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The pre-election campaign finance reports are in

Today was the state’s deadline for the final campaign finance filings before the Nov. 2 election, a final look at how much has been spent and how much is left for the final weeks of campaigning.

Not all of the reports are showing up on the Secretary of State’s website just yet, so I’m going to post what I’ve got so far and then try to update later from home. I’ve added a few observations in italics.

So here’s the cash on hand as of Saturday, Oct. 16. Keep in mind the fact that that independent expenditure committees are spending big on a lot of these campaigns, so the candidates’ own cash on hand isn’t the end-all, be-all. Also, for the ballot initiatives, I picked the prime committees for and against each, but there are other, secondary committees for and against these measures, too.

GOVERNOR
Jerry Brown (D): $11,636,117.34
Meg Whitman (R): $12,404,804.11
After having spent $163,134,879.63 so far on her campaign – of which about $141.5 million was from her own pocket – Whitman had only slightly more in the bank by Saturday than Brown. Wanna bet she’ll make one last investment in these final few days?

LT. GOVERNOR
Gavin Newsom (D): $1,153,662.44
Abel Maldonado (R): $297,435.98
That looks like a biiiiig money advantage in a very tight race.

ATTORNEY GENERAL
Kamala Harris (D): $844,706.42
Steve Cooley (R): $1,501,604.42
I think it’s starting to look pretty grim for Harris.

TREASURER
Bill Lockyer (D)(i): $5,064,132.91
Mimi Walters (R): $85,098.10
Mimi vs. Goliath; don’t hold your breath for an underdog victory here.

CONTROLLER
John Chiang (D)(i): $213,440.75
Tony Strickland (R): $227,098.17

SECRETARY OF STATE
Debra Bowen (D)(i): $218,129.53
Damon Dunn (R): $309,171.43

INSURANCE COMMISSIONER
Dave Jones (D): $374,158.01
Mike Villines (R): $118,956.47

SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION
Larry Aceves: $56,120.70
Tom Torlakson: $327,277.86

BALLOT MEASURES

Yes on 19: $225,690.17
No on 19: $47,242.12
After months of scant contributions, the campaign to legalize marijuana saw a few big-ticket donations in the past few weeks, but not enough for the kind of television advertising that’s probably needed to rescue the measure from its slump in the polls.

Yes on 23: $2,697,351.15
No on 23: $7,755,976.80
I think the oil companies see the writing on the wall, and the enviros have more than enough money to pound this measure – already sagging in the polls -into oblivion.

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Whitman would save millions from her tax cut

Continuing a meme that Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jerry Brown started during the debate last week, his supporters released a memo today estimating that Republican nominee Meg Whitman would see personal savings of between $8.2 million and $41.2 million over a four-year gubernatorial term if she keeps her promise to eliminate the state’s capital gains tax.

Brown had asked Whitman – the billionaire former eBay CEO – during their Oct. 12 debate at Dominican University of California in San Rafael how much her tax plan would benefit her own finances; she didn’t answer, and hasn’t released an estimate since. Today’s memo was prepared and released by California Tax Reform Association Executive Director Lenny Goldberg.

Whitman says eliminating the tax will stimulate investment, leading to job creation. Democrats say it would blow an even bigger hole in the already-shredded state budget while mostly benefiting the very rich, with no guarantee of an economic benefit.

“Meg Whitman has millions to gain, but we have everything else to lose,” California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski told reporters on a conference call.

He said eliminating the capital gains tax would reduce state revenues by $4.5 billion per year, with each dollar lost bringing “a decrease in the quality of life for Californians:” failing schools, reduced college admissions, shortages of police and firefighters, crumbling infrastructure, struggling seniors and disabled, and reduced or no child care, all without creating jobs.

Pulaski and Goldberg repeated their calls for Whitman to release her tax records so estimates such as theirs wouldn’t be necessary.

State Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, agreed the memo underscores Democrats’ contention that Whitman offers “a one-sided solution to our budget problem – it is to enrich the rich and cut from children and the poor.”

California saw faster economic growth than the rest of the nation from 2000 through 2007 even with the capital gains tax in place, said University of California, Berkeley Economics Professor Michael Reich, while other states such as Texas have outperformed California in recovering from this recession because they weren’t as hard hit by foreclosures.

