Gov. Brown maintains sizable fundraising lead over GOP opponents

Gov. Brown maintains sizable fundraising lead over GOP opponents

JerryBrownSchwCalifornia Governor Jerry Brown begins his re-election campaign with $17 million in the bank.

The incumbent Democrat governor, according to state disclosure reports released recently, raised $9.9 million last year — with the overwhelming majority of those funds coming from big corporations, labor unions, oil companies and high-worth individuals that routinely lobby state government.

“When you’ve been through the experience like Jerry Brown went through with Meg Whitman, your gut tells you that you better go out and raise as much money as you can because there might be some millionaire or billionaire lurking in the shadows that will try to spend you out of office,” Garry South, one of the state’s leading Democrat campaign consultants, told Bloomberg.

Brown’s Republican opponents will have only a fraction of the governor’s campaign funds. Former Treasury Department official Neel Kashkari, who launched his campaign in January, has yet to file any campaign disclosure reports. Former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, who dropped out of the race in January, raised slightly more than half a million dollars last year.

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, reported just $54,299 in cash on hand at the end of the year, after raising $374,212 for his gubernatorial campaign in 2013. However, Donnelly’s fundraising picked up steam after the campaign filing deadline. In mid-January, Donnelly’s campaign received $20,000 from the California Houndsmen for Conservation, which is not factored in the latest cash-on-hand figures.

Neither Cindy Sheehan, the Peace and Freedom’s candidate, nor the Green Party’s Luis Rodriguez filed disclosure reports.

Brown’s fundraising dependent on max-out contributors

Brown’s fundraising in 2013 was largely dependent on max-out contributions from large special interest groups. Under state law, individuals and corporations may contribute up to $27,200 per election. In 2013, Brown’s average campaign contribution was $17,713, with 287 contributions of $10,000 or more. That high average was buoyed by 198 campaign checks of $25,000 or more – with 167 checks written for the legal maximum, $27,200.

Several of those max-out contributions are drawing questions about mixing state business with campaign finances. One max-out contributor, Occidental Petroleum, according to a report by Bloomberg, has an interest in California’s pending review of the state laws governing hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as fracking.

“Brown took two checks in January for $27,200 each from GEO Group Inc. (GEO), the second-largest U.S. prison operator,” observes Bloomberg. “The donations come after GEO, based in Boca Raton, Florida, last year won a five-year contract worth as much as $150 million to house 1,400 of California’s inmates at two of the company’s jails in the state.”

The governor’s office denies that campaign contributions affect state business. “Contributions have no bearing whatsoever on the state’s legal filings,” said Evan Westrup, Brown’s spokesman.

Campaigning strategy

Brown’s opponents have gotten creative with their limited funds. In contrast to Brown’s high-budget campaign, Donnelly has focused on a grassroots effort, which includes a two-week statewide bus tour. The campaign has more than 40 stops scheduled in its 1,000-mile journey across the Golden State.

“We’re hitting the road to save California!” Donnelly explained on his website. “Over the next two weeks, I’ll be aboard our campaign bus, The Liberty Express, visiting with you and holding events throughout the state.”

In 2010, Brown’s campaign held $12 million

At the same point four years ago, Brown’s campaign reported nearly $12 million in the bank, according to the Associated Press. This year’s campaign chest, thanks to the power and influence of incumbency, is $5 million better, or a 41 percent improvement.

Brown also proved that a penny saved is a penny earned. The report shows Brown spent just shy of $208,000 last year, a relatively low sum for a statewide campaign. The largest expenditure was for two $25,000 bonuses paid to Angie Tate, one of the best Democratic fundraisers in the state, and Edward Ruthrauff, a Brown aide.


Write a comment
  1. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 13 February, 2014, 20:10

    Cancel the party before it is over. Jerry Brown wins in the usual landslide without blowing up the boxes!

    Reply this comment
    • Rex the Wonder Dog!
      Rex the Wonder Dog! 13 February, 2014, 21:17

      Teddy is right, there is no way Clown loses absent a meltdown in the stock market and that meltdown then affects the economy, and if there is no real opposition, even that will not matter….

      Reply this comment
  2. Cindy Sheehan for Cal Gov
    Cindy Sheehan for Cal Gov 14 February, 2014, 16:36

    We did file our financial disclosure reports, look harder.

    The amount of money a candidate has does not confer absolute credibility. To us, it just shows how many obligations other than the citizens of California a candidate has.

    Look at Brown’s record on fracking, privatized education, and the prison industrial complex and you will see who he represents.

    Reply this comment
    • bob
      bob 16 February, 2014, 20:53

      You’re right that Brownie is bought and paid for but that’s just the way government works. Always has, always will.

      Reply this comment
  3. @realmandydee
    @realmandydee 14 February, 2014, 17:08

    Have any arguments about me publishing this on twitter?

    Reply this comment
    • SeeSaw
      SeeSaw 16 February, 2014, 11:01

      You are on the wrong site. This is supposed to be about Governor Brown–I don’t think the Governor or the author of this article would want to read your tweet!

      Reply this comment
  4. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 15 February, 2014, 13:10

    Give it up Cindy Sheehan. I’m sorry for your loss–but Governor Brown had nothing to do with it.

    Reply this comment
  5. marsha
    marsha 17 February, 2014, 10:42

    Cindy Sheehan is running to end poverty in California. Brown’s campaign sources sources prove that he wants to perpetuate poverty and prisons. The rich in this state don’t need to fund Republicans when they can buy the Democrats.

    Reply this comment
  6. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 17 February, 2014, 16:49


    Reply this comment
  7. T
    T 19 February, 2014, 08:15

    Would be interesting to know how much UFW contributed so they can continue killing our farming industry in the state.

    Reply this comment

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