Primary dollars: It’s David vs. Goliath vs. Ant-Man in the battle to be Sacramento’s next mayor
Follow the dollar trail with our breakdown of each candidate’s most spendy supporters
ILLUSTRATIONS BY JONATHAN BUCK
You can learn a lot by digging through people’s financial records.
Case in point: In the race to be Sacramento’s next mayor, the varying support for former state Sen. Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Councilwoman Angelique Ashby—the top contenders to replace outgoing Mayor Kevin Johnson—comes down to scale.
According to the most recent batch of campaign disclosure statements filed to the California Fair Political Practices Commission, covering January 1 through April 23, Steinberg and Ashby receive monetary tributes from many of the same interests—builders and developers, public safety unions and attorneys, retirees—and sometimes the very same people. (24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov has some explaining to do at the next fundraiser.)
It’s just that Steinberg has received a whole lot more from a larger variety of zip codes.
It’s kind of an apples-and-oranges deal. The termed-out senate leader recently transferred approximately $1.4 million from an untapped lieutenant governor campaign account. In doing so, he capsized a midmarket political race that may end up being the city’s most expensive.
But what is all this money buying—and what favors could Sacramento’s next mayor owe when she or he takes up the gavel? SN&R combed hundreds of pages of financial records to find out.
While it’s too soon to say whether money can buy the love of Sacramento voters, it has injected drama into what was once a polite affair.
Some other things to note: Due to the transfer, more than two-thirds’ of Steinberg’s war chest originates from outside the city of Sacramento. Which makes sense, since he was a state politician storing up for a possible statewide run that didn’t materialize.