Independent spending in California’s June 3 primary election has pushed above $23.2 million, with the political forces burning through nearly $250,000 a day.
The figures, not complete, reflect independent spending since March 1 and include both statewide and local races, according to campaign disclosure reports filed with the secretary of state. Typically, the money goes to broadcast advertising, mailers and outreach efforts.
The largest single amounts from independent expenditure committees, or IEs, came from the California Teachers Association in the race for Superintendent of Public Instruction. The CTA spent $1.1 million in support of incumbent Tom Torlakson, and spent another $1.1 million in opposition to Torlakson’s challenger, Marshall Tuck.
Spending on Tuck’s behalf came largely from William Booth Jr. of Manhattan Beach and a group called the political action committee of the Senior Advocates League. Four payments alone, ranging from $342,000 to $376,000 each, totaled nearly $1.44 million
In the hottest legislative race, the 16th Assembly District grudge match in the East Bay between Orinda Vice Mayor Steve Glazer and Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti, the independent expenditures have been dramatic and complex, on one level pitting real estate and business interests against labor.
Glazer, a consultant who managed Jerry Brown’s campaign for governor in 2010, ran into trouble with the California Teachers Association and other labor groups for handling business clients. The California Association of Realtors has made multiple six-digit payments on Glazer’s behalf, led by a $550,033 expenditure at the end of last month and a $208,821 payment the week before. The Realtors’ I.E. spent some$1.18 million for Glazer. A total of $1.5 million has been spent for Glazer by I.E.’s
Meanwhile, spending on Sbranti’s behalf has come heavily from the CTA’s IE, which has nearly $1.1 million. The CTA’s top campaign adviser, Gale Kaufman, also is advising Sbranti’s campaign. Gov. Brown has declined to endorse a contender in the race. Sbranti’s opponents have spent about $360,000, mostly from business interests.
Of nearly 770 IE payments reported by the secretary of state, about three dozen were $100,000 or more.