Following the money: Final campaign finance receipts provide clues to Nov. 8

a chart showing fundraising totals in the District 3 Santa Cruz County Supervisors race

The final round of fundraising and expenditure reports for Santa Cruz County candidates were due late Thursday. Lookout dug in to see what stories they told. Here’s what we found.

As is often said, money is power in electoral politics, and as Election Day sprints closer, Lookout is taking a look into campaign finance for the menu of races in front of voters this fall.

Who is outraising who? Where is the money coming from? Who is putting their wallet where their vote is? How are candidates spending their dollars? All of this information and more is included in the charts and blurbs below.

The charts include how much cash the candidates and campaigns raised in the most recent fundraising round, between Sept. 25 and Oct. 22, as well as how much was raised in total during this calendar year.

Shebreh Kalantari-Johnson continued to outpace Justin Cummings by a little more than double, raising $26,649 to Cummings’ $10,238. Winemakers Ryan and Rachel Beauregard donated $1,050 to her campaign. Downtown small business support came from Pacific Cookie Company’s Larry Pearson ($250) and Bookshop Santa Cruz’s Casey Protti ($250). Cummings’ donors included a union in Alameda ($1,000) Monterey County Supervisor Luis Alejo ($100), and a number of UC Santa Cruz-related professors and scientists.

Felipe Hernandez continued to raise about 30% more than Jimmy Dutra, taking in $9,290 to Dutra’s $6,490. The disparity continued after a civil suit against Dutra emerged on Nov. 7. From that period forward, Hernandez took in $3,875 and Dutra took in $1,100. Hernandez received donations from the People’s Democratic Club of Santa Cruz ($200), Measure Q leader Sam Earnshaw ($99), architect
Henry Hooker ($100). Dutra received a second donation of $500 from local artist Ann Morhauser and $250 from Shadowbrook owner Ted Burke.

Joy Schendledecker brought in $3,615 this round, lifting her total to $10,760; however, most of the money in this recent round came from $2,500 in personal loans Schendledecker made to her own campaign. Schendledecker paid $1,400 to Alfredo Gama, the recently ousted UC Santa Cruz student body president, for consulting services.

Fred Keeley told Lookout earlier in October that he only wanted to raise $50,000 for his mayoral campaign, and he pretty much nailed it. The $23,620 he raised between Sept. 25 and Oct. 22 brought his total to $50,720; however, $15,000 in the most recent fundraising round came from a donation from Keeley himself. Keeley also vowed to implement a voluntary $250 campaign contribution limit, however, his report shows three donors have given $400 each: Ken Carlson, Johan Klehs and Michael Moskowitz. Keeley’s donors also include Netflix CEO Reed Hastings ($250). Keeley has also sent $2,575 to local PR firm Miller Maxfield, run by husband and wife duo Bill Maxfield and Paula Miller Maxfield.

Santa Cruz City Measure N

The biggest story out of the Measure N (Empty Home Tax) campaign receipts is the influx of money into the race from the California Association of Realtors, among the most powerful lobbies in state politics. In the most recent round of fundraising, CAR contributed $29,900 to the No on N campaign, bringing the lobby’s total contribution over the course of the campaign to $49,900 — more than $10,000 higher than the Yes on N campaign has raised in total. The No on N campaign also brought in $5,000 from S.C. Beach Hotel Partners LLC, and paid $59,968 to San Francisco-based Rally Campaigns.

The Yes on N campaign raised $13,695 in the recent round, bringing the total up to $39,061. Most of the money in the last month came from a $9,900 contribution from the Democratic Socialists of America headquarters in New York City.

Santa Cruz City Measure O

The money trend in the Measure O campaigns continued in the most recent round, with Measure O’s opponents outraising Measure O’s supporters by more than 3 to 1. In this most recent fundraising round, the No on O campaign, which supports the existing plan for the downtown library mixed-use project, received $5,000 from the Owen Lawlor-owned SCFS Ventures LLC (Lawlor is the developer tied to Cruz Hotel project, whose project’s fate depends on the Measure O’s defeat), $10,000 from local real estate firm RedTree Partners LP and $1,000 from Zachary Davis, co-owner of the Glass Jar. The Yes on O campaign raised $6,515 in the most recent round, which included $200 from the People’s Democratic Club of Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz City Council District 6

In the race for the Westside’s first directly elected city councilmember, incumbent Renée Golder has, to-date, outraised challenger Sean Maxwell; however, Maxwell’s campaign has picked up since late September, outraising Golder by 2 to 1. Maxwell, who didn’t start spending money on his campaign until late last month, has so far spent $2,285. Golder has spent $6,559 to date on her campaign.

Santa Cruz City Council District 4

Scott Newsome’s campaign has officially taken off. Newsome, who has garnered support from the local Democratic machine, raised nearly $7,200 between Sept. 25 and Oct. 22, bringing his fundraising total this calendar year to $9,299, trouncing opponent Greg Hyver, who raised $384 in the most recent round ($3,278 total). The third man in the race, Hector Marin, has not yet filed his campaign finance report, but had raised $3,561 by Sept. 24.

Alexander Pedersen outpaced his opposition the final month raising $2,003. Gerry Jensen has spent the most on his campaign ($3,970).

Incumbent Derek Timm ($3,596) and newcomer Alan Timms ($1,373) continued to lead the fundraising race.

In Watsonville’s District 7, the one competitive seat in the city council race, Ari Parker continued to out-raise Nancy Bilicich by lots. Parker’s $8,975 dwarfed Bilicich’s $3,372 in the early going. Parker’s final month tallied $7,647 to Bilicih’s $1,373.

Watsonville City Measure Q

Measure Q, which had out-raised Measure S $17,700 - $99 in the early months, added $6,600 in the final month.

Watsonville City Measure S

Measure S, which filed past the deadline earlier, was in the process of filing late again. We will update the number when they file.

State Assembly District 28

Gail Pellerin had more than tripled the amount raised by Liz Lawler in the campaign’s early months. Lawler closed that disparity by a bit the final month, taking in $76,900 to Pellerin’s $147,262.

Assembly District 30

Dawn Addis’ early advantage — already massive at $248,619 - $46,012 — only kept growing the final month. Addis raised $174,632 and Vicki Nohrden took in $21,034.