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New 2009 Election Graphics For Candidate Fundraising and Expenditures

    Visitors to the 2009 election campaign fundraising and expenditure page of the Ethics Commission website will now find a snapshot of campaign finance data from the 2009 primary election cycle through June 30, 2008, that includes some key observations and visuals that highlight current fundraising and spending with prior elections. By providing context for the 2009 campaign finance data, the new page is designed to allow viewers to more easily spot fundraising and spending trends and better understand how political money is raised and spent over time. The new graphics will be updated regularly as candidates continue to report their campaign finance activities throughout the 2009 election cycle.

    Among the new and notable facts illustrated in the June reports are the following:

Campaign Spending

  • Open seats and unopposed incumbents set the pace. In the 2009 open seat race for City Attorney, three candidates running in the 2009 election as of June 30 spent over 140 percent more than three candidates had at the same point eight years ago in the last open seat election for that office. As of June 30, six candidates in the open Council District 5 race spent 79 percent more than eight candidates had at the same point eight years ago in that district’s last open seat election. Five Council incumbents, who were unopposed as of June 30, 2008, have already spent 59 percent more than the nine candidates running for those same five seats had at this point in the 2005 election.
  • Overall, spending on "Professional Services/Consulting" made up nearly half, or 49 percent, of all campaign expenditures reported through June 30. That type of spending, however, accounted for more than 80 percent of all expenditures in the open-seat City Attorney’s race, and over 70 percent of the spending reported in Council District 13, which was an uncontested seat as of June 30.

Fundraising

  • Early campaign reports show relatively little use of candidates' personal funds in their campaigns. The highest amounts of personal funds use as of June 30 were in the race for City Council District Five. In that race, roughly 14 percent of the funds raised overall by the six candidates came from the candidates themselves. In all other City races as of June 30, candidates’ personal funds accounted for no more than two percent of their overall funding.
  • Candidates have relied more heavily on individuals to fund their 2009 campaigns. Over 77 percent of all contributions candidates reported raising through June 30, 2008 was from individuals.

    The Commission’s new graphics can be accessed through the Commission’s home page at http://ethics.lacity.org, or directly at http://ethics.lacity.org/CampaignFinance/2009electiongraphs/.

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