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The Los Angeles Ethics Commission lifted the campaign spending limit Wednesday in the primary election for City Council District 14, due to big spending on behalf of former State Sen. Kevin de Leon.

The limit was lifted after the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor spent more than $86,000 in support of De Leon, who is running to succeed Councilman Jose Huizar, who faces term limits. The district includes includes Boyle Heights, El Sereno, Northeast Los Angeles and parts of Downtown.

Independent expenditures are a form of campaign spending that cannot be coordinated with nor authorized by the candidate. While donors cannot give more than $800 to council candidates' campaigns, they can spend unlimited amounts on independent expenditures made on a candidate's behalf. 

Candidates who accept public funding for their campaigns must agree to limit their campaign spending. However, those limits are lifted when independent spending in a specific race reaches a certain amount, according to the Ethics Commission. Independent expenditures must be reported to the Ethics Commission within 24 hours.

For a City Council race, the threshold is $86,000 spent in one election to support or oppose one candidate

To date, all of the independent spending reported in the CD 14 primary election -- $131,701 -- has gone to support De Leon. 

The Council District 14 candidates who will appear on the March ballot are:

  • RAQUEL ZAMORA Mother/Educator/Businesswoman
  • CYNDI OTTESON Mother/Organizer/Businesswoman
  • KEVIN DE LEÓN Teacher/Environmental Policymaker
  • JOHN JIMENEZ Nonprofit Organization Executive
  • MÓNICA GARCÍA School Board Member

Additional information about the candidates, independent spending and political communications in the CD 14 primary election is available on the commission's Election Totals page at ethics.lacity.org/elections/.

Campaign activity and political communications can also be searched on the commission's Public Data Portal at ethics.lacity.org/dataform/.

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