Categorized | Politics, Election 08, Local

In Focus: City Council Election Money Trail


El Cerrito Focus has obtained the latest campaign finance disclosure documents for each of the five candidates running for city council.

Each election cycle candidates for state and local office are required by law to submit pre-election campaign disclosure statements. The statements – officially known as California Form 460 – detail campaign contributions received, expenditures made, cash balances, and outstanding debts for the period in question.

Campaign finance and disclosure is monitored state-wide by the California Fair Political Practices Commission whose mission is “to promote the integrity of representative state and local government in California through fair, impartial interpretation and enforcement of political campaign, lobbying, and conflict of interest laws.”

The local filing officer for El Cerrito is the city clerk, Cheryl Morse. All filings are submitted to Morse where they become public records, open for public review at city hall.

The most recent pre-election filing deadline was Oct. 23, 2008. Statements submitted by this date cover year-to-date campaign finances through Oct. 18.

El Cerrito Focus reporter Matt Durning has reviewed the El Cerrito City Council candidate disclosure statements and prepared the following data visualizations comparing the candidates’ campaign finances.

The first graph displays totals for each of the major Form 460 categories: (1) monetary contributions received, (2) expenditures made, (3) personal loans to campaign, (4) available cash balance, and (5) outstanding debt.

The second graph breaks down each candidate’s monetary contributions by type: (1) individual donations over $100, (2) individual donations under $100, and (3) donations from associations and/or unions.

Candidates are listed along the horizontal axis in alphabetical order.

*All values listed in $US dollars.

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