Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Democratic party puts money behind Josh Newman

Democrat Josh Newman is running against GOP Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang in the 29th Senate District.
Democrat Josh Newman is running against GOP Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang in the 29th Senate District. The Josh Newman Campaign

When Democratic state Senate candidate Josh Newman filed his first campaign-finance report last summer, he listed $1,067 in expenses.

Newman's latest filing Thursday included a slightly higher spending total: $963,000 in a little more than three weeks.

There's more where that came from. From mid-August through Wednesday, the Fullerton Democrat's campaign committee had received almost $1.4 million from Democratic party committees – including $445,000 Wednesday alone – to help wrest Southern California's 29th Senate District from Republicans.

Spanning parts of Orange, Los Angeles, and San Bernardino counties, the 29th is a central front in Senate Democrats' efforts to reclaim the two-thirds super-majority they achieved in 2012 and then lost.

Republican Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang, R-Diamond Bar, is trying to keep the district in GOP hands after the departure of termed-out state Sen. Bob Huff.

Through Oct. 22, Chang's Senate campaign reported spending more than $2.2 million in 2016. In addition, outside groups have spent more than $2 million in the contest, almost all of it on Chang's behalf.

Newman's campaign, in contrast, reported about $1.1 million in spending. Still, that's a long way removed from a candidacy that once relied on campaigning in a bear suit and a “Newman for State Senate” blimp to build name ID.

Click here to go to The Money Trail.

WORTH REPEATING: “Be careful of these opposite ads. Or, in general, white ladies gardening.” - Comedian Kathy Griffin, spoofing a tobacco-funded TV ad that opposes the Proposition 56 tax increase.

YES ON 61: Bernie Sanders has long complained about high drug prices and the need to rein in costs for prescription medications. This weekend, the wiry-haired Vermont senator and former presidential candidate will appear on television screens across the state as the star of a 30-minute documentary supporting Proposition 61, which backers say will limit what the state pays for prescription drugs. The film, which airs at 10 a.m. on local CBS stations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento and Fresno, “drills down deep on the deceptive and avaricious practices of the greedy drug companies,” while telling the story of families that can’t afford critical medications.

DAMAGE CONTROL: House Speaker Paul Ryan continues his three-day, 14-stop swing through California to help shore up vulnerable incumbents and aid the prospects of GOP challengers. Ryan was in the Central Valley, including Sacramento and Modesto, on Thursday. His previous two visits to California as speaker came in March and June.

BEIJING BOUND: State officials are taking a delegation of clean technology businesses to China in an effort to increase investment in California’s renewable energy sector. The Office of Business and Economic Development and the California Energy Commission will lead the group, with the goal of building on Gov. Jerry Brown’s trade mission to China in 2013. The trip is scheduled for Oct. 27 through Nov. 5, with stops in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Nanjing and Zhenjiang.

GOTV: Latino leaders are kicking off a Get Out the Vote campaign to urge support for marijuana legalization on Friday. Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens, will be in Los Angeles at 1 p.m. alongside community leaders to highlight the effort.

CELEBRATE: Happy birthday to Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, who turns 51 today.