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Updated: Real Estate Committee Pays for Mailers and Ads for Berkeley Council Candidates Moore and Capitelli

By Becky O'Malley
Wednesday October 31, 2012 - 08:19:00 AM

On October 29 the California Real Estate Independent Expenditure Committee, based in Los Angeles, filed two Supplemental Independent Expenditure Reports with the City of Berkeley documenting expenditures of close to $20,000 each made on behalf of incumbent candidates for the Berkeley City Council Darryl Moore and Laurie Capitelli. 

The spending was funneled through the Associated Campaign Consulting & Election Services, LLC, of Washington,DC. 

For Moore, the cumulative spending amount, for online ads and two mailers, was $18. 350. 

For Capitelli, the cumulative total was $19, 750, also for mailers and online ads. 

Independent expenditures committees are allowed under Berkeley election law to spend on behalf of candidates as long as the candidate does not control or approve the expenditure. 

The form offers no information on exactly what the money was spent for. 

Calls to M. Iqbal Bholat, whose office is at the Los Angeles office of the California Association of Realtors, who is listed as the organization's treasurer, have not been returned. 

UPDATE: Bholat's office referred me first to Lars Skjerping, identified as the poltical director of the Berkeley Association of Realtors (BAR)... When contacted, he professed no knowledge of the BAR's contributions on behalf of Moore and Capitelli. The L.A. office then referred us to Sally Dunker, the executive director of BAR, who was unable to take our call this afternoon. 

THURSDAY UPDATE: Dunker told the Planet that the decision to support the two candidates was made by a committee of the local Association's board of directors, but she declined to give me the name of the commitee members. She said the basis for their decision was that the chosen candidates have supported private property and property owners in the past. Councilmember Laurie Capitelli is himself a realtor and a partner in Red Oak Realty. Darryl Moore has endorsed the landlord-backed TUFF slate of candidates for Berkeley's Rent Board.