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Outside money huge in Benicia election

By Norma Fox

BENICIA, CA / November 6, 2007, 9:00 AM -  Total spending so far in our Benicia election comes to $205,660; 71% of that from out-of-town sources.

Reports turned in to the Benicia City Clerk as of Monday, Nov. 5 showed that three Political Action Committees (PACs) have spent a total of $68,660 in out-of-town money so far in the Benicia election. This added to the out-of-town money contributed directly to our candidates bringing the grand total of out-of-town money so far to $145,660. This is 71% of all the money spent.

The three independent PAC groups are:

  • United Workers for Local Government $24,300
  • Benicia Local Government Accountability Coalition $24,560 (links to Seeno, see Nov. 4 story, right)
  • Calif. Citizens for Excellence in Government $19,800 (links to Valero, see Nov. 5 story, below)

In addition to the outside money poured into Benicia elections by the independent PACs, keep in mind that Council candidate Scott Strawbridge received $64,400 in contributions, of which $61,000 was from out-of-town (95%), mostly from trade unions and some corporations.

An additional $15,200+ in out-of-town money was contributed to the other candidates.

Thus, the total out-of-town money contributed to all candidates for Council and Mayor was over $76,200.

Add to that the total of $68,660 in out-of-town money (so far) spent by the three independent PACs.

Grand total out-of-town money (so far) in the Benicia election: approximately $145,660.

Grand total in-town contributions to candidates & mayor: approximately $60,000.

Detaiils of in-town contributions:

  • Whitney $4100 + 7085 = 11,185
  • Patterson $5073 + 5610 + 7350 = 18,033
  • Ioakimedes $4073 + 6177 = 10,250
  • Campbell $10690 + 4719 + 844 = 16,253
  • Strawbridge $2795 + 1410 = 4,205

Total spending so far in Benicia's election = $205,660; well over 2/3 of that ($145,660) from out-of-town (71%).

"This is about whether a small town can own its own elections or whether outsiders own our elections."
(Elizabeth Patterson, Contra Costa Times article, 11/4/07)

To read more about the outside money sources flooding the Benicia election, and other articles about issues of interest to Benicians, visit:

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