Capitol Alert

Consultants, other businesses pull in California campaign cash

With the fall campaign season fast approaching, candidates and ballot measure campaigns will raise money as fast as they can spend it in the coming weeks.

State records show that they’ve spent a lot already. From Jan. 1, 2013 through June 30, California-based campaign committees reported about $285 million in spending on TV ads, fundraising events, campaign consultants and other costs in ballot measure contest and in races for statewide office and the Legislature. And that doesn’t include some $172 million in contributions to other campaign committees.

So who’s getting the money? Based on numbers reported to the state, the list below shows the top-100 recipients of money from campaign committees during the first 18 months of the election cycle.

A few important caveats: The list excludes the money campaign committees received from other committees. And the numbers are gross, not net, and so don’t reflect the businesses’ pass-through payments to TV stations, signature gatherers, mail shops and other subvendors. Similarly, the numbers don’t reflect what the businesses may have earned as subvendors themselves.

Arno Petition Consultants Inc. grossed almost $10 million. The Carlsbad-based firm oversaw signature-gathering efforts to qualify three state ballot measures: a referendum on a Central Valley tribal casino deal (Prop. 48 on the Nov. 4 ballot); a ballot measure to lock in a hospital revenue stream (qualified for the November 2016 ballot); and a ballot measure pushed by venture capitalist Tim Draper to divide California into six states (awaiting signature verification).

No. 9 on the list is Unger Construction Co. Scott Maxwell, an Unger Construction principal, said Friday that the payments reflected the company’s construction work on the California Democratic Party’s recently opened headquarters.

Top recipients of campaign committee spending
Payee Amount
Note: Does not include payments to other campaign committees.
Source: Campaign-finance data from California Secretary of State
The Sacramento Bee
Arno Petition Consultants Inc. $9,952,430
NW Democracy Resources, Inc. $7,328,558
McNally Temple & Associates, Inc. $4,423,794
JP M & M, Inc. $3,075,855
The Strategy Group, Inc. $3,008,839
PCI Consultants, Inc. $2,759,872
Milner, Butcher Media Group, LLC $2,715,560
Greenstripe Media, Inc. $2,580,059
Unger Construction Co. $2,498,963
The Monaco Group, Inc. $2,137,177
Olson, Hagel, & Fishburn, LLP $2,101,647
Smart Media Group LLC $2,029,561
Shallman Communications, Inc. $1,906,003
Kimball Petition Management, Inc. $1,829,428
AKPD Message & Media, Inc. $1,624,900
Kaufman Legal Group, A Professional Corporation $1,550,133
The Battin Group, Inc. $1,463,569
David Binder Research, Inc. $1,461,300
Bell, McAndrews, & Hiltachk, LLP $1,439,656
Pebble Beach Company, Inc. $1,435,376
Bertolina & Barnato, Inc. $1,342,762
Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross & Leoni, LLP $1,229,942
Meridian Pacific, Inc. $1,227,760
Media & Associates, Inc. $1,200,265
American Express Corporation $1,193,081
David Pruitt Consulting, LLC $1,130,634
Patricia Duchene $1,121,636
Daniel C. Weitzman, LLC $1,120,775
Mailrite - Print & Mail, Inc. $1,087,344
McKinley & Pillows Fundraising Inc. $1,067,191
Print Logistics, Inc. $1,030,133
The Campaign Group, Inc. $1,021,014
Convergence Targeted Communications $1,014,845
Deane & Company, Inc. $941,880
Tony Siciliani, Inc. $922,507
Kennedy Communications, Inc. $905,734
Tulchin Research, LLC $839,771
Acosta Consulting $831,079
Townsend, Raimundo, Besler & Usher, Inc. $823,400
West Coast Campaign Management, Inc. $822,190
The Justin Company $821,066
Placer Title Company $817,688
Gilliard, Blanning, & Associates, Inc. $809,691
Landslide Communications, Inc. $805,202
Wayne Ordos, Attorney At Law $796,178
Global Strategy Group, LLC $777,400
Mack-Sumner Communications, LLC $764,046
Bluewest Media $740,000
SG & A Campaigns, Inc. $733,183
Bullseye Marketing, Inc. $720,976
David Gould Company $712,667
C3 Presents, LLC $704,973
Capital Development Strategies $699,054
Stearns Consulting, Inc. $683,791
Political Data Inc. $681,225
Cops Voter Guide $656,877
Think, Inc. $629,834
Phil Giarrizzo Campaigns, Inc. $622,561
EDH & Associates, Inc. $610,879
USPS $581,690
Terris, Barnes & Walters, Inc. $568,854
Ground Works Campaigns, Inc. $566,326
The Lodge At Torrey Pines, Inc. $563,142
Waterfront Strategies $554,965
P. M. Restaurants / Consulting, Inc. $537,503
Connie Sanders-Emerson $526,352
Majority Strategies, Inc. $516,588
Storefront Political Media, Inc. $503,817
Ross Communications & Management, Inc. $496,615
Canal Partners Media, LLC $496,420
West Coast Public Affairs $492,524
Proforma True Marketing Group, Inc. $480,225
Chase Card Services $478,890
Chris Lehman Consulting $474,593
Berlin Rosen, Ltd. $473,570
RMS & Associates, Inc. $459,187
Pacific Printing, Inc. $457,764
Working Californians Research Fund $457,000
Revolvis Consulting, Inc. $456,958
River City Business Services $449,288
California Federation Of Teachers $442,839
Redwood Pacific Public Affairs, LLC $435,511
Goodwin Simon Strategic Research, Inc. $426,344
Groundworks Compaigns, Inc. $412,514
Budget Watch Dogs Newsletter $405,797
Julie Sandino $403,786
Churchwell White, LLP $403,293
Associated Campaign Consulting & Election Services, LLC $400,481
Sadler Strategic Media, Inc. $399,302
Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates, Inc. $398,500
EMC Research, Inc. $396,793
Kaufman Campaign Consultants, Inc. $396,526
Redwave Communications, LLC $396,062
Continental Colorcraft, Inc. $392,194
SCN Strategies, Inc. $385,973
Rose Kapolczynski Consulting, Inc. $385,532
SB Strategies, LLC $382,982
Goco Consulting, LLC $382,213
Ross Communications, Inc. $376,395
Internal Revenue Service $370,380