Depending on who you believe, there are five top tier candidates vying to become the next mayor of Los Angeles. Two are women. One of those women is African American. Four are Democrats; one is a Republican.
Running for the highest elected office in the City of Angels is not
an inexpensive undertaking. The question is how much fundraising and
spending will matter. Certainly money helps candidates get their message
out to the voters. This is why the Supreme Court has long equated money
But beyond the opportunity to reach the
voters, does spending beyond a certain point sway the voters? There may,
however, be a tipping point, or a saturation level at which more
increased spending on political advertisements does not equal an
increase in support. In addition, it may matter whether a candidate is
spending her own funds, or the funds of contributors. In other words,
candidates who have raised money from others may have a base of support,
even if that base is only comprised of people who can and want to give
money to political candidates.
A second question relates to how much weight the voters give to
outside spending. Spending by so-called independent groups can fill a
candidate's fundraising gap. But do the voters listen to political
communications by candidates more than they do to communications by
outside groups? Or do voters not differentiate?
Thus far in the current mayor race those two questions are at play.
Republican Kevin James, who has never held public office, spent more
than any other mayor candidate in the fourth quarter of 2012. However,
he raised much, much less than the top tier candidates. James raised
slightly more than $42,000. City Controller Wendy Greuel raised $672,230, and City Councilman Eric Garcetti raised $727,503 during that period.
James does have the support of an independent committee, which thanks
to recent court decisions can raise and spend unlimited sums. This
spending could play a key role in James' bid for mayor, even though
legally he is not allowed to direct that outside spending. The group may
run negative advertisements against the other contenders.
Finish reading this post on KCET.org.