Just under a month from the election, the money has been pouring in.
You can count on plenty more between now and Nov. 8. But in honor of the Follow Friday tradition, today we follow the funds to offer a snapshot of which candidates have gotten the most party money – a good gauge for which races are most competitive and most important to leadership. You can use our Money Trail feature to stay up to date on how these numbers change over the frenetic next few weeks.
Since mid-August, political party campaign committees have donated more than $11 million to legislative candidates around the state, state filings show.
The top Democratic beneficiaries so far have been former Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, showered with $1.1 million as she seeks to wrest back her former seat from Assemblywoman Young Kim, R-Fullerton (herself the recipient of $324,000 in party money); and on the Senate side, Dems have kicked in just over $1 million to push former Assemblyman Anthony Portantino past Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors member Michael Antonovich (who has gotten $459,000 from his party).
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For the Republicans, Assemblywoman Catharine Baker, R-Dublin, has pulled in $570,000 – less than the $727,000 party dollars Democratic challenger Cheryl Cook-Kallio has enjoyed; and in Senate races, Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang, R-Diamond Bar, tops the party money charts with $494,000 to date.
RAISING KAINE: The new Sacramento Kings arena has scarcely been open, and already it’s hosting some big names. This week was Sir Paul McCartney; this weekend we get Vice Presidential candidate and Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, who will be shaking down dollars ($500 minimum) for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton at a Sunday event featuring Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento.
BY THE NUMBERS: 1.3 percent is the amount of salary coming out of correctional officer paychecks this month in their first-ever contribution toward retirement healthcare. Follow reporter Adam Ashton for more insight into the massive state workforce.
CIVICS: ‘Tis the season for pondering political engagement, from parsing promising registration numbers to divine who will actually vote to helping decipher a long list of ballot initiatives. An annual “Envisioning California” conference hosted by Sacramento State’s Center for California Studies will explore a variety of civic topics today, with a lunchtime panel featuring California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Secretary of State Alex Padilla, and Assemblywoman Susan Eggman, D-Stockton. The daylong event takes place at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria.
TREASURED: One nice thing about holding statewide office is the public platform if affords those seeking another, more prestigious office. So when State Treasurer John Chiang discusses “the future of the state” during a Public Policy Institute of California talk today, it will offer the gubernatorial hopeful the chance to describe what type of future he’d like to see for the state he’d like to lead. Chiang will be talking with PPIC president Mark Baldassare about a range of policy issues from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at 500 Washington Street in San Francisco. Watch the webcast starting at 12:15.
DATA-ING ADVICE: How is your city collecting information? Thanks to legislation passed last year, they have to tell you. The Senate Subcommittee on Modernizing Government will hold a hearing at the California Endowment Building in Los Angeles this morning to talk more about how local governments are meeting the law’s requirement that they publicly explain what kind of data-collection tools they’re using. Expected witnesses at the 11 a.m. hearing include representatives of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Los Angeles Mayor’s Office, the League of Cities and Ventura County.
CELEBRATIONS: An early happy birthday to Assemblyman Eric Linder, R-Corona, who turns 38 on Sunday.