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Associated Press
Aug 01, 2006 - 01:00 AM


Schwarzenegger spends $7 million on ads and still has money left

SACRAMENTO, CA -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger spent $7.3 million on a June advertising campaign to undermine his opponent, state Treasurer Phil Angelides, according to midyear campaign finance reports released on Monday.

The Republican governor had $4 million in his campaign account as of June 30, although he also had a debt of $1.4 million. Angelides, who spent most of his money in a bloody primary battle against state Controller Steve Westly, had just $700,000 in the bank at the end of June.

During the six-week reporting period, Angelides raised $5.1 million $800,000 more than Schwarzenegger. But most of Angelides' contributions came in before the June 6 primary. Only $1.6 million came in afterward.

Schwarzenegger raised another $1.5 million in July, while Angelides took in $600,000, leaving them about even in the fundraising race since May 21.

Steve Maviglio, a spokesman for Angelides' campaign, said a fundraiser with Bill Clinton and Magic Johnson scheduled for Tuesday at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills will bring in $5 million for Angelides' campaign and the state Democratic Party.

Campaign finance rules that took effect this year allow donors to give unlimited amounts to political parties but limit candidate contributions to $22,300 per election cycle. The parties, in turn, can spend that money to help their candidates, as long as they don't explicitly advocate a yes or no vote.

Schwarzenegger also has raised money for the Republican Party, which has done extensive advertising for him. The amounts were not available because the party had not filed a report as of early Monday evening.

The state Democratic Party, which ran ads for Angelides, had $9 million in the bank as of the end of June.

Angelides' reports showed he spent nearly $22 million on advertising, most of it during the bitter primary against Westly, a former executive with eBay who put $35 million of his own money into his campaign. Westly had not filed a report as of early Monday evening.

Schwarzenegger, who had no serious primary opposition, spent $15 million on his campaign during the first six months of the year.

Campaign reports also were filed Monday in the races for other statewide offices, as well as for committees supporting and opposing various ballot measures.

In the attorney general's race, Democrat Jerry Brown had $5.6 million cash on hand. His opponent, state Sen. Chuck Poochigian, R-Fresno, had not yet filed a report.

In the insurance commissioner's race, Republican Steve Poizner, a former Silicon Valley entrepreneur, raised $302,000 and had $2.4 million on hand. Democratic Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante raised $244,000 and had $388,000 cash on hand.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell, a Democrat who was re-elected to his nonpartisan post in June, had $1.2 million left in his bank account.

The November ballot is also packed with initiatives and bond measures that could provoke nasty fights.

Proposition 86, which would boost the cigarette tax by $2.60 a pack to raise $2 billion a year for health programs, has attracted opposition from tobacco companies. RJ Reynolds, Philip Morris and others have raised at least $2.2 million to fight the measure.

Of the four bond measures the Legislature put on the ballot to build new schools, improve the state's transportation, shore up levees and build affordable housing only the $10.4 billion education bond and the $19.9 billion transportation bond have attracted significant funding: $1.1 million for the education bond and $2.4 million for transportation.

Also on Monday, a coalition of business and labor groups announced they had formed to fight Proposition 89, the campaign finance reform measure sponsored by the California Nurses Association. The measure would create a system of public financing, while banning political contributions from corporations and some unions and nonprofit groups.

Gale Kaufman, who is working on the campaign against the measure, said it was poorly written and too broad.

"I think the unanticipated consequences of something like this are just incredible," she said.

Jamie Court, president of the Santa Monica-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, which is supporting the measure, said the fact that business and labor groups had come together to oppose the measure shows how threatening it is to the status quo.

"Only a genuine campaign finance reform overhaul like Proposition 89 could force big labor and big business onto the same team because no cash-rich special interest will be able to buy the Legislature if Prop. 89 passes," he said in an e-mailed statement.
Associated Press writers Don Thompson and Samantha Young contributed to this report.

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