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Meg Whitman’s spending in governor’s race tops $140 million

Meg Whitman’s spending in governor’s race tops $140 million

Democrat Jerry Brown may be the poor boy in the California governor’s race, but he’s out-raised billionaire Republican Meg Whitman by nearly $10 million this year, according to campaign finance reports submitted Tuesday by the two campaigns.

Things were tighter in the race for attorney general, where Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley, a Republican, has raised $3.9 million this year. That compares with $3.5 million for Democrat Kamala Harris, the DA in San Francisco.

Since the first of the year, Brown has taken in $28.9 million from outside sources, Whitman $19 million.

But then again, there’s Meg’s pocketbook: The former eBay CEO has personally donated about six times that amount — $119 million — to her gubernatorial quest, breaking the record for a self-funded campaign. Of that, Whitman ponied up all but $19 million this year.

Which means spending in the race isn’t even close.

Whitman’s new expenditure totals for 2010 are breathtaking: $94.6 million on radio and TV advertising, $11.7 million on campaign consultants, $8.2 million on campaign literature and mailings, $5.7 million on campaign workers’ salaries, $2.3 million on office expenses and $5 million on Internet expenses.

In the past three months, Whitman’s been spending more than $3 million a week. And since the race began last year, she’s spent $140 million.

By contrast, Brown has run his campaign like a New Age commune: So far this year, he’s spent $8.9 million on TV and radio ads, $615,514 on campaign literature, $163,200 on consultants and $122,350 on office expenses.

Further down the ballot, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is outpacing Republican incumbent Abel Maldonado in  the race for lieutenant governor. While Maldonado narrowed the gap in the most recent three months, Newsom’s war chest of $1.2 million still dwarfs Maldonado’s $456,548.

Incumbent state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, a Democrat, is stomping his long-shot Republican challenger, Mimi Walters. Though Walters has raised more money than Lockyer this year, her $314,555 on hand is a fraction of his $7.7 million.

Two other long-shot Republicans, though, are keeping pace with the Democratic incumbents they’re hoping to unseat. Former Stanford football star Damon Dunn matched Secretary of State Debra Bowen nearly dollar for dollar in the most recent three-month reporting period, and his approximately $204,000 on hand isn’t far behind Bowen, with about $252,000.

State Sen. Tony Strickland is just $109,000 behind Controller John Chiang, thanks to more robust fundraising results in the quarter and since the year began.

Big money is also sloshing around in the November ballot measures — particularly in the battle over Proposition 23, which would suspend the state’s landmark 2006 law to curb greenhouse gases.

Supporters, led by out-of-state oil company Valero’s $4 million, have raised $8.4 million this year and spent $5.3 million. The campaign also received a $1 million donation from Flint Hills Resources; the petrochemical company is a subsidiary of Koch Industries, run by two oil billionaire brothers.

Proposition 23 opponents raised about $13 million this period, about $16 million this year. They have $5.4 million in cash on hand.

In recent weeks, several Silicon Valley venture capitalists and executives at clean-technology companies have joined environmental organizations in contributing to defeat the measure.

Thomas Steyer, a hedge fund manager at Farallon Capital Management in San Francisco, has donated $5 million. Venture capitalist John Doerr and wife, Ann, a philanthropist and trustee of the Environmental Defense Fund, have donated $1 million each.

Applied Materials and Tesla Motors donated $25,000 each to the No on 23 campaign, while Arizona-based First Solar donated $50,000.

Supporters of Proposition 19, which would legalize recreational marijuana, have raised $736,550 this year, compared with $158,417 by opponents.

The Yes on 19 campaign reported having about $67,000 in cash on hand, while the “no” side has about $54,000.

Counting last year, supporters of Proposition 19 have out-raised opponents by about 10 to 1, or $2.1 million to $210,000. Nearly three-quarters of the money has come from Oakland medical marijuana entrepreneur Richard Lee.

Those in favor of Proposition 25, which would reduce the threshold for approving a state budget from a two-thirds vote to a majority vote, have out-raised opponents about $8 million to about $6 million.

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