Can Gavin Re-Ask?

This morning’s CalBuzz post features a story on the debate of whether Gavin Newsom can raise money from people who gave him money for his Governor campaign for the LG campaign.  Hmm…good question.  

Of course, Garry South, who is consulting for Hahn’s campaign after bleeding Gavin’s Gov. campaign dry, thinks that he can’t tap that same maxed-out donor base. By the by, very interesting that South was denigrating the LG position from his pricey perch at Gavin’s Gov campaign, and now seems to be all about the Numero Dos gig.  Interesting.

The Exec. Dir of the FPPC, Roman Porter, believes that he can raise money from these same donors, on the theory that it is a different race. I’m inclined to agree when given this language:

Except a candidate for governor, a candidate for statewide elective office may not accept from a person any contribution totaling more than $6,500 per election.

I think the key is how you read “statewide elective office.” Does that mean a single office, or any statewide elective office.  There’s not any solid caselaw to answer the question, so if somebody gets around to suing, there could be some interesting litigation.  

2 thoughts on “Can Gavin Re-Ask?”

  1. If one can do this, it would create an odd situation in which somebody intending to run for, say, attorney general, could file as a candidate for governor, raise the maximum from his base, spend it on name recognition, then file as a candidate for treasurer, go back to the same people for more maximum donations, spend that as well, and then ultimately file as a candidate for attorney general, go back to the same people for more maximum donations, and spend that as well.

    If a candidate is able to exceed the limits by switching among the races, it defeats the purpose of the limits.  Essentially you would have one candidate for lieutenant governor who has been limited to raising (and spending)$6,500 per person, and another who would have been permitted to raise (and spend) up to $32,400 per person, all in the same election cycle.

    In theory, someone could file, in turn, for all eight statewide offices, and raise a total of $71,400 per donor.  You could then have some candidates for governor being limited to raising $25,900 per donor for the election cycle, while someone else could play musical chairs as to which race he is in, file last for governor, and raise up to $71,400 per donor, for the same election cycle.  Seems to go against the intent of the law.

    (Of course, a candidate who did this would face other obstacles, such as a lack of credibility.  But if it’s legal to switch and raise money from people who are already maxed out to you in this election cycle, that’s the reality.)

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