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More campaign finance fun: Lt.Gov. and AG

In the Democratic primary for Lieutenant Governor, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom far outpaced Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn in fundraising during this period from March 18 to May 22. Newsom raised $792,311 and spent $453,291, finishing the period with $770,776 cash on hand; Hahn raised $336,331 and spent $316,670, finishing the period with $315,430 cash on hand.

Mike Trujillo, Hahn’s campaign adviser, called me tonight to note that the two candidates are more evenly matched if you look at contributions since their campaigns began – it looks to me as if Newsom’s at about $1.06 million to Hahn’s $898,000, by that measure – and that about $200,000 of Newsom’s cash on hand is earmarked for November’s general election, while all but $9,000 of Hahn’s stash can be spent in the next 10 days.

In the GOP primary for Lieutenant Governor, appointed incumbent and former state Sen. Abel Maldonado smoked his more conservative rival, state Sen. Sam Aanestad, R-Grass Valley. Maldonado raised $318,898 during this period and spent $121,872, leaving him with $139,060 cash on hand; Aanestad raised $44,470 during this period and spent $44,441, leaving him with $43,297 cash on hand.

In the Republican primary for Attorney General, Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley trumped the fundraising during this period, with $916,066 in contributions compared to $295,302 for former Chapman University Law School Dean John Eastman – including the $25,000 he loaned his own campaign – and $150,294 for state Sen. Tom Harman, R-Huntington Beach. Cooley finished with the most cash on hand, too: $222,280 compared to Eastman’s $158,444 and Harman’s $112,644.

In the Democratic primary for Attorney General, former Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Chris Kelly rules the campaign cash roost only because he put $5.6 million into his own campaign during this period (atop the $4 million he’d put in earlier). His new investment accounted for all but $79,679 of his contributions in this period and he spent $8,953,697, leaving him with cash on hand of $102,984.

San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris raised $810,884 during this period and spent $1,546,812, finishing with $636,471 cash on hand; former Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo raised $268,995 and spent $1,251,446, finishing with $149,762 cash on hand; Assemblyman Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, raised $239,162 and spent $671,100, finishing with $577,002 cash on hand; and Assemblyman Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara, raised $17,532 and spent $86,956, finishing with $24,534 cash on hand. Assembly Majority Leader Alberto Torrico, D-Newark, had $1,029,186 cash on hand as of March 17, the close of the last reporting period, but hasn’t yet filed this period’s report as of this time; Emeryville attorney Mike Schmier didn’t raise enough to require a report.

UPDATE @ 10:33 A.M. FRIDAY: Torrico raised $180,371.79 in this period, spent $676,560.78 and finished with $522,334.73 cash on hand.

UPDATE @ 9:30 A.M. TUESDAY 6/1: Sorry, my bad: Schmier says he has raised $12,450 to date and has $3,166.88 cash on hand remaining.

Posted on Thursday, May 27th, 2010
Under: 2010 election, Abel Maldonado, Alberto Torrico, Attorney General, campaign finance, Chris Kelly, Gavin Newsom, Janice Hahn, Kamala Harris, Lt. Governor, Pedro Nava, Sam Aanestad, Ted Lieu | 1 Comment »

What the gulf oil spill means (or doesn’t) for CA

The disastrous oil spill still in progress in the Gulf of Mexico has further fueled the already-hot debate over drilling off California’s coast, with some significant disagreements on what lessons we should take.

Pedro NavaAttorney General candidate and Assemblyman Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara, hosted a field hearing of his Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee today in Hermosa Beach to talk about public health and environmental threats posed by oil drilling. Testimony was given by representatives from regulators, the oil industry, environmental and community groups and local governments.

“Today’s hearing further highlights the need for the State of California to provide enhanced protections for the public from the dangers posed by oil drilling in California,” Nava said in a news release. “Many parts of the state are impacted by oil development and drilling. Whether it is Hermosa Beach and Baldwin Hills in Los Angeles County or Santa Barbara (the proposed location of the first new drilling in California Sanctuary Act waters in 41 years), it is imperative that the public is protected. We must make sure that we do not expose Californians to the type of catastrophe that is currently occurring in the Gulf of Mexico.”

