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Endorsements and money in AD-18 race

By Josh Richman
Thursday, February 23rd, 2012 at 3:47 pm in 2012 Assembly election, campaign finance.

The fight for the 18th Assembly District seat rolled onward today with dueling endorsement announcements.

Alameda Vice Mayor Rob Bonta got the endorsement of United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta, a labor icon. Peralta Community College District Trustee Abel Guillen rolled out his nods from Oakland City Councilmembers Nancy Nadel and Ignacio De La Fuente. And Guillen and AC Transit Board Director-at-Large Joel Young both tweeted today that they won the endorsement of Teamsters Joint Council 7.

But while endorsements can make a good media splash, it’s questionable how much weight they’re given by voters. For myself, I’m more interested in following the money – so I briefly eyeballed the three candidates’ campaign bankrolls today. Each is, in some way, a direct product of the elected offices they’re already holding.

Bonta’s campaign had $132,239.62 cash on hand at the end of 2011, including $7,500 he loaned to it himself. Among the contributions he has received are $7,800 from the Alameda Firefighters Association PAC; $3,900 from Assemblywoman Fiona Ma’s campaign committee; $2,000 from Oakland City Attorney’s Office Supervising Attorney Mark Morodomi; and $1,050 from attorney Amber Maltbie, a former aide to Assemblyman Sandre Swanson, whom Bonta now hopes to succeed.

Guillen’s campaign had $107,040.94 cash on hand at the end of 2011, including $13,650 he loaned to it himself; since then, he scored a $7,800 contribution from the California Federation of Teachers Committee on Political Education (COPE) PAC. Also among his contributions are $3,900 from Cordoba Corp. of Los Angeles, $4,400 from Seville Construction Services of Pasadena, $2,000 from Steinberg Architects of San Jose and $1,000 from Olive Construction Management of El Cerrito, all of which do business with the Peralta college district. Among his elected contributors are Board of Equalization member Betty Yee ($1,000), Oakland Unified School District Board President David Kakishiba ($1,000) and Assemblyman Luis Alejo ($500).

And Young’s campaign had $171,827.32 cash on hand at the end of 2011. Among his contributions are $3,900 each from the Amalgamated Transit Union in Washington, D.C. and from the ATU’s California Conference Board; $5,500 from Emeryville-based developer Eddie Orton and his wife; $3,650 from the Engineering & Utility Contractors Association PAC; and $3,500 from AC Transit Ward 4 Director Mark Williams’ campaign.

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  • James B.

    Note the donation from the Alameda Firefighters Association. Aren’t these self-proclaimed “heroes” infamous for standing on the beach and watching that guy drown a few months ago? Maybe Alameda Firefighters should spend more time doing rescue drills and less money trying to “buy off” prospective state legislators. Now that Mr. Bonta has accepted their generous contribution, shall we assume that he would do the firefighters’ bidding in Sacramento? Like supporting their lavish pensions (many retire in their 50′s and receive $100,000+ per year for life) while the rest of government is cut back to sustain retired firefighters’ lives of luxury? Like opposing any effort to regulate “pension spiking”?

  • Inez Young

    Very disappointed I even share a similar name with Joel Young and guess what! SEIU pulled their endorsement of Joel Young for being unethical.

  • Elwood

    “SEIU pulled their endorsement of Joel Young for being unethical.”

    That’s enough to make a dog laugh, considering that SEIU is basically an ongoing criminal enterprise.