Medical Industry giving big money to Fareed
June 3, 2016
Two businessmen, in conjunction with their family, friends, employees and associates, have accounted for nearly $200,000 out of the approximately $1 million that District 24 congressional candidate Justin Fareed has raised. Both businessmen live in Los Angeles’ Westside and own at least three dozen nursing facilities. [LA Times]
In the race to replace retiring Rep. Lois Capps, polls indicate four candidates are battling for the top two positions in the June 7 primary: Republicans Fareed and Katcho Achadjian and Democrats Salud Carbajal and Helene Schneider. Of those candidates, Carbajal, a Santa Barbara County supervisor, has raised the most money — about $1.8 million, followed by Fareed, a businessman; Schneider, the mayor of Santa Barbara and Achadjian, a state assemblyman.
Fareed, 28, has described himself as the vice president of his father’s sports medicine business, ProBand Sports Industries. He has courted numerous donors in the healthcare industry.
Lawrence Feigen, as well as at least 30 of his employees, business associates, friends and family members have contributed a total of $108,000 to Fareed. Feigen’s company, SnF Management, owns at least 36 long-term nursing facilities in California and Arizona.
Shlomo Rechnitz, as well as his employees and their family members, have contributed a little more than $74,000 to Fareed’s campaign. Rechnitz owns more than 70 facilities and is said to be California’s largest nursing home operator. In recent years, state and federal authorities have launched criminal investigations into Rechnitz’s companies on charges that included elder abuse and involuntary manslaughter.
Federal law sets the maximum allowable direct donation to candidates at $2,700 for the primary and $2,700 for the general election. Both Feigen and Rechnitz contributed $2,700 to Fareed. Three of Feigen’s family members did, as well.
Additionally, Feigen, his family’s trust and his company contributed $25,000 to New Generation, a political action committee that supported Fareed. Ramat Medical, a company for which Rechnitz is the chief financial officer, also donated $10,000 to the PAC. New Generation has since disbanded.
Feigen and his wife also gave $10,000 to another PAC that was set up to support Fareed.
When asked about the campaign contributions, Feigen said he and his family like people who are honest and are not part of the political establishment. Feigen said he knows Fareed through business connections in the medical sector.
A representative of Rechnitz released a statement saying Rechnitz is a major non-partisan donor who contributed to more than 1,100 institutions last year alone.
The LA Times interviewed several other donors who contributed to Fareed. Some said they did not know anything about Fareed other than that they were told he is a good guy.
West Hollywood resident Viktor Kogan and his wife each contributed $2,700 to Fareed in late October. When asked about the contributions, Kogan said he could not recall donating to Fareed and he had never heard of the candidate.
About 56 percent of donors who have contributed to Fareed this year live outside the 24th District. They accounted for $875,00 of Fareed’s $1.08 million of contributions. One L.A. Westside ZIP code, 90036, alone accounted for $235,000, or nearly 25 percent, of the money Fareed has raised since the beginning of the campaign.
By comparison, Achadjian, who according to several polls has a substantial lead over his opponents, has received only a few small donations from PACs. His total contributions are just over $667,000.