Nava said information today will be used to improve state regulations and close gaps in the existing permitting process, and will be the basis for protecting the California environment and public from abusive oil industry practices.

Meanwhile, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina today said on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” that while she might not be of Sarah Palin’s “drill, baby, drill” ilk, “what I would say is I believe that the United States of America needs to take advantage of every source of domestic energy we have. We ought to take advantage of oil, coal, natural gas, nuclear, and, yes, sun and wind and all the rest of it. But if we are serious about growing our economy and lessening our dependence on foreign oil, then offshore drilling has to be part of that equation.

Carly Fiorina“And I would hope that people wouldn’t use this tragedy — it’s both an economic tragedy and an environmental tragedy — to politicize the notion and say, ‘See, see, it can’t be done safely.’ The truth is it is being done safely in many places,” Fiorina said.

She called the gulf spill “a very troublesome situation. And while I support offshore drilling if it can be done in an environmentally safe way — and most of the time it is — certainly technology has come a long way. An accident like this shakes people to the core, no question. I believe it should be up to the voters of each state. Interestingly, in the last five years, the voters of California have come to favor, by a majority, offshore drilling.”

Posted on Friday, April 30th, 2010
Under: 2010 election, Assembly, Attorney General, Carly Fiorina, energy, Environment, Pedro Nava, U.S. Senate | 3 Comments »

Torrico leads in tribal casino campaign money

I was talking with someone the other day about Indian gaming in California – about how it remains wildly lucrative and politically influential, and about how nascent casino developments like the one right here at the East Bay’s Point Molate are likely to keep it a hot issue in the next few years.

Gaming tribes have always been a formidable force in campaign contributions, so I figured I’d check the candidates for attorney general – whose office includes the Bureau of Gambling Control that ensures tribes comply with their gaming compacts – and the candidates for governor, as the governor has authority to negotiate those gaming compacts with tribes.

Attorney General candidate and Assembly Majority Leader Alberto Torrico, D-Newark, has received the most in this election cycle of any candidate – $74,124.82 – in either of these races, by far. Next-closest in either race is Democratic gubernatorial candidate and current state Attorney General Jerry Brown, who got $47,000; next closest in the AG’s race is Assemblyman Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, who got $36,400.

None of which is all that surprising: Torrico until recently chaired (ed. note – 2006-2008, until his ascension to Assembly Majority Leader, though he serves on the committee still; my bad) the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee, which has dominion over Indian gaming matters, and now he’s running for another post with important Indian gaming oversight duties. Lieu is a member of that committee, too. (State Sen. Tom Harman, R-Huntington Beach, is vice chair of the Senate Governmental Oversight Committee; tribes gave him $26,400 for his run for AG.) And Brown’s hoping to go from one post crucial to Indian gaming to another.

Four candidates for AG reported no Indian gaming contributions at all – Democrats Kamala Harris and Chris Kelly, and Republicans Steve Cooley and John Eastman (though both the Republicans entered the race recently and haven’t filed campaign finance reports yet other than late and $5,000+ contributions requiring immediate disclosure).

In total, it looks as if tribes have spent almost $229,000 on these contests so far, but it’s still a long way to the primaries in June.

For the full breakdown of what Indian gaming money has gone where, follow me after the jump…
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, March 8th, 2010
Under: 2010 election, 2010 governor's race, Alberto Torrico, Assembly, Attorney General, campaign finance, Indian gaming, Jerry Brown, Kamala Harris, Meg Whitman, Pedro Nava, Steve Poizner, Ted Lieu | 2 Comments »

Today in the Democratic AG primary race

Three of the six Democrats vying for California Attorney General had news to report today.

Assemblyman Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara, led a news conference with other Assembly Democrats this morning in Sacramento asking their colleagues to vote against confirming state Sen. Abel Maldonado, R-Santa Maria, for lieutenant governor. Nava said a look at Maldonado’s record shows that “99.9 percent of the time he has not stood with the everyday working men and women of this state who are struggling to raise their families.” (Meanwhile, the California Republican Assembly – the GOP’s conservative grassroots – sent out a release this morning also urging that Maldonado be rejected, claiming he “has not exhibited the honor, integrity or principles that merit support for this position. A confirmation would provide a stark contrast of the disconnect between the elitists and the Tea Party movement.”)

