for Women, has received donations from a number of its members and women’s rights activists. And 24 of his donors are politicians or work for them. They include L.A. City Councilmember David Ryu ($500), Drexel Heard, executive director of the L.A County Democratic Party ($400), and aides to L.A. City Council members, district directors for several state Assembly members and district representatives for state senators.

Erickson is director of public affairs for Planned Parenthood Los Angeles. In 2017, Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Erickson to the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, the first man so appointed. He currently is on the board of the ACLU of Southern California and is chair of the Legislative Committee for the Stonewall Democratic Club.

The deadline for filing the campaign finance report for Jan. 1 to June 30 is July 31. To date only one other candidate has filed a report. Noemi Torres reported receiving $12,988 in donation. The other candidates are incumbents John Duran and John Heilman and challengers Larry Block, Marco Colantonio, and Sepi Shyne.

  1. WoW! That’s quite a lot of money from developers!
    He is a disgrace. I am sick to death of cronyism and his arrogance. He is self indulgent and as he runs for City Council, he thinks nothing of nominating himself for the Vice-Chair of the Planning Commission. Which is it Mr. Erickson, even you can’t have both!

  2. This is a blatant attempt to buy his way into office and the politics after just getting appointed. I am stunned how much nepotism and cronyism is in local politics, where other elected officials outside the city and mega developers who want to dictate the election outcomes of someone who feels as if he doesn’t need public or local resident input. Developers forced this city to overturn a ban on short-term rentals, and to change such ordinance that must now allow and include corporate multi million dollar short term rentals to exist in the ordinance, erasing any affordable housing protections in the future on Sunset Blvd, around Sunset Heights, Sunset Plaza and San Vicente to Doheny and Norma Triangle where the city only recently approved affordable units! The developers instead want only condominiums and short term rentals, also want to determine and decide local election outcomes. However, what shouldn’t be bought is actual votes from voters who will have the ultimate say in 4 months! What’s more really disgusting is that it will be almost 10 years that I have resided here in West Hollywood and the elections year after year seem to be bought and more lobbyist influenced than ever before! 5 donors to the Ericsson campaign can be personally attributed with helping to Defeat Proposition 10 in 2018 election. How would this protect residents rather than make the city more corporate and more wealth driven from outsiders who dictate politics who only run corporate enterprise and businesses here but don’t actually live here but rather the Hollywood Hills, Beverly Hills, Bel Air, and Brentwood. No one with money is going to have the power to Erase My Vote.

  3. Now that John Heilmsn has dumped John Duran, he needs a third vote to satisfy these sleazy developers and their creepy lobbyists, So more gastly looking structures can be built in West Hollywood. He’s already got Lindsey Horvath’s vote since he basically put her in office. So that third vote is now John Erickson. Heilmsn’s boy toy. Both of Heilman’s proteges are gender studies major. Ericsson is also a pronoun person. A he/him.

    Heilman who claims to be 60, is actually 63, his birthday was this month. He’s old enough to be their grandfather. And he certainly has been their agent in finding backers. To continue his Townscape 3 pro development little group since Duran’s on the sh-t list!

  4. Pay for Play again. Erickson following in Heilman footsteps. Illoulian stepping out as the most corrupt developer in town. It’s sad to watch our city sold to the highest bidder. Can’t wait to see who else they bought off.

  5. More of the same. The money he takes reveals where his loyalties are and will be. Complete hypocrite.

    We must all do our part to inform WeHo this fall that he is not worthy of our votes.

  6. He should be forced to return $6,000 of the $7,000 back to Illoulian’s family. It’s clear how that game works. What a disgrace

  7. Only 30 out of 168 donors are WeHo residents?! And thousands from developers and their family members? This person will not represent the interest of the residents of WeHo but Big Development.

