Over Last Two Weeks, Special Interests Dropped $600,000 on Tim Sbranti

Although the amount of outside expenditures is nowhere near the record-spending during the June primary, over $800,000 has been spent in support or opposition of each candidate.

ASSEMBLY | 16TH DISTRICT | In just the last two weeks this October, an independent expenditure committee in support of Democrat Tim Sbranti has spent $600,000 in special interest cash in hopes of winning the battleground 16th Assembly District.

On Wednesday, the IE in support of Sbranti, reported spending another $50,000 in expenditures. Last week, the same IE sponsored by the California Teacher Association and California State Council of Service Employees; Californians for Economic Prosperity, reported spending $400,000 to help Sbranti’s campaign against Republican upstart Catharine Baker.

During the same period, Sbranti’s own campaign coffers have also been fortified. Although, Sbranti reported $197,671 in cash through Sept. 30, the campaign has received $521,724 in contributions since the beginning of this month. The windfall is led by various Democratic Central Committees as the party goes full-throttle to keep this seat blue.

In the last week, central committees in Sacramento County ($80,000), Santa Clara County ($65,000) and Marin County ($45,000) have made sizable donations to SbrNti’s campaign. By contrast, Baker reported $147,625 during the most recent reporting period. This month, her campaign has received just $35,923.

The outlay, though, is nowhere near the spending spree seen during the June primary, but significant, nonetheless. In the spring, nearly $3 million alone was spent on Sbranti and moderate Democrat Steve Glazer. Two simple factors attracted the unfettered amount of campaign dollars: the future of the Democratic Party’s supermajority in the lower house is at stake because this suburban district is a winnable seat for Republicans.

Baker, a first-time candidate who won the four-candidate June primary by seven points over Sbranti, has also benefited from IEs. A committee funded by conservative groups, including Charles Munger, Jr., named Spirit of Democracy has reported spending $270,000 in favor of Baker and in opposition of Sbranti since the beginning of October, according to finance records.

Because of the district’s moderate political environment, state Republicans believe it can potentially pick off a seat from the Democratic majority in the Assembly. On Wednesday, Glazer injected himself back into the race in a Facebook post clearly supporting Baker.

Glazer’s comments came in the form of a questionnaire he purported to have offered both candidates. During the primary, one of Glazer’s main attack points against the labor-endorsed Sbranti was that he would not publicly disclose the union questionnaires he had penned. According to Glazer, Sbranti “refused to answer” his queries