The Buzz: Cost of House seat in California exceeds $1 million

March 12, 2013 

State's delegation raised $85 million in campaign contributions for 2012

California's 53-member congressional delegation raised $85 million for their successful 2012 races, with the average member accepting more than $1.61 million in contributions, according to data collected by MapLight.org.

That figure, which doesn't count the millions poured into the state's races by outside groups, is slightly lower than the national average of $1.68 million raised by winning House candidates cited in MapLight's report. In both cases, members were taking in more than $2,000 a day on average.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, collected the most of all California members, reporting more than $4.5 million. McCarthy didn't face a serious challenge last year, but his position as House majority whip makes him a magnet for campaign money.

More than $3.66 million in contributions secured the third spot for Sacramento County's Ami Bera, the Elk Grove Democrat who unseated GOP Rep. Dan Lungren.

Democratic Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod raised the least of all California members, taking in a mere $352,550. The former state senator edged fellow Democrat Joe Baca with the help of $3 million in last-minute independent ads funded by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

BUDGET WATCH

State general fund revenue over the past eight months is beating expectations by nearly $4.3 billion, according to a report Monday by the State Controller's Office. Recent tax changes and the volatility of California's tax system, however, cast doubt on how lasting that overage may be. Experts have urged caution until after April income tax revenue comes in.

WORTH REPEATING

"Obtaining the supermajority didn't change the world; temporarily losing the supermajority won't change the world."

ASSEMBLY SPEAKER JOHN A. PÉREZ, Los Angeles Democrat, noting that the number of Democrats in the lower house will fall below two-thirds while vacancies are filled

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