  8. Yikes! This is a huge haul for a West Hollywood City Council newbie candidate. Unfortunately, as just about everyone has pointed out here, follow the money. The big money is from developers. While the Illoulian family and Faring have every right to donate money as they see fit, it should be very clear that Faring has some big projects in West Hollywood. Right now, it’s slow-walking the Robertson Lane development. The demolition was fast, now… well, slow going. Then there is the French Market project that hasn’t gone anywhere for many years, and is just a boarded-up blank on Santa Monica Blvd now. Faring bought the Hornburg JLR dealership property (Hornburg is moving to the old GM/Chevy dealership location on La Brea). The building was also the Cock & Bull restaurant – a legendary Sunset Strip institution for many years. It’s a classic building, and guess what? Faring is proposing demolishing the property and building another mixed use/office/retail location adjacent to the Luckman Building. And let’s hope that nothing bad happens to the Norm’s building on La Cienega. When Faring proposed redeveloping that property, the screams were heard all the way to the Valley, so the property got a stay of execution.

    I’m uncomfortable with any candidate with that much developer backing. The biggest citizen complaints are always about land use/development. And rarely do the projects really benefit the people who live here. Sure, there are some big new housing projects on the east side, but have you seen the rents? Staggering – not exactly helping with the “rent is too damn high” problem. The purpose of government is to function for the people, not just the wealthy few.

  9. Isn’t 36 years of this enough? 

    Anyone who reads this has to realize that a vote for John Erickson is a vote for the Status Quo. His is the same donor base of big-money special interests as John Heilman and John Duran. A veritable laundry list of the usual pay for play suspects, mostly developers, who own the majority vote on our current City Council. 

    Erickson, the Planning Commissioner who blatantly stole the Vice-Chair seat from Lynn Hoopingarner last week, is clearly in the pocket of the big-money developers like the Illoulian family’s Faring Capital.

     And shamefully, now we have anti-rent control lobbyists added to this “pay for play” fray of special interests along with the once chased and starry-eyed John D’Amico. 

    Take Back West Hollywood on November 3rd and stop the scandals and pay for play.
    “For the People, For A Change!”

  10. It is a contempting and corrupting shame that a race for student council in West Hollywood will likely involve a six-figure campaign war chest. Senator William Proximire, of Mr. Erickson’s home state of Wisconsin, spent less than $200 (out of his own pocket) on his last two campaigns for the United States Senate. Proxmire was famous for retail politics and being accessible. In fact, I was a constituent of the senator when I was an undergrad at the University of Wisconson (Madison). I called his office when I was planning a trip to DC and booked a meeting. We chatted for 30 minutes or so in his grand office about everything and anything. I made no political contribution to have that constituent meeting, nor did I seek or get a photo op for my ego wall. Proxmire also made no claim for and accepted no reimbursement for the travel expenses attendant to his official position. I’m thinking Paris, Vienna, South by Southwest, NALEO, Victory Fund, etc. and nauseating etc. of West Hollywood–the most progressive city money can buy.

  11. I’m sorry, but those sections detailing how real estate developers donated a mountain of money to this candidate’s campaign clearly demonstrate the unvarnished corruption of our current political system. This City Council is not a government representing the interests of the residents of West Hollywood. This Council is merely a small group of agents working on behalf of a wealthy cabal of business interests, to further their exploitative agenda which already ruins our standard of living here. Until we reform campaign finance rules in this city, our “candidates” will remain bought-and-paid-for by hotel (over)developers. And our City Council will work for them – not for us.

    1. We did have campaign finance reform! Maximum contributions INCREASED from $500 to $1000 to support this incestuous cabal of ego-driven and overly officious public servants (short on the deep meaning of service) who relish in their titles (council, commissions and boards), abused city-wide parking placards, and taxpayer funded boondoggles near and far. Once again, the persons with the tallest stack of glossy and environmentally unfriendly campaign mailers will win the race. Standby for multiple PACS further supporting the entrenched. West Hollywood is mostly an political playground for career development–save one who actually does her homework and thinks, with her brain and for the betterment of quality of life for residents.

      Further, they will arrogantly and condescendingly dismiss us as cranks for our form of civic engagement here in the pages of WEHOville. While I wish more people would attach their names and not take comfort in anonymity, engagement here and critique in general is a noble and necessary form of civic engagement.

  12. Should the public expecting fair play be impressed by these figures?

    Is there anything commendable about the “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” concept?

    Political favoritism is on the way out.

    Ethics are on the way in.

    Opportunism and nastiness are also on the way out.

Leave a Comment

No profanity, and please focus on the issue rather than attacking other commenters. All comments are moderated and must be focused on the issue, not other commenters.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.