Nearly $3.5 Million Has Been Spent on Independent Expenditures to Support or Oppose State Legislative Candidates

Contact: Jay Wierenga, (916) 322-7761

.pdf version of news release


Since August 8, 2012, nearly $3.5 million has been spent on independent expenditures to support or oppose State legislative candidates that are on the November 6, 2012, ballot, according to the Fair Political Practices Commission. The Commission is tracking these independent expenditures to provide the public with a more accessible way to view money being spent in the legislative races.

Committees that have made independent expenditures of $50,000 or more to support or oppose legislative candidates and the major donors of $10,000 or more to each of the committees making those independent expenditures, are included in the Commission's reports.

State law limits the amount a State candidate may receive directly from a single contributor; however, there are no such limits for expenditures made completely "independent" of the candidate - no coordination may take place between the candidate or his or her campaign and the entity that makes the expenditure. Independent expenditures pay for communications (e.g., billboards, mailings, television and radio advertisements) that expressly advocate the nomination, election, or defeat of a clearly identified candidate.

"With independent expenditures, it is sometimes difficult for voters to track the true source of spending because frequently contributions are made to other independent expenditure committees, obscuring the identities of the original donors," said Commission Chair Ann Ravel. "Disclosure is the best tool available for the voting public."

Of the nearly $3.5 million spent, $1,816,989 has been spent to support legislative candidates and $1,664,786 has been spent to oppose legislative candidates.

To view the Commission's summary and analysis of groups spending $50,000 or more to support or oppose legislative candidates on the November 6, 2012, ballot


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