Monday, June 7, 2010
Kelly Pours Millions More Into His Campaign for Attorney General
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Former Facebook executive Chris Kelly contributed nearly $2.5 million to his effort to win the Democratic nomination for California attorney general last week, bringing his total self-funding to more than $12 million, records show.
With about $250,000 in donations from other sources as well, Kelly is by far the high spender among candidates vying to become the state’s top lawyer. Seven Democrats and three Republicans will be on tomorrow’s ballot, with voters also casting ballots for other federal, state, and local offices, along with the usual myriad of ballot measures.
The two major party candidates will join four nominees of lesser parties on the November ballot. The winner of that contest will become California’s 32nd attorney general, charged by the Constitution “to see that the laws of the state are uniformly and adequately enforced.”
The current attorney general, Jerry Brown, is running for governor and is expected to win the Democratic nomination easily over a field of unknowns.
A recent SurveyUSA poll taken for four California television stations showed San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris in front with 25 percent, followed by Kelly with 17 percent and former Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo—who was trounced by Brown four years ago—with 13 percent. Back in single digits were Assembly members Pedro Nava, Ted Lieu and Albert Torrico, and Emeryville attorney Michael Shmier.
The three frontrunners had a significant presence on television in the campaign’s closing days, while the others bought space on a number of slate mailers. Torrico’s campaign was also bolstered by automated telephone calls featuring endorsements by labor leaders, a key staple of the Assembly majority leader’s support.
Reports filed electronically with the secretary of state show that Kelly donated $2.45 million to his effort last Wednesday.
Kelly had previously reported raising more than $9.7 million through May 22, including $9.6 million of his own money. Subsequent reports bring his total fundraising to more than $12.3 million.
Donations of more than $1,000 received after May 22 must be reported within 24 hours. Smaller donations do not have to be reported until next month, when semi-annual reports must be filed.
Harris was closest to Kelly, raising about $3.5 million over the nearly two years she has been running for the post. Delgadillo raised about $1.9 million, Torrico about $1.8 million, Lieu about $1.6 million, and Nava a little over $450,000, with only one donation, of $3,000, reported since May 22.
On the Republican side, Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley, who received 29 percent in the SurveyUSA poll to 28 percent for Sen. Tom Harman, R-Garden Grove, and 14 percent for conservative legal scholar John Eastman, was the top fundraiser despite his late entry into the race.
Cooley and Eastman announced their bids around the beginning of the year, after Harman had the field to himself for about a year. Cooley, however, has seriously tapped the Los Angeles legal and business communities and has now raised more than $1.4 million, compared to about $920,000 for Harman and about $550,000 for Eastman.
Cooley has used his funds to press the case that as a prosecutor for 37 years, the last 9 1/2 as the chief prosecutor of the state’s largest county, he is best positioned to head the Attorney General’s Office. Harman and Eastman continued to push the message they have been using since Cooley entered the race, that the self-described moderate is the wrong candidate to represent a conservative party, and that they will work diligently to preserve the Three-Strikes Law, which Cooley has sought to modify.
Copyright 2010, Metropolitan News Company