Capitol Alert

Big GOP money flowing to Calderon’s California Senate seat

Then-Assemblyman Tony Mendoza, D-Artesia, looks over paper work as he prepares to vote on DB 77 during the Assembly vote on a state budget plan at the state Capitol on Wednesday, March 16, 2011.
Then-Assemblyman Tony Mendoza, D-Artesia, looks over paper work as he prepares to vote on DB 77 during the Assembly vote on a state budget plan at the state Capitol on Wednesday, March 16, 2011. The Sacramento Bee

The California Republican Party and wealthy GOP benefactor Charles Munger, Jr. have more than doubled their independent efforts in the heavily Democratic 32nd Senate District in Los Angeles County, pouring in more than $230,000 for TV ads and mailers on Wednesday.

The redrawn seat overlaps much of the district of termed-out Sen. Ron Calderon, the embattled Montebello Democrat who was suspended from his post after pleading not guilty to two dozen charges including bribery, money laundering and tax fraud.

The spending, reported Thursday, either supports Republican Mario Guerra, a veteran city councilman in Downey or opposes Tony Mendoza, a former Democratic assemblyman. More than $350,000 in outside money has flowed into the race, which until recently was not considered particularly competitive, given Democrats’ 23 percentage point registration edge.

Money on behalf of Guerra and opposing Mendoza has come from the state Republican Party, Munger’s Spirit of Democracy California and JobsPAC, the committee co-chaired by the California Chamber of Commerce. The 32nd district includes Artesia, Buena Park, Commerce, Lakewood and Whittier and unincorporated Hacienda Heights.

Call Christopher Cadelago, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 326-5538. Follow him on Twitter @ccadelago

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