In One Day, IE Lays Out $622,500 In Support of Catharine Baker

Catharine Baker’s lashed back at Tim Sbranti for a mailer she says purposefully misleads voters in the 16th Assembly District.

ASSEMBLY | DISTRICT 16 | Spirit of Democracy California, a right-wing independent expenditure committee believes the battleground 16th Assembly District can be turned from blue to red. On Tuesday, campaign finance reports show the IE, funded in part by Republican activist Charles Munger, Jr., spent $622,500 in a single day on Baker in her race against Democrat Tim Sbranti.

The mailer, above, was paid for by Sbranti’s campaign,
but a flood of IE money on both sides is also
highlighting the race in the 16th District.

In addition to the large expenditure, the IE has spent over $1.5 million total in the race–$918,000 in support of Baker and $595,000 in opposition of Sbranti–since the beginning of October.

Baker and Sbranti hope to replace the termed out Assemblymember Joan Buchanan next month. Due to the political makeup of the Walnut Creek, Lamorinda and Tri Valley seat, Republicans believe they have one of the best chances in the state to pick up a seat in Assembly.

A similar IE funded the teachers’ union has spent nearly as much in favor of Sbranti and in opposition to his opponent. The California Teachers Association and California State Council of Service Employees IE has spent over $1 million since Oct. 1, according to the finance reports. Much of the outlay has gone to expensive media buys.

One commercial, seen during Wednesday’s Game 7 of the World Series, blasted Spirit of Democracy as an outside group attempting to influence the election. Sbranti’s own campaign, in addition, has also utilized the baseball postseason, through radio and TV ads, to get its own message out to voters.

All this extra money has also lent itself to controversial mailers on each side. Earlier this month, Sbranti’s campaign howled over a mailer attributed damaging quotes to Sbranti in a two-year Wall Street Journal article actually referring to former State Sen. Gloria Romero.

This week, Baker charged Sbranti with misleading voters in a mailer asserting she opposes Proposition 2, the State Rainy Day Budget Fund. Baker strongly denies she is against Prop. 2 and says her position has been very public, including at a candidate’s forum featuring both candidates.

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