Warning: This column contains obscene material.
Total figures are in on what candidates collected and spent to try to win races last November. My focus today the 10th Congressional contest between Jeff Denham and Jose Hernandez, and numbers are from OpenSecrets.org, the website of the Center for Responsive Politics.
Individually and through his leadership committee, Denham raised $2.757 million and spent $2.648 million. His biggest donors were in the crop production and basic processing. That's no surprise for an ag businessman running in an ag district.
Hernandez raised $1.75 million and spent about the same. Among his donors, the largest amount came from those in the legal industry. Again, not surprising.
Together, the candidates spent $4.4 million.
But that's not all. Outside groups spent $8.232 million on the Denham-Hernandez race and, of that, $7.7 million was in opposition financing the attack ads that we've come to hate. In this category Hernandez supporters/Denham opponents put up the bigger amount, putting in $4.3 million compared with $3.4 million to support Denham/oppose Hernandez.
Add in the paltry $123,000 on behalf of Chad Condit in the primary, and the grand spending total for last year's the 10th Congressional District race was $12.7 million. That's what I call obscene.
Freshman Assemblyman Adam Gray, D-Merced, chairs the joint legislative audit committee, which sounds like a ho-hum assignment. Think again. It puts the former legislative staffer in a key position with these revealing audits about diverted funds in the state Natural Resources Agency. First it was state parks, then Cal Fire and, on Thursday, a new revelation, as reported in the Los Angeles Times, that at least $1.7 million was diverted from the Wildlife Restoration Fund to pay for office operations, routine bills and gift cards for official use.
Sen. Tom Berryhill bought a house in Tuolumne County and is now referring to Twain Harte as his home base rather than Modesto. Why does it matter? In 2014 he'll likely be running for the new 8th Senate District. Twain Harte is in that one.
Sly is editor of the Opinions pages. Contact her at (209) 578-2317, email@example.com or on Twitter @judysly.