Political newcomer Ron Hurd led the pack running for Carpinteria City Council by collecting nearly $14,000 in campaign contributions. Hurd – a retired sheriff’s lieutenant backed by the Republican Party – donated half of that sum himself. Coming in a close second was Al Clark, a longtime slow-growth advocate who raised nearly $13,000. Outspoken Libertarian Greg Gandrud raised $8,488, $1,300 of which came from the Lincoln Club, a Republican PAC, and $250 of which was donated by Sempra Energy. Gregg Carty, a housing contractor, raised $7,085, of which $500 came from 1st District Supervisor Salud Carbajal. Carbajal gave most generously to Mayor Brad Stein – now running for a fifth term – with a donation of $4,900. Stein also received $3,900 from the Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee.
Sheriff Jim Anderson raised $311,000 in his quest for a second term, while his rival, Lompoc Police Chief Bill Brown, amassed campaign donations of $184,000. Anderson loaned his campaign $70,000, while Brown extended his campaign $10,000. Brown’s father has emerged as the single biggest donor to the race, giving his son $21,500 to defeat Anderson. Chris Edgecomb, a former Sheriff’s Council president hostile to Anderson, kicked in another $20,000. Edgecomb complained that Anderson had pressured him not to file a complaint after he’d been slapped and pushed around in Anderson’s presence by another Sheriff’s Council executive loyal to Anderson. The sheriff has denied the claim, saying that Edgecomb was part of a conspiracy concocted by former Sheriff Jim Thomas to make Anderson look bad.
In the battle to win the hearts and minds of the 2nd Supervisorial District, Dan Secord raised $447,732, while his rival Janet Wolf collected $423,827. Secord loaned himself $63,000; after that, his biggest recent donor was former county Planning Commissioner Parker Montgomery, who gave $10,000. The Hope Ranch PAC was good for $7,500, while the Lincoln Club – a Republican PAC – gave $4,500. Wolf received $21,377 from the Friends of Lois Capps, who gave about that much in the primary as well; $20,000 from Peter Sperling, a wealthy philanthropist and scion of the University of Phoenix founder; $7,500 from the Hope Ranch PAC; and $5,000 from the county firefighters’ union.
If the fight over Measure D were to be decided by which side raised more money, supporters of the countywide congestion relief measure would secure roughly 160 times as many votes as the opponents. But dollars don’t translate directly into ballots, and few Measure D supporters are willing to predict the measure will garner the two-thirds super-majority needed for any tax increase to pass. The Yes on Measure D group reported raising $250,000 by October 25, far less than the $750,000 proponents had hoped to generate. The vast majority of funds came from large road construction companies, engineering firms, and bond underwriters who stand to benefit directly if the measure passes. The biggest single donor to date is the Automobile Club of Southern California, which gave $15,000 in cash. Measure D opponents reported raising $1,575.
A week after his opponent Phil Angelides made a pit stop in Santa Barbara on the campaign trail, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger made a surprise visit to the South Coast last Wednesday. The Republican incumbent was joined by 3rd District Supervisor Brooks Firestone at a press conference along Highway 101 in Summerland. The governator used the backdrop as a prop to tout the $19.9 billion transportation bond aspect of his proposed Strategic Growth Plan.
Republican Representative Duncan Hunter, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, announced he is running for president in 2008. Hunter, who has represented the 52nd Congressional District in San Diego for 26 years, has garnered local attention for his proposal to turn Santa Rosa Island into a hunting reserve for disabled veterans. Duncan’s announcement came as a surprise; political strategists do not consider him a front-runner.