Get ready, California voters: A deluge of political TV ads is headed your way as candidates scramble for position in a crowded primary election and deep-pocketed donors rush to prop them up.
Millions of dollars have poured into the campaign for governor in recent weeks, kicking the race into high gear with a month and a half until the June 5 primary. It’s a sign of the increasingly competitive fight for second place behind Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom — a struggle for political survival, as only the top two candidates will advance to the general election.
“It’s about to start raining down ads,” said Rob Stutzman, a GOP strategist in Sacramento. “I’m a little surprised it hasn’t begun earlier.”
The first drops fell Thursday, as a pro-charter school committee hit the airwaves with a new ad backing former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Several prominent charter school supporters — Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Los Angeles philanthropist Eli Broad and former L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan — have funneled a combined $9.5 million into the committee over the last week and a half.
That’s more than Villaraigosa’s campaign raised in all of 2016 and 2017, and helps cut down the $13.6 million financial advantage Newsom held over Villaraigosa at the end of 2017. The committee is run by the California Charter Schools Association, a pro-charter group. It can accept unlimited donations but can’t coordinate with Villaraigosa’s campaign.
In a field of Democratic candidates who have only a handful of major disagreements on policy issues, the substantial funding could place more of a focus on charter school policy. Villaraigosa was a strong supporter of charters in Los Angeles. Newsom, the frontrunner in the race, has called for stricter transparency rules for charter schools and has been endorsed by the powerful and charter-skeptical California Teachers Association.
The new pro-Villaraigosa ad …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Politics