Assemblyman Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, was promoted today to the rank of lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. Lieu, who has served for 15 years, is a military prosecutor in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps.

And former Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Chris Kelly announced today that veteran campaign strategist Robin Swanson is joining his campaign as communications director. Swanson’s resume includes several Legislative races as well as state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell’s 2002 win.

Posted on Monday, February 8th, 2010
Under: 2010 election, Abel Maldonado, Attorney General, Chris Kelly, Pedro Nava, Ted Lieu | No Comments »

One-stop shopping for Democratic candidates

The Coalition of Bay Area Young Democrats, conjunction with the San Francisco Young Democrats, will host a massive candidates’ forum at 1 p.m. this Saturday, Feb. 6 at the SEIU Local 87 hall, 240 Golden Gate Ave. in San Francisco.

Free and open to the public, the forum aims to hear from, and give attendees a chance to ask questions of, candidates in some of 2010′s highest-profile races. Confirmed speakers include gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown; lieutenant governor candidate Janice Hahn; Attorney General candidates Kamala Harris, Chris Kelly, Pedro Nava and Alberto Torrico; incumbent state Treasurer Bill Lockyer; Insurance Commissioner candidates Hector De La Torre and Dave Jones; Superintendent of Public instruction candidates Larry Aceves and Tom Torlakson; and incumbent Board of Equalization member Betty Yee.

Posted on Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010
Under: 2010 election, 2010 governor's race, Alberto Torrico, Attorney General, Bill Lockyer, Democratic Party, Democratic politics, Elections, Janice Hahn, Jerry Brown, Kamala Harris, Lt. Governor, Pedro Nava, Political events, Tom Torlakson | 1 Comment »

Quadruple endorsement lovefest in AG’s race

Ted LieuYesterday, the campaign of Assemblyman Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, issued a news release saying his candidacy for state Attorney General had been endorsed by the California Federation of Teachers.

“As the son of a school teacher, I am honored and humbled to receive the endorsement of CFT’s over 120,000 members,” Lieu said. “My commitment to education goes well beyond sending my own children to public schools. I strongly support the role of public schools as a cornerstone of our democracy. As California’s Attorney General, I will continue that support.”

Today, the campaign of San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris, also a Democrat, issued a news release saying her candidacy for state Attorney General had been endorsed by… the California Federation of Teachers.

“There is a direct connection between public safety and public education, and I believe that California’s Attorney General can use her office to keep our streets safe by injecting innovative ideas into our justice system,” Harris said. “I am honored to have earned the endorsement of CFT, and I look forward to working with CFT’s members to protect public education and public safety as California Attorney General.”

CFT spokesman Fred Glass confirmed both endorsements this afternoon, and said the union actually endorsed Democrats Alberto Torrico and Pedro Nava, too.

“We interviewed eight candidates and we actually liked four enough to endorse them,” he said. “It’s not something we usually do, but there it is – it happens sometimes. I think it has to do with the fact that they’re all decent candidates plus there’s probably been pushing from local folks in those local areas that like those people.”

Which, I guess, doesn’t say much for unendorsed Democrats Chris Kelly and Rocky Delgadillo or Republicans Tom Harman and Steve Cooley. Then again, it’s not like getting a quarter of a quadruple endorsement is going to put anyone over the top, either.

UPDATE @ 8:02 P.M.: Better late than never, Nava stakes his claim, too:

“I am honored to have the endorsement of the California Federation of Teachers and add them to my growing list of supporters. The organization represents thousands of dedicated teachers and frontline school employees who put our young people first. I am pleased to have their support and confidence in my Attorney General candidacy.”

Posted on Thursday, January 14th, 2010
Under: 2010 election, Alberto Torrico, Attorney General, Kamala Harris, Pedro Nava, Ted Lieu | 3 Comments »