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Record Cash Out: La Jollans Are ATMs for Political Candidates

Residents of La Jolla have made nearly $5.9 million in donations to political candidates, parties, PACs and super PACs in this presidential election cycle.

La Jollans have opened up their wallets for political donations this campaign season at record rates. 

As of Sept. 21, La Jollans had donated over nearly $5.9 million to candidates, parties, PACs and super PACs. This is more money then any other ZIP code in San Diego, and among the top four ZIP codes in California.

The total contribution of $5,899,434 in La Jolla is 2.5 times more than the total donation made four years ago, according to data by the Center for Responsive Politics, and there's still 38 more days till Election Day. And La Jollans' 2012 contributions are 109 times as much as the average per ZIP code of $54,011.

Top donors in La Jolla come from a mix of professions, including business owners, venture capital investors, developers and homemakers.

Donors in La Jolla include Irwin and Paul Jacobs of Qualcomm fame; Ted Waitt of Avalon Capital Group and cofounder of Gateway; Deepak Chopra, physician and founder of the Chopra Center for Wellness; Fernardo Aguerre of Liquid Tribe and cofounder and former owner of Reef; Doug Manchester, owner of Manchester Financial Group and the U-T San Diego; and Kevin Kinsella of Avalon Ventures.

Irwin Jacobs gave $2 million alone to Priorities USA Action, an independent super PAC that supports the re-election of Obama.

To see a full list of contributors and contributions from you neighborhood here: Election 2012: How Much Have Your Neighbors Given to Obama and Romney?

Despite how La Jollans are registered, 54 percent of the funds donated so far support Democrats and the remaining 46 percent to Republicans. When we take a look at presidential candidates, both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have held fundraisers here. Romney, who owns a $12 million-fixer-upper in the Beach Barber Tract neighborhood of La Jolla, has pulled in $472,410 through Sept. 21 and Barack Obama trails with $396,380 of La Jollans dollars.

In September 2011, Obama attended attended a private, $5,000-per-person re-election fundraiser at the home of Elizabeth and Mason Phelps near Mount Soledad. This was Obama's first visit to San Diego since taking office.

Romney's most recent visit to San Diego was Sunday at The Grand Del Mar hotel. Tickets were priced from $1,000 to $25,000, according to KGTV-TV Channel 10.

In addition, presidential hopefuls Jon Huntsman and Texas Gov. Rick Perry held fundraisers in La Jolla last year before dropping out of the presidential race.

Last year, Francine Busby, executive director of Run Women Run, told Patch that fundraiser networking, the number of donors, and the ability to reach out and identify donors has grown locally. In 1994, La Jolla donations totalled just $831,233.

“This area has really been put on the map,” said Busby last year. “Rancho Santa Fe, La Jolla, Fairbanks Ranch, the Del Mar area, places where people of high net worth live locally have become a magnet for political fundraising because people who have given here in the past are known publically.”

Now in California, La Jolla ranks in the top 10 of giving. Coming in only behind Beverly Hills and two other wealthy Los Angeles ZIP codes, which include the neighborhoods of Century City and Brentwood. 

Top ZIP Codes in California

City/Community ZIP Donation* Los Angeles 90067 $9,256,058 Los Angeles 90049 $6,422,824 Beverly Hills 90210 $6,238,698 La Jolla 92037 $5,899,434 San Francisco 94129 $5,615,861 Los Angeles 90024 $5,459,585 Menlo Park 94025 $4,586,132 Atherton 94027 $4,104,308 Los Angeles 90071 $3,911,121 Newport Beach 92660 $3,866,992

*Totals includes individual contributions of $200 or more to federal candidates, parties and PAC, including super PACs through Sept. 21.

Top ZIP Codes in the Nation

City/Community ZIP Donations* Las Vegas, NV 89109 $39.5M New York, NY 10022 $21.1M Dallas, TX 75240 $19.8M Washington, DC 20036 $16.5M Houston, TX 77234 $16.1M Washington, DC 20001 $12.9M New York, NY 10021 $12.3M New York, NY 10019 $10.3M New York, NY 10128 $9.5M New York, NY 10028 $9.4M Los Angeles, CA 90067 $9.3M Chicago, IL 60611 $8.9M Chicago, IL 60614 $8.8M Washington, DC 20006 $8.3M New York, NY 10023 $8.3M New York, NY 10065 $7.9M Washington, DC 20005 $7.6M Greenwich, CT 06830 $7.5M New York, NY 10024 $7.2M Palm Beach, FL 33480 $7M Greenwich, CT 06831 $6.9M McLean, VA 22101 $6.7M Dallas, TX 75205 $6.7M Los Angeles, CA 90049 $6.4M Potomac, MD 20854 $6.3M Houston, TX 77019 $6.3M Beverly Hills, CA 90210 $6.2M Washington, DC 20007 $6.2M Chevy Chase, MD 20815 $6M Houston, TX 77024 $5.9M La Jolla 92037 $5.9M

*Totals includes individual contributions of $200 or more to federal candidates, parties and PAC, including super PACs through Sept. 21.

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