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Unions, PACs add $293k to Brown’s campaign war chest

By on February 13, 2014
Governor Jerry Brown

The rich just keep getting richer in California’s governor’s race.

In the first ten days of February, Governor Jerry Brown, the richest candidate in the country, added another $293,000 to his already massive $17 million campaign war chest. In February, the Democrat governor raised nearly as much money as Republican Asm. Tim Donnelly raised in all of 2013.

Brown’s mid-February campaign haul, which was reported in campaign filings on Wednesday, came from just 17 donors. Among those high-dollar donors to Brown’s campaign were the UA Journeymen & Apprentices Local 250, California Hotel & Lodging Association, California Association Of Highway Patrolmen and the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association.

Brown Campaign Raises from Max-Out Contributors

Brown’s fundraising in 2013 was largely dependent on max-out contributions from large special interest groups. Under state law, individuals and corporations may contribute up to $27,200 per election. In 2013, Brown’s average campaign contribution was $17,713 with 287 contributions of $10,000 or more. That high average was buoyed by 198 campaign checks of $25,000 or more– with 167 checks written for the legal maximum, $27,200.

High speed rail californiaSeveral of those max-out contributions are drawing questions about mixing state business with campaign finances. One max-out contributor, Occidental Petroleum, according to a report by Bloomberg, has an interest in California’s pending review of the state laws governing hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as fracking. In mid-January, Brown appointed several major contributors to the University of California Board of Regents.

Last month, first reported that Brown asked the California Supreme Court to intervene in a lawsuit over the state’s high-speed rail project– just three days after accepting the state’s maximum campaign contribution from the state’s high-speed rail contractor.

On January 21, Tutor Perini, which has more than a $1 billion in outstanding contracts with the California High-Speed Rail Authority, donated $27,200 to the governor’s reelection committee. Just three days later, Brown asked the California Supreme Court for an expedited review – and reversal – of two lower court rulings that have halted the state’s high-speed rail system. The court responded with “an unusual, unanimous order to the state appellate court in Sacramento to ‘expedite its consideration of this matter,’ with written arguments due by Feb. 10,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Brown Raises Dollar for Every Californian in Poverty

A spokesman for the Governor’s office denies that the campaign contribution was connected to the lawsuit. “Contributions have no bearing whatsoever on the state’s legal filings,” said Evan Westrup, Brown’s spokesman.

While Brown’s campaign continues to bank the big bucks, a quarter of Californians are living in poverty. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure, roughly 9 million Californians live in poverty, the highest poverty rate in the nation. In 2013, Brown raised $9.87 million for his re-election campaign, more than a dollar for every Californian living in poverty.

Brown for Governor mid-February 2014 Report


Donor  Amount
CalTravel Association PAC  $      2,500.00
CalTravel Association PAC  $      2,500.00
Coalition For A Better Los Angeles  $      5,000.00
UA Journeymen & Apprentices Local 250  $      7,200.00
Fabian Nunez For Treasurer 2014  $      8,200.00
California Hotel & Lodging Association PAC  $    10,000.00
Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc.  $    10,000.00
Invenergy  $    10,000.00
UA Journeymen & Apprentices Local 250  $    20,000.00
UA Journeymen & Apprentices Local 250  $    27,200.00
William Brooks (Fremont, CA)  $    27,200.00
William Brooks (Fremont, CA)  $    27,200.00
Barbara Brooks (San Francisco, CA)  $    27,200.00
John Brooks (San Francisco, CA)  $    27,200.00
CSLEA PAC  $    27,200.00
California Association Of Highway Patrolmen  $    27,200.00
CSLEA PAC  $    27,200.00
Total  $  293,000.00



About John Hrabe

John Hrabe spends his time traveling the world as a freelance journalist. When he isn’t on an international flight, John writes about state and national politics for,, Huffington Post and the editorial pages of the Orange County Register. John’s most recent high-profile investigation uncovered the questionable labor practices of Goodwill Industries, the nonprofit organization famous for its secondhand clothing stores.

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