Politics & Government

A closer look at money raised for and against local ballot measures

So far this year, nearly $400,000 has been raised by various committees supporting or opposing measures on Tuesday’s ballot in San Luis Obispo County.

About half of that money was collected by supporters of Cuesta College’s $275 million bond measure, which would pay for infrastructure repairs and upgrades.

The most recent filing deadline was Oct. 23 for candidates and committees to disclose campaign contributions and expenditures. The campaign finance statements show how much money was raised from Oct. 1 through Oct. 18, and overall in 2014.

Measure B, Atascadero Unified

The school district is asking voters to reauthorize $58 million in general obligation bonds in order to complete major upgrades at 10 schools. Four years ago, voters approved a $117 million bond.

The Yes on Measure B-14 committee has raised $43,050, with only $100 of that raised this filing period.

During the campaign, Kitchell, a construction management firm with offices in Sacramento, donated the most at $15,000. That same company was hired by the school district for bond program management services.

So far, the committee has spent only $26,395 on campaign mailings, postage and other promotional materials.

Read more about Measure B »

Measure C, Arroyo Grande

The only money spent on Measure C has been funneled through a Sacramento-based political action committee called Members’ Voice of the State Building Trades Council of California.

The committee opposes Measure C, which asks voters to change Arroyo Grande from a general law to a charter city. In the previous reporting period, the committee reported spending $28,000 on a mailer.

The most recent independent expenditure report also shows four additional expenses totaling nearly $18,570, including $1,500 for mailer writing; $7,815 for mailer postage; and $9,254 for two separate mailers.

Robbie Hunter, president of the State Building Trades Council of California, said those expenses were included in the overall $28,000. They were covered by a subpayment made through Diverse Strategies for Organizing Inc., which according to its website is a Los Angeles-based public affairs consulting firm founded in 1991 by Victor Griego Jr.

Griego could not be reached for comment, nor could Tom Baca of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, who was listed as treasurer for the Members’ Voice committee.

Read more about Measure C »

Measure D, San Luis Coastal

Central Coast Citizens for Measure D has raised $60,615 in support of passing a $177 million bond measure to fund repairs and construction of facilities at the school district’s main high schools and pay for minor repairs at its elementary and middle schools.

Recent large donations include $2,500 from RRM Design Group and $2,000 from principals of Maino Construction.

The committee has spent $34,963 of that on campaign materials such as mailers, election signs and other promotions.

Read more about Measure D »

Measures E and F, Atascadero

Atascadero voters will be asked whether they want to approve Measure F, which would raise the city’s sales tax by a half percent. With it comes advisory Measure E, which will ask voters whether they want the new sales tax revenue directed to fixing the city’s roads. Measure E is not legally binding.

The Committee for Atascadero Measure F has raised $2,929 as of Oct. 18, with $1,829 coming in over the last filing period. The committee spent $1,180 on its campaign to support the measure overall, with $350 left in cash. Its expenses have included Web advertising on Facebook, graphic design, photocopies and campaign mailings.

Measure E doesn’t have its own committee. According to the city, no opposition committees against Measures E and F have formed.

Read more about Measures E and F »

Measure G, San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo residents will vote on Measure G, which would extend the city’s half-percent sales tax increase for eight years.

SLO Citizens for Measure G has far outraised the committee opposing the measure, with $26,513 in contributions. To date, $18,325 has been spent — nearly $10,000 of that paid to Barnett Cox and Associates for campaign literature and mailers this filing period.

The No on G committee has collected $10,469 in contributions and has spent more than it has received. The committee has paid $11,041, which includes $2,000 still owed to Keith Gurnee, chairman of the committee, who paid for print advertising.

Read more about Measure G »

Measures H and I, Pismo Beach

A committee supporting Measure H raised $632 from Oct. 1 to 18, bringing its grand total to about $11,665 this year.

The measure would limit what types of development could happen in Price Canyon should the area be annexed by Pismo Beach.

The committee has spent about $3,976 on campaign literature and mailings, and $330 on a fundraising event at Seaside Café & Bakery in Shell Beach. It has $4,737 left.

Pismo Beach also has Measure I on the ballot to extend a half-percent sales tax for 12 years, but no money has been raised to support or oppose it.

Read more about Measures H and I »

Measure J, Morro Bay

The committee behind the push to support Measure J, which would reduce the election process in Morro Bay to a single ballot every two years instead of a dual election cycle with June and November ballots, did not raise any money from Oct. 1 to 18.

The committee spent $1,780, most of it on door hangers and yard signs, with $100 on social media marketing, and it has $180 remaining. In 2014, the committee has raised $2,022.

The No on J committee raised $1,142 during the period and received a $50 loan. It spent $997, mostly on mailings and postage.

Read more about Measure J »

Measure K, Grover Beach

The committee formed to support Measure K — a $48 million bond measure that would pay for street rehabilitation projects — has raised $900 in the most recent reporting period.

Overall, the committee, Save our Streets, has raised nearly $7,526, including $865 in nonmonetary contributions, in 2014. The group has spent about $3,939, including $1,019 in postage and $200 on vinyl banners.

The committee has about $3,220 in cash on hand.

Read more about Measure K »

Measure L, Cuesta College

This $275 million bond measure would be used to upgrade and repair infrastructure on Cuesta College’s San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles campuses.

The Yes on L committee has collected $200,694 in contributions from donors mostly in San Luis Obispo County. During this filing period, $30,484 of that total was collected, including an additional $10,000 from construction management firm Kitchell. The firm had previously donated $5,000 to the committee.

So far, the committee has only spent $93,240 on campaign consultants, website design, phone banks and mailings.

Read more about Measure L »