Politics, government and public life for Southern California

The trickle-down effect of California campaign funding

Republican Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack is in a tight re-election race, but that hasn't stopped her from making contributions to other candidates from her campaign fund and her political action committee.

US Representative from California Loretta Sanchez

Scott Nelson/AFP/Getty Images

Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez received a donation from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and then made a donation to another party candidate.


One steady source of income to Congressional campaigns in this election has been from current members. And they have lots of different ways to give.

Nancy Pelosi rose through the ranks to become the Democrats’ Congressional leader in part because of her fundraising prowess. In this election cycle, for example, she raised more than $2 million for her own campaign.

Sheila Krumholz, who heads the Center for Responsive Politics, says because Pelosi’s re-election is a lock, she can open up her purse strings: "She can then take that money to tithe to the party."

Pelosi can do this by contributing to the party's campaign arm for House members, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Krumholz says Pelosi will raise funds, "both from her campaign and from her leadership PAC. She will then support other colleagues, junior colleagues, struggling candidates for office."

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Judge approves audit of group that donated $11 million to proposition campaigns

A Sacramento Superior Court judge on Wednesday ordered an Arizona organization, Americans for Responsible Leadership, to provide more details regarding an $11 million donation it made to a California group involved with two critical propositions on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The law firm representing Americans for Responsible Leadership said it will appeal the decision. Such an appeal would temporarily halt Wednesday’s ruling.

California’s elections watchdog, the Fair Political Practices Commission, went to court seeking the identities of the individuals who provided the donation. The FPCC’s Ann Ravel says an appeal would make it impossible to get the names of donors disclosed before the election.

The donation, made to California’s Small Business Action Committee, is being used in campaigns to defeat Prop 30, Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax initiative, and to pass Prop 32, the ban on payroll deductions for political contributions.

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Blechh! Dog germs! Gov. Brown's dog Sutter masquerades as Prop 30 kissing booth

Sutter, California's First Dog

Sutter Brown Facebook page

Gov. Jerry Brown's dog Sutter masquerades as a kissing booth on Halloween in support of Prop 30

That's what Peanuts' character Lucy said when Snoopy would lay a big wet one on her kisser —  Blechh! Dog germs!

Not to assume too much about the oral hygeine standards in the Jerry Brown/Anne Gust household, but it would seem that doggy kisses are not off limits, especially when it comes to soliciting support for Gov. Brown's sales and income tax increase measure, Prop 30.

The First Pooch's Facebook page shows Sutter dressed in a Prop 30 kissing-booth costume for Halloween, part of his being hauled around the state making personal appearances (presumably in his normal, costume-free doggy skin) in the days before the election. Sutter's page declares he likes long walks and tummy rubs and loves people.

He's set to be shown, fondled and smooched in Camarillo and Santa Barbara on Thursday. Here's the full schedule.

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Boxers or briefs? First-time voters in LA care about tougher issues than underwear

FIRST TIME VOTERS

Ashley Bailey/KPCC

Kristy Plaza, 18, of Duarte says she supports President Obama because he supports the DREAM act and she likes the way he presents himself.

FIRST TIME VOTERS

Ashley Bailey/KPCC

Tom Stivers, 19, of Pebble Beach says he's voting for Mitt Romney because he wants the economy to improve so he can get a job when he's out of medical school.

FIRST TIME VOTERS

Ashley Bailey/KPCC

Momo Matsuda, 19, is a lesbian, grew up in Berkeley and goes to school at Occidental College in LA. She says she supports President Obama because he has her in mind when he's making policies.


One in four people eligible to vote in the Nov. 6 election is younger than 30. Kristy Plaza is one of them. The 18-year old says she's waited two years to vote for the first time. She can’t stop smiling.

“I am voting. I better be in a coma to NOT vote!" she insists. 

Plaza grew up in Duarte. She used to run voter registration campaigns on her high school campus even before she could vote. She got hooked after seeing a presentation at the L.A. Convention Center by the nonprofit Rock the Vote.

“It was all about being empowered to vote and I never really heard that before," Plaza says. " I mean, I grew up with my parents saying, ‘Oh, we don’t need to vote. It’s not that important,' or 'It doesn’t make a difference anyways.' "

Heather Smith of Rock the Vote says young people’s votes do make a difference. She told KPCC’s Take Two that “millennials” could be the deciding factor in this election.

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Rep. Laura Richardson's Congressional account is tapped out (CORRECTION)

Kitty Felde/KPCC

Rep. Laura Richardson

CORRECTION AND UPDATE:

The original version of this story erroneously reported that U.S. Rep. Laura Richardson lost her home to foreclosure earlier this year. In 2007, a home the Congresswoman owned in Sacramento was foreclosed upon, but she was able to stop the process and retain ownership.

On Thursday, the Congresswoman disputed a report that the taxpayer-funded account to run her offices in Washington and Long Beach has been depleted. Rep. Richardson would not answer questions, but her office supplied this statement:

The 37th Congressional District, represented by Congresswoman Richardson has adequate funding to carry out the official duties of her office through the end of the 112th Congress.  The internal email referenced a single line item budgeted for mass mailings and not the MRA budget as a whole. 

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