Donors give California Governor Jerry Brown $17M for gubernatorial race
Even if he did not say he has intentions to run again, donors have given incumbent California Governor Jerry Brown $17 million for a re-election bid, Bloomberg reported. The donations came from Exxon Mobil Corp, Facebook Inc and Microsoft Corp. Even porn magnate Larry Flynt has also contributed to Brown's campaign coffers, the report said.
Citing campaign finance records, the report said the cash pile of 75-year-old Brown, a Democrat, has already reached more than what was spent in 2009 by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to get seated. With nine months left to raise funds, Brown faces Republicans who only hold a portion of his cash. These include Neel Kashkari, the former official of the US Treasury who was responsible for the banking rescue called the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the report said.
It's expensive to launch a campaign to become governor of California. In 2010, Brown and his opponents forked out a $246.5 million for the elections. The National Institute on Money in State Politics said this represented a fifth of the amount raised for three dozen gubernatorial polls in that same year. Billionaire and now-Hewlett-Packard Co Chief Executive Officer Meg Whitman spent her own funds amounting to $141.6 million in her campaign but lost against Brown in 2010, the report said.
In an interview, Gary South told Bloomberg, "When you've been through the experience like Jerry Brown went through with Meg Whitman, your gut tells you that you better go out and raise as much money as you can because there might be some millionaire or billionaire lurking in the shadows that will try to spend you out of office." South served as the chief political adviser of former Governor Gray Davis.
Around one third of the firms included in the Dow Jones Industrial index have supported Brown who holds a high approval rating, the report said.