Alvarez leads SD mayor money race with cash on hand

by Joe Yerardi | inewsource

San Diego mayoral candidates Kevin Faulconer (l) and David Alvarez (r). Credit: Angela Carone, KPBS.

San Diego mayoral candidates Kevin Faulconer (l) and David Alvarez (r). Credit: Angela Carone, KPBS.

Democratic mayoral contender David Alvarez maintains a nearly two-to-one advantage over his Republican rival in cash on hand, according to financial disclosure statements filed Wednesday and Thursday.

The statements show that as of last Saturday — little more than two weeks before the Feb. 11 election — Alvarez and the independent committees that support him had $1,065,557 in the bank. Republican candidate Kevin Faulconer and his supportive committees were sitting on $569,120.

More than $7.5 million has been poured into the two campaigns combined since the special election for mayor was launched by the resignation of Bob Filner in the midst of a sexual harassment scandal. Much of that money has been spent on television advertising, mailers and polling.

Fueled by cash from organized labor, the Alvarez campaign and the independent committees working to get him elected have kept consistently ahead of Faulconer all along in the race to raise and spend money.

Since the start of the campaign, Alvarez’s supporters have collected more than $4.3 million. Those backing Faulconer, whose largest donor base is business interests, have raised more than $3.3 million.

The most recent comprehensive contributions and expenditures reports were released by candidates and independent committees Wednesday and Thursday. They account for all contributions and expenditures between Dec. 29 and Jan. 25.

INTERACTIVE: Click here for a searchable database and interactive map and visualization of campaign contributions.

David Alvarez

Democrat David Alvarez and the independent committees supporting his candidacy reported a combined $1,065,557 in cash on hand as of Jan. 25.

The first-term councilman’s candidate committee, which he controls, reported having $102,907 in cash on hand as of Jan. 25. Between Dec. 29 and Jan. 25, the committee raised $227,468 and spent $340,378.

Alvarez’s own candidate committee lags Faulconer’s in fundraising, but his money total is augmented by the support of three independent committees.

The committees are unencumbered by the fundraising restrictions in place for candidate committees and may accept contributions of unlimited amounts from individuals, corporations, unions and other political committees. They cannot coordinate strategy with candidate campaigns.

The most significant committee supporting Alvarez easily is Working Families for a Better San Diego.

Working Families, sponsored by the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, reported having $930,804 in cash on hand as of Jan. 25. Between Dec. 29 and Jan. 25, the committee raised $1,701,347. A fifth of that was in non-monetary contributions — things like donated voter lists or shared polling results. The committee spent $1,120,633.

Another pro-Alvarez independent committee, New Majority Matters–which recently changed its name to Rising Majority — also raised money during the reporting period. That committee reported having $18,378 in cash on hand as of Jan. 25. Between Dec. 29 and Jan. 25, the committee raised $6,006. That figure includes $1,006 in non-monetary contributions from the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council for donated rent. The committee spent $1,006.

The third pro-Alvarez independent committee, Environmental Health and Justice Campaign Fund, reported having $13,468 in cash on hand as of Jan. 25. Between Dec. 29 and Jan. 25, the committee raised $10,500 and spent $663.

Since the start of the campaign, the 10 largest donors — including of non-monetary contributions — to all committees supporting Alvarez are as follows:

1) American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO: $954,543
2) American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees – CA People Independent Expenditure Committee: $353,000
3) San Diego Works! Sponsored by San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, AFL-CIO: $278,324
4) United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 135 PAC: $277,500
5) United Domestic Workers of America Action Fund: $237,460
6) Service Employees International Union Local 1000 Candidate PAC: $200,000
6) California State Council of Service Employees Political Committee: $200,000
8) United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, CLC: $90,000
9) D.R.I.V.E. – Dem., Rep., Ind. Voter Education (The PAC of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters): $80,000
10) American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees California District Council 36 PAC: $75,000

Kevin Faulconer

Republican Kevin Faulconer and the independent committees supporting his candidacy reported a combined $569,120 in cash on hand as of Jan. 25.

The second-term councilman’s candidate committee, which he controls, reported having $329,087 in cash on hand as of Jan. 25. Between Dec. 29 and Jan. 25, the committee raised $632,883 and spent $720,495.

Like Alvarez, Faulconer’s total fundraising haul was boosted by two independent committees formed to support his candidacy. The committees are unencumbered by the fundraising restrictions in place for candidate committees and may accept contributions of unlimited amounts from individuals, corporations, unions and other political committees. They cannot coordinate strategy with candidate campaigns.

One pro-Faulconer committee, Working Together for Neighborhood Fairness, which is sponsored by the Lincoln Club, reported having $121,420 in cash on hand as of Jan. 25. Between Dec. 29 and Jan. 25, the committee raised $343,025 and spent $237,278.

The other pro-Faulconer committee, San Diegans to Protect Jobs & the Economy, reported having $118,613 in cash on hand as of Jan. 25. Between Dec. 29 and Jan. 25, the committee raised $522,302 and spent $474,526.

Since the start of the campaign, the 10 largest donors — including of non-monetary contributions — to all committees supporting Faulconer are as follows:

1) San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce PAC: $176,000
2) Building Industry Association of San Diego County PAC: $145,000
3) San Diego Jobs Political Action Committee: $115,000
4) National Association of REALTORS Fund: $89,960
5) San Diego Restaurant & Beverage PAC: $69,750
6) The Lincoln Club of San Diego County: $54,525
7) Stuck in the Rough, LLC: $50,500
8) Infrastructure PAC of the Associated General Contractors: $50,000
8) Associated General Contractors of America San Diego Chapter, Inc.: $50,000
10) Atlas Hotels: $45,667.82

Two high-profile candidates who failed to advance to the mayoral runoff also filed reports this week.

Nathan Fletcher

The campaign to elect Nathan Fletcher, a former state assemblyman, raised $917,713 and spent $918,256 in pursuit of the mayor’s office.

According to his own campaign committee’s final report, between Nov. 3 and the end of last year, it raised $80,962 and spent $182,911.

Fletcher’s candidacy was supported by two independent committees, which also filed termination reports this week.

Restoring Trust in San Diego reported raising $89,000 and spending $344,133 between Nov. 3 and the end of last year. All told, the committee raised and spent $574,000.

Neighborhoods for Nathan Fletcher, which was sponsored by Restoring Trust in San Diego and the Neighborhood Market Association, reported raising $198,500 and spending $208,912 between Nov. 3 and the end of last year. At the end of last year, it still had $55,133 remaining. It disposed of that money in January of this year. All told, the committee raised and spent $331,500.

Mike Aguirre

Aguirre, the former San Diego city attorney, filed a statement of termination for his candidate committee. However, according to his committee’s last financial disclosure report, the committee still had $1,712 in cash on hand. Before a committee can terminate, it must exhaust all funds.

About The Author

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Questions, tips or suggestions? Email reporter Joe Yerardi at joeyerardi@inewsource.org or call him at 619.594.5321. Follow Joe on Twitter at @JoeYerardi.

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About Joe Yerardi

Joe Yerardi is an investigative reporter and data specialist at inewsource. To contact him with questions, tips or corrections, email joeyerardi@inewsource.org or call (619) 594-5321.