This story first appeared in inewsource’s weekend newsletter. Sign up for it here.
This week has been a total whirlwind with the rollout of our five-part #FollowTheMoney series. Reporters Brad Racino and Jill Castellano knocked it out of the park with their daily breakdowns on five key ballot measures facing voters Nov. 6. Videographer Megan Wood coordinated and shot the video segments, and intern Nicole Tyau edited each video package, which aired on KPBS TV. Managing Editor Laura Wingard kept everyone on track, and I worked hard to spread the word about our reporting.
Our newsroom is pretty tired after this week, but it’s a good kind of tired because we hope this kind of campaign finance reporting provides you with more information you can use in the voting booth.
I will be off next weekend. I’ve got a wedding to attend – my own!
As always, thanks for reading.
– Shyla Nott
Follow The Money
In their five-part Follow The Money series, reporters Jill Castellano and Brad Racino tackled a different ballot measure every day and looked at the money behind each one.
Here are the measures they covered:
Last year, the state increased the gas tax by 12 cents and created a vehicle registration fee to fund transportation projects. Proposition 6 would repeal the tax increase and fee, which have generated $5 billion for the state – including $1 billion for San Diego County.
The two competing ballot measures propose to redevelop the former Qualcomm Stadium site in Mission Valley. Measure E is the SoccerCity proposal. Measure G is the SDSU West proposal. If voters approve both measures, the one with the most votes would win.
Currently if someone runs for county office and gets more than 50 percent of the vote in the June primary, the candidate wins. Measure D would require all county races to be decided in a November runoff.
Measure YY is a proposed $3.5 billion, 30-year bond that would fund capital improvements for San Diego Unified School District facilities. This is the school district’s third bond proposal in 10 years.
An inewsource investigation found San Diego never enforced a transparency law requiring anyone doing business with the city to disclose their identities. Measure J would change that and force companies doing business with the city to disclose all the people associated with the transaction.
DMV accidentally registered people in San Diego County to vote who aren’t eligible
The California Department of Motor Vehicles accidentally created 123 voter registration records in San Diego County as part of a new Motor Voter program.
The people wrongly registered in the county were among 1,500 the DMV said it inadvertently registered in the state even though they weren’t eligible to vote.
The error follows an announcement from the DMV last month that a separate issue resulted in 23,000 errors in voter records across California.
To check the status of your voter registration, click here to go to the secretary of state’s website.
We were thrilled to have John Adams, an investigative reporter pursuing corrupt politicians in Montana, and Sheila Krumholz, a campaign finance expert from Washington, D.C., lead a provocative discussion about dark money with our Spotlight Club members on Sunday.
Adams and Krumholz are experts on the dark money phenomenon: the secret, unlimited campaign spending meant to influence elections and legislation. And both are featured in the political thriller, Dark Money.
If you haven’t had a chance to watch the full Dark Money documentary, you can stream it online for free by clicking here.
Early voting is underway
Mail-in ballots for the Nov. 6 general election went out this week. In other words, it means campaign spending is in full swing.
As you decide how to cast your vote, we have two databases that shed light on the funding behind the deluge of political ads. One covers campaigns that report their finances to the San Diego County registrar of voters, including those for sheriff, district attorney and Board of Supervisors. It also includes candidates for community college and school district boards.
Search the county database here.
The second is a campaign finance database for the city of San Diego. That means you can look up the money behind the eight candidates running for City Council this November. The city ballot measures are in there, too, including the two proposals to redevelop the former Qualcomm Stadium site — SDSU West and SoccerCity.
We'll let you know when big things happen.