Whitman’s campaign issued a statement saying leading economists are on her side.

“Having closely studied the issue, Meg Whitman’s proposal to eliminate the capital gains tax in California will spur investment and create jobs. As a whole, Meg’s economic policies of streamlining regulation and implementing targeted tax cuts are crucial in getting our economy moving again and getting Californians back to work,” Hoover Institute Senior Fellow John Taylor – an economic advisor to governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Pete Wilson, as well as to presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush – said in the campaign’s statement.

But Reich said California investors have diversified national and international portfolios, and so their reinvestment wouldn’t benefit the Golden State’s economy all that much. He also said millionaires haven’t been leaving California in any measurable way due to taxes, and so it’s unlikely any would return if the tax was eliminated.

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John Dutra endorses Whitman; Burton scoffs

Former Assemblyman John Dutra of Fremont is heading up a Democratic and independent voters’ coalition in support of Republican gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman, her campaign announced this morning.

John DutraDutra, 75, represented the 20th Assembly District from 1998 through 2004 as a Democrat; he since has re-registered without any party affiliation.

“Meg Whitman is the only proven job creator in this race. While representing the eastern part of the Silicon Valley, I watched Meg take eBay from a start-up with 30 employees to a Fortune 500 company of 15,000. Only she possesses the leadership and management skills to stand up to the status quo in Sacramento and turn our state around,” Dutra said in Whitman’s news release. “As a small businessman, I know she will be the best governor for all Californians, regardless of party registration, who believe our state can again offer a friendly environment in which to do business and a wonderful place for families and communities to thrive.”

Whitman said she’s grateful to have Dutra’s endorsement and is “counting on his leadership to continue our successful outreach to Democratic and decline-to-state voters in the closing days. On the campaign trail, I meet Democrats and independent voters daily who support my vision for creating jobs, making government work for all of us and fixing our schools. Given the Democrats’ registration edge and the growing number of decline-to-state voters in California, I fully recognize that we need the support of these voters to declare victory on November 2.”

California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton laughed when he heard the news.

“Good for him,” Burton said. “John’s a nice guy, but if that’s the best she can do, her campaign is in more trouble than I think it is.”

“As I recall he ran third in a Democratic primary,” Burton added, referring to Dutra’s unsuccessful bid for the 10th State Senate District in 2006; he finished behind Ellen Corbett, who went on to win the seat, and former Assemblyman Johan Klehs. “The only people that know John either served with him or are in his district, and in his district he ran third … when he had the most money, so I have no idea what John’s doing or thinking now, but it’s a free country.”

The only other Bay Area leader of Whitman’s Democratic and independent voters coalition is former BART Director Erlene DeMarcus, 62, of Pleasanton; she’s a registered Democrat.

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New ads from Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman

Read ‘em and weep…

Whitman campaign spokeswoman Andrea Jones Rivera replied that “(c)omparing Meg’s experience as one of the world’s most successful business leaders to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career as an actor is a false equivalency. The only candidate who has supported Arnold’s plan to raise taxes is Jerry Brown when he supported the ballot measure in 2009 that would have raised Californians’ taxes by $16 billion. Now, Jerry’s plan is to do exactly what Arnold did and ask the voters to approve a massive tax increase. Meg Whitman is the only candidate who is offering Californians a real solution to the problems they face and is the only candidate who has promised not to raise taxes.”

This ad should be fun to keep in mind as Whitman and Brown join Schwarzenegger one week from today at the Women’s Conference 2010 in Long Beach for a conversation – moderated by NBC’s Matt Lauer – about California’s future.

And, Whitman’s new ad:

Brown’s campaign replied that law enforcement unions, whose defined-benefit pensions Whitman defends, have spent more than $2.1 million on Whitman’s behalf; that as of Sept. 30, less than 5 percent of Brown’s campaign contributions had come from public employee unions; that Whitman has been on the warpath against teachers’ unions for years; and that Brown’s age and experience mean he’ll not pander to special interests.

