Capitol Alert

California lawmakers raised $39 million for campaigns in 2015

Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, left, discusses legislation with Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, center, and Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, at the Capitol, Sept. 2, 2015. The lawmakers and their colleagues filed end-of-year financial reports this week.
Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, left, discusses legislation with Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, center, and Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, at the Capitol, Sept. 2, 2015. The lawmakers and their colleagues filed end-of-year financial reports this week. AP

Members of the California Legislature began the election year with more than $40 million cash on hand after raising about $39 million last year, according to campaign reports filed this week.

About 69 percent of the contributions went to the Legislature’s majority Democrats, with the rest donated to Republicans.

Lawmakers began 2015 with about $23 million cash on hand and collectively ended the year with about $17 million more in almost 400 campaign committees. They reported about $49 million in campaign contributions, but about $10.7 million of those reflected some lawmakers’ transfer of money from one campaign account to another and not actual campaign donations.

The filings showed that lawmakers spent about $31 million. Top expenses included consultants, fundraising firms, airlines and political lawyers, the filings show.

While all 80 Assembly seats and half the Senate’s 40 seats are at stake this year, only about two-thirds of Assembly incumbents and 13 members of the state Senate are running. Incumbent members from safe seats, or senators who are not up for re-election, traditionally donate money to leadership or party campaign committees to be spent in competitive races.

Lawmakers collectively ended the year with about $3.4 million in loans and other outstanding debt, this week’s filings show. That is down from almost $4 million in debt at the end of 2014.

  Comments