Capitol Alert

California tribe fighting casino makes $5.4 million campaign donation

California campaign committees reported more than $12.5 million in donations Tuesday, among the biggest one-day totals of the 2014 election as critics of a proposed Madera casino, backers of state schools chief candidate Marshall Tuck, and others poured in money.

Table Mountain Rancheria contributed another $5.4 million to the campaign opposing Proposition 48, the referendum on a 2013 casino deal between the state and the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians that would allow the tribe to build a casino off Highway 99 in Madera. The tribe’s contribution, an in-kind donation of TV and internet advertising, brings its no-on-48 investment to more than $8 million.

A newly formed independent expenditure committee to help elect Tuck, meanwhile, reported $2 million in contributions from a trio of wealthy business executives – William Bloomfield, Eli Broad and John Douglas Arnold – and Laurene Powell-Jobs, the widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs. Tuck is challenging Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.

Seemingly confident of his own return to office, Gov. Jerry Brown’s re-election committee gave $876,000 to his ballot-measure campaign committee trying to pass two November priorities: Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion water bond, and Proposition 2, which would create a rainy-day fund for the state budget.

Brown got some help in that regard from another donation reported Tuesday: venture capitalist L. John Doerr gave $475,000 to the Yes-on-1-and-2 campaign. Another big six-figure donation Tuesday was $341,000 donation from the California Republican Party to Janet Nguyen, the party’s nominee in the battleground 34th Senate District.

The $12.5 million in contributions reported Tuesday was the highest one-day total since more than $15 million in contributions reported Aug. 1. The election-cycle high – so far – is $45.2 million reported Feb. 4. That was when several hospitals and other health organizations contributed millions of dollars to health-related campaign committees.

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