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What did Oakland District 1, At-Large and City Attorney candidates spend to get your vote?

on November 13, 2012

Oakland North looked into political spending for three recent local races, breaking down what candidates spent, per voter, for the District One City Council race, the at-large seat and for City Attorney.

In the race for District One, Amy Lemley spent the most—$2.97 per voter, followed by Dan Kalb at $2.16 per voter. The five other candidates spent less than $2 per voter. The Alameda County Registrar of Voters is still tallying up provisional ballots leading up to December 4, when they are required to certify the election. Until then, votes are still officially being counted.

As of Monday, November 12, results show that for the at-large seat, Rebecca Kaplan spent 65 cents per voter and Ignacio De La Fuente spent 68 cents per voter. The three other candidates, Mick Storm, Theresa Anderson, and Carol Lee Tolbert, raised and spent significantly less. Since the at-large seat on the City Council and the City Attorney races are citywide positions, the amounts per voter seem smaller than District One, since they’re divided up based on the number of votes gained citywide.


  1. Max Allstädt on November 13, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    This is useful information, and worthwhile reporting.

    I would like to see it expanded.

    To get a real picture of how the money gets spent in elections, you need to include a tally of independent expenditures as well.

    For instance, Great Oakland Public Schools spent over $180,000 in this election cycle, with the vast majority coming from just three donors.

    Similarly a tally of spending by various unions, including OEA, OPOA, SEIU, needs to be included.

    And there’s the Labor Council, and the Coalition for Jobs and Housing.

    It’s all in the public record, it’s tedious paperwork to sort through, but for student journalists to do it when the mainstream press won’t would be quite a coup.

    • Gene on November 13, 2012 at 5:00 pm

      Agreed. Nice job, but it would be useful to see where the money came from, too.

    • Ken Ott on November 14, 2012 at 12:02 am

      Thanks Max. You’re right on the money, there.

    • Len Raphael on November 14, 2012 at 7:51 pm

      Would make it easier for people to grasp the very high cost of running for even a local District election if you also gave the totals per candidate, both direct and Citizens United aka indirect. Also list what the city’s campaign limits are on direct expenditures (none on indirect of course).

      You won’t be able to report on the value of in-kind labor donated by unions and businesses, or the value of databases of proven donors borrowed from supporters because those valuable items are not reportable,

      Look at the candidate personal financial reports for indications of the candidates receiving any financial support in the form of wages or fees during the race.

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