UPDATE @ 11:45 A.M.: Whitman’s campaign has launched yet another ad today…

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NOW wants more contrition from Jerry Brown

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jerry Brown may have the National Organization for Women California chapter’s endorsement, but it apparently doesn’t have a lock on the national NOW’s respect.

From the group’s website:

Last night at the California gubernatorial debate, Jerry Brown apologized for a member of his campaign staff suggesting Meg Whitman, his opponent in the race, be called a “whore.” This overdue apology was a necessary step; however, it was accompanied by an assertion that these sorts of comments are part and parcel of what happens inside political campaigns. If so, that needs to change.

While our California chapter’s Political Action Committee voted to endorse Brown on the basis of his support for women’s rights, the National Organization for Women clearly and unequivocally condemns calling Meg Whitman, or any woman, a whore. This term is hate speech that carries with it negative connotations associated with women, and it has no place in contemporary society.

NOW calls on Brown to fire any member of his staff who uses this word or any hate speech against women.

For those who didn’t see it last night, moderator Tom Brokaw asked Brown about the recorded comment; Brown said his campaign had issued a prompt apology, and he repeated that apology to Whitman there at the debate.

But he also encouraged Whitman to chastise her campaign chairman, former Gov. Pete Wilson, for having called Congress “whores” to public-sector unions. Whitman – both during the debate and afterward, taking questions from reporters – said it’s an entirely different matter, but declined to elaborate why that’s so.

Brown, for his part, refused to answer reporters’ question about whether the person who’d used the word on the recording is his wife, Anne Gust Brown.

UPDATE @ 10:01 A.M. THURSDAY: NOW later last night amended the final paragraph of its statement to say, “NOW calls on Brown, from this point forward, to fire any member of his staff who uses this word or any hate speech against women.” (Emphasis added to denote the added words.)

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Green gubernatorial candidate will fight charges

Green gubernatorial nominee Laura Wells of Oakland is spitting mad over her arrest yesterday outside the site of the gubernatorial debate between Democratic nominee Jerry Brown and Republican nominee Meg Whitman.

Laura WellsWells, 62, issued a news release today saying she’ll fight the charges, which – ironically – require her to appear in court Nov. 2, Election Day.

“The real crime is what’s happening to California. The perpetrators of this crime include the Democratic and Republican parties who keep trading off the governorship, and Dominican University, for closing the doors to real dialogue and debate,” she said in her news release. “California has always been special and there’s no reason for it to be in the state it’s in: begging Wall Street for loans, watching our schools, environment and job opportunities spiral down. I have never been arrested and I never wanted to. My comfort zone is not important. We cannot stand by and let this happen to California.”

Wells said campaign polls are “a fraud against the voters. I received a letter that congratulated me on my primary win and invited me to the debate, if I received 10% support among California likely voters. They didn’t tell me what the survey question was. If it were, ‘Do you want debates with only the Republican and Democratic candidates?’ a huge majority of voters, especially this year, would say ‘No.’

“But the survey question asked those polled – including 2 of my supporters – was if they preferred Jerry Brown or Meg Whitman. Not Laura Wells. And then when the pollsters report the results, they still didn’t say other, they say undecided. As if the only choices were Pepsi and Coke, not something we might like that’s healthy, like crystal clear water, or juice, smoothies or red wine!”

Whatever the criteria for being invited to take part in the debate, it seems Wells wasn’t invited to attend it as an audience member. Dominican University spokesman Dave Albee said the university “can confirm that the ticket Laura Wells tried to use to gain entry into Angelico Hall was not issued to her. Tickets were non-transferable, which was printed on the ticket.”

Indeed, from the San Rafael Police Department:

For security reasons, all tickets to seats in Angelico Hall were numbered, coded, and checked by campus security before the holder was admitted to the debate hall. Wells presented a ticket that was not issued to her and refused to relinquish the ticket to campus security when asked to do so. She then became argumentative and refused to leave the area. Wells was warned that if she did not leave she would subject to citizen’s arrest as she was on private property. She continued in her refusal and the security officer placed her under citizen’s arrest. Wells was taken into custody by SRPD officers and escorted from the grounds. She was cited for trespassing and released.