In the News

Dem Assembly candidates show financial muscle: Bill Monning, Luis Alejo report more than $300,000 each in campaign contributions

Friday October 22, 2010
By The San Jose Mercury News

The San Jose Mercury News, October 22, 2010


Democratic Assembly candidates show financial muscle: Bill Monning, Luis Alejo report more than $300,000 each in campaign contributions this year

Posted: 10/22/2010 06:03:39 PM PDT

Updated: 10/22/2010 06:04:51 PM PDT


Cash continues to roll into the campaigns of local Democratic Party candidates for the state Assembly, according to the latest finance reports.

The GOP candidates, on the other hand, have either not filed or raised little in contributions during the first half of October.

In the 27th District, Assemblyman Bill Monning reported raising just over $69,000 between Oct. 1-16, and another $9,000 from several health-related political action committees since then, according to documents filed Wednesday with the California Secretary of State. Monning's latest contributions bring his total for the year up to more than $310,000.

Watsonville Mayor Luis Alejo's total for the year is close to Monning's after contributions of more than $30,000 this month, his reports said. His support came from both unions and business interests, as well as from the California League of Conservation Voters, which chipped in $3,900.

Monning's GOP rival, Linda "Ellie" Black, and Alejo's opponent, Rob Bernosky, have not filed the electronic reports that are posted to the Secretary of State's website.

Electronic filing is not required until candidates have reached a $50,000 threshold in contributions or spending. In his last report, filed Oct. 5 with the San Benito County Elections Department, Bernosky reported raising just over $20,000 for the year.

Friday, Bernosky said he was running late with the filing, but that he had raised only an "insignificant" amount of money, about $2,800.

As of Sept. 30, Black had raised $5,670, according to a paper report filed with state election officials. Black's latest report hasn't been logged in with the Secretary of State, an official said, but Black said Friday her total is closer to $10,000 now.

Monning spent $50,000 in October, mostly on mailers, consultants and political contributions, including $12,400 to the California Democratic Party.

Alejo also has helped out his party, contributing $1,000 to the Santa Cruz County Central Committee.

But his largest expenditures, a total of $56,000, went for radio advertising. He also paid Oakland-based VR Research $5,000 to look into his opponent's background.

Alejo said the research wasn't aimed at digging up dirt, but rather to figure out whether Bernosky had the resources to self-finance a competitive campaign.

"My consultants were trying to make sure there are no surprises," he said.


Candidate Oct. 1-16 YTD

Bill Monning $69,165 $301,374

Luis Alejo $23,821 $312,375

Rob Bernosky NA $20,244

Linda "Ellie" Black NA $10,000*

* Candidate's estimate. Report unavailable.