Nearly 90% Of Bonta, Quirk’s Donors This Year Are Unions, Special Interests

Asms. Rob Bonta and Bill Quirk.

ASSEMBLY//CAMPAIGN FINANCE | East Bay Assemblymembers Rob Bonta and Bill Quirk both won election to the Legislature last year. While Bonta quickly moved to the top tier of Democratic legislators in the lower house, Quirk laid low and learned the intricacies of Sacramento. However, both are benefiting from the parties deep roots within labor unions and special interests. According to campaign finance reports released this week, nearly 90 percent of their campaign coffers were padded with union and special interests money.

Bonta, who represents the 18th District in Oakland, Alameda and San Leandro, received $264,376 through the first half of this year, according to finance reports. He spent over $162,000 for an ending balance of $168,807. However, a large percentage of Bonta’s expenditures were set aside pay to alms to the statewide party and help some local campaigns pay off past debts.

The Democratic State Central Committee received $34,785 from Bonta over the past six months. The total is not unusual and illustrates Bonta’s growing power in Sacramento. He also donated $1,000 to Abel Guillen, his opponent for the assembly last year. In addition, he contributed to the campaigns of former Oakland City Council candidate Sean Sullivan, Alameda Councilmember Lena Tam and Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan. Bonta also dabbled in Southern California politics, donating $1,300 to the successful mayoral campaign in Los Angeles of Eric Garcetti.

Unions across the state from firefighters, police officers associations, nurses, health insurance groups, dentists and numerous trades poured over $230,000 into Bonta’s re-election campaign. Just under 12 percent of Bonta’s contributions came from individual donors.

Many of the same special interests also gave to Quirk, although in smaller amounts. Over the past six months, Quirk, who represents The 20th District in Hayward and most of the Tri-Cities, received $126,971 in contributions. He spent only $26,000, according to finance reports. Most of his expenditures were earmarked to a political consultant. His remaining balance stands at $100,321.

Like Bonta, just over 12 percent, or $15,600, of the contributions to Quirk’s re-election was from private individuals. Among Quirk’s biggest contributors is Calpine, which donated $4,100. The new Russell City Energy Center, a natural gas-fired power plant in Hayward, which Quirk supported as city councilmember, is scheduled to go online soon.

Despite the large amount of campaign finance dollars received by either legislator, neither has an opponent next year. There have been rumbling Dr. Jennifer Ong may challenge Quirk for a rematch of last year’s race, but her finance reports list just over $1,700 in her 2012 account. Quirk beat Ong by just over 900 votes.

There is another reason why Bonta and Quirk need to build war chests despite the lack of a credible challenger next year. With changes to term limits, last year’s freshmen now have the opportunity to entrench themselves in Sacramento for 12 years total, instead of 8.

Categories: #AD18, 2014 Election, Abel Guillen, AD20, Assembly, Bill Quirk, campaign finance, Democrats, Hayward, Jennifer Ong, labor, legislature, Oakland, Rob Bonta, sacramento, special interests

12 replies

  1. This disclosures is nothing new or dramatically different from other labor supported democratic winners, past or present. Demos get money from Labor, Republicans get money from businesses. Bonta has been more assertive in his new role. Quirk always seems like a work in progress, even when serving on the Hayward City Council. Bonta wants to move up, Quirk wants another retirement.


  2. Bonta and Quirk are pro strike for BART workers. Go to hell Bonta and Quirk.


  3. Oh look it's the anti-union troll once again. Go to hell yourself you management hack.


  4. Whatever group provides Bonta with support, Bonta has proven himself to be a lightweight with his shoot-from-the-hip legislative proposals which are all about public relations and have nothing to do with problem-solving.


  5. The only lightweight is you 9:04. Run against him if you can. If you are not in the district–shut-up. We love him because of the legislation he has passed in a short time.


  6. Hey Mr Nazi–you are just as scary as Bonta.


  7. In Bonta's District he is much admired, and most of us think he is doing a good job. He is one of the top legislators in Sacramento in a short period of time and will be one of the up and coming legislative leaders in a couple of years. He is doing what we elected him to do! Thanks Rob


  8. 9:04 true true. Bonta is a light weight with do nothing legislation. Nothing but useless junk.


  9. Lol wtf true true? Haha. AB 174 – Mental health resources for schools with students affected by gun violence. AB 180 – Gives Oakland greater power over gun laws. AB 999 – Provides condoms in prison, to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS. AB 817 – Removes the requirement for pollworkers to be citizens to allow more language access at the polls. Alameda County alone is well below fed and state standards for this. Etc…etc..
    …Google it, you lazy fucks.
    It's about time Oakland have a greater role somewhere, I'm sick of all our emeritus politicians. Bonta should be speaker! Maybe we can finally get something done for Oakland. I'm glad he gave Abel money, shows he's a class act.


  10. Someone should tell Bonta that “chrome don't get you home.”

    Look up his bill AB59, which has gone nowhere, deservedly, since January. What a showboat.

    As for the unions – the BART unions endorsed not only Bonta and Quirk, but Skinner as well, and lo, behold, all three came out in support of those unions in the BART contract discussions.


  11. Love Bonta and Quirk. They will win re-election easily.


  12. Bonta and Quirk are union whores


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