Independent political committees and the mayor’s race

We at inewsource have been following the money in the mayor’s race for three weeks now. We’ve written about what occupations are the campaigns’ best contributors, and the phenomenon of those well-heeled homemakers. And we’ve been keeping a running tally–updated daily–of all contributions campaigns have raised from contributors who have given at least $1,000.

Now, we’re expanding our coverage with the addition of daily tracking of contributions to independent political committees active in the mayor’s race. Like candidates, these committees must report within 24 hours all contributions from individuals who have given at least $1,000.

The committees can support or oppose a candidate (running ads, conducting polling, dispatching canvassers) but they are prohibited from coordinating their activities with those of candidates’ campaigns. Nor can they make contributions to candidates’ campaign committees. They’re known as “independent,” but the lines are blurry.

For example, April Boling, the treasurer of Kevin Faulconer’s campaign committee, holds the same position with San Diegans to Protect Jobs & the Economy, the independent committee supporting Faulconer’s mayoral bid.

Most importantly, unlike the mayoral candidates whose campaigns can accept contributions of no more than $1,000 per election from an individual and $20,000 from a political party, independent committees can raise unlimited funds from nearly any source: individuals, corporations, labor unions and practically anyone and anything else.

There are four committees that have been established so far.

1) Working Families for A Better San Diego to Support David Alvarez for Mayor 2013, Sponsored by the San Diego & Imperial Counties Labor Council, AFL-CIO
2) San Diegans in Support of David Alvarez for Mayor-2013
3) San Diegans to Protect Jobs & the Economy, Supporting Kevin Faulconer for Mayor 2013
4) Restoring Trust in San Diego-A Committee to Support Nathan Fletcher for Mayor 2013

They’ve all been around since at least mid-September but they’ve only recently started raising serious money.

When inewsource launched Follow the Money, we promised you that we’d be tracking the cash all the way through election day. These committees are now a serious source of that cash. So, we’re very pleased to unveil our new, constantly-updated app, with contributions to independent political committees.

Check it out here.

shadow-ornament

We'll let you know when big things happen.

About Joe Yerardi:

Joe Yerardi
Joe Yerardi is a freelance data journalist for inewsource, where he worked between 2013 and 2016 as an investigative reporter and data specialist. To contact him with questions, tips or corrections, email joe.yerardi@gmail.com.