Capitol Alert

Pérez campaign led the way in Sacramento-area ad buys

The Sacramento TV market’s largest broadcast stations netted more than $623,000 in ad revenue from federal, state and local campaign committees in the weeks before last month’s primary election, public filings show.

The top-spending customer for Sacramento-area TV ads was Assemblyman John A. Pérez, whose campaign for state controller purchased almost $220,000 in airtime in the weeks before the primary, according to ad-buying invoices uploaded by KCRA, KXTV, KOVR and KTXL.

Perez, D-Los Angeles, ended up finishing third in the contest, just 481 votes behind Board of Equalization member Betty Yee, a Democrat, who will face Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin, a Republican, in a November runoff. Campaign filings due next week will detail candidates’ primary campaign spending, but neither Yee nor Swearengin ran any Sacramento TV ads, stations’ filings show.

The second-biggest spender on Sacramento TV before the June 3 election was Sacramento County district attorney’s candidate Anne Marie Schubert, whose campaign spent $173,000. Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari spent the third-most, $156,000.

The Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto TV market is the state’s third-largest, behind Los Angeles and San Francisco, and 20th nationwide. Campaign ad-buyers earn a commission of about 15 percent.

Political ad-buying records have always been available for public review at individual stations. But under a recent Federal Communications Commission decision, top-50 stations have had to upload the filings since 2012. And as of July 1, all stations had to start posting the reports.