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Reports show huge cash advantage for Jerry Brown

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POSTED October 6, 2014 6:35 p.m.

SACRAMENTO (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown reported Monday that he has nearly $24 million left for his re-election campaign after spending very little so far this year, while his Republican challenger, Neel Kashkari, has about $680,000 left for the final month of the campaign.

In a report filed with the secretary of state’s office, the Democratic governor said he has $23.6 million in the bank as of Sept. 30 and has spent just $402,000 this year.

Kashkari, meanwhile, reported having just $680,000 on hand after spending $4.9 million so far this year. That includes $4.4 million his campaign spent on a tough primary election contest, including $2 million of Kashkari’s own money.

Unless his fundraising picks up in the final month, the former U.S. Treasury official is unlikely to have enough money to mount a TV advertising campaign. Kashkari acknowledged in an interview last month that it has been difficult to get donors to contribute to a relatively unknown candidate challenging a popular incumbent. Polls show Brown with a lead of 15 to 21 percentage points over Kashkari.

“The hardest thing that I’ve found this entire campaign is how many Republicans have given up. They say Meg Whitman spent $200 million and had nothing to show for it,” Kashkari said, referring to the 2010 GOP nominee who spent $178.5 million, about $144 million of it from her own fortune. But he said fundraising picked up after he and Brown debated in early September.

Campaign consultants were the largest expenditure for both candidates in the period covered by the fundraising reports filed Monday.

Brown’s spending included about $36,000 in contributions that were returned between July 1 and Sept. 30.

Brown spokesman Dan Newman said one donation was reissued due to the donor’s clerical error and the campaign returned donations from executives of Pacific Gas & Electric Co., “to be prudent” as federal prosecutors investigate a series of allegedly improper communications between PG&E and the state utilities commission. PG&E says the executives involved have left the company.

Brown is not outwardly campaigning for his re-election, instead focusing his efforts on a pair of ballot measures he is promoting: Proposition 1, which would spend $7.5 billion on a variety of water projects; and Proposition 2, which would strengthen California’s rainy day fund.

The committee for both measures reported having $6.6 million on hand Monday. Among its largest donations are $3.8 million from the California Teachers Association and $1 million each from the Service Employees International Union and former Facebook president and Napster co-founder Sean Parker.

Campaigns have until midnight Monday to report their fundraising and spending through Sept. 30.

Among the notable statewide races is the challenge to incumbent Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson from a fellow Democrat, school reformer Marshall Tuck.

Tuck on Monday reported he has nearly $700,000 in the bank after spending $1.3 million so far. Torlakson reported he has $609,000 after spending $1.4 million.

But Torlakson also has support from outside committees funded by the state’s teachers unions, making the race the only statewide contest to draw independent expenditures this year.

A committee controlled by the California Teachers Association supporting Torlakson reported that it has spent $2.6 million and has $506,000 left, and the CTA also spent $1.94 million on issues ads that show Torlakson in a favorable light.

 

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