California Common Cause Releases Findings On Mayoral Candidate Fundraising: Neighborhoods Are Not So High Priority

Media Contact:

October 21, 2013

Simon Mayeski (858) 361-8223

California Common Cause Releases Findings on Mayoral Candidate Fundraising: Neighborhoods are Not So High Priority

The common theme in the special election for mayor seems to be “Neighborhoods, Neighborhoods, Neighborhoods.” Yet, an analysis of campaign finance records from reporting available as of October 21, over $ 475,000 in contributions to candidates’ committees has come from outside the city of San Diego.

“When you look at the campaign fundraising, you have to wonder whose interests will receive top priority, the local community or the big donor from Sacramento or Washington DC,” said Ric Bainter, Common Cause Board Member.

Campaign finance disclosures also revealed nearly $1.3 million being raised independently by special interest groups, with offices in Los Angeles, Sacramento, Washington, D.C and other cities around the country to influence the election. History shows that these “independent expenditures” are most often used to buy attack ads that are intended to make voters dislike a particular candidate. According to Jonathan Stein, CA Common Cause Board Member, negative advertising leaves many voters disgusted by the whole political process. “Many people end up not voting at all and elections are then determined by a small number of the most ideological and committed voters.”

“There is a better way to do this,” said Simon Mayeski, San Diego Organizer for CA Common Cause, “And we know what that is. In Los Angeles, creating a strong matching funds system of public financing of campaigns in the last year has already re-focused candidates on local, small-dollar fundraising. Constituents, even those who are not super wealthy, can have a voice in choosing their elected officials.” Los Angeles now provides a match of $2-4 in public campaign financing for every $1 raised from local residents.

Common Cause and the League of Women Voters support public financing of elections and other reforms that promote transparent and accountable government. The two organizations will be holding a candidate forum on Saturday, October 26th at the Mission Valley Public Library at 2123 Fenton Pkwy, San Diego, CA 92108, 12pm – 2pm. Candidates include David Alvarez, Mike Aguirre, Kevin Faulconer (invited) and Nathan Fletcher. Topics will include money and politics, voter participation and government accountability. The event is free and open to the public.

California Common Cause is a non-partisan, non-profit that strives to strengthen our democracy by empowering our members, supporters and the general public to take action on critical policy issues.