Brown socks away campaign cash

Chris Rizo Mar. 23, 2010, 12:01am

Jerry Brown (D)

Meg Whitman (R)

Steve Poizner (D)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline)-California Attorney General Jerry Brown continues to sock away money for his general election race against either Republicans Meg Whitman or Steve Poizner, campaign finance disclosures indicate.

Papers filed Monday with the California secretary of state show that Brown, who just this month officially entered the governor's race, has more than $14 million in cash in his campaign account.

He transferred nearly $7.7 million from his attorney general's campaign account into his governor's race account March 10, papers show.

So far this year, Brown has raised $2.1 million and spent just $144,000 since Jan. 1, mostly on campaign consultants, transportation and office space.

Brown is the only Democratic candidate vying to succeed Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Golden State's chief executive. As his party's nominee, Brown would challenge either Whitman or Poizner in the November general election.

In the fight for their party's nomination, Whitman and Poizner have both invested heavily in their campaigns. Whitman has funneled $39 million of her personal wealth into her campaign coffers, while Poizner has given his campaign $19 million.

Whitman, the former chief executive of eBay, for the first time has a narrow lead in the nationally-watched California governor's race, a Field Poll released Wednesday indicates.

In the race for the GOP nomination, Whitman had 63 percent support among likely Republican primary voters while Poizner was backed by 14 percent. Since January, Whitman's lead over Poizner in the Field Poll has grown by more than 20 points.

In a hypothetical general election matchup, Whitman led Brown 46 percent to 43 percent. In January, Brown led Whitman by 10 points. The only region where Brown led Whitman is the San Francisco-Bay Area and in northern California areas outside the nine-county Bay Area region.

Among decline-to-state voters, the Field Poll found that 50 percent of respondents were backing Whitman, while 36 percent supported Brown.

Brown may seek another two terms as governor because he was governor from 1975 to 1983, before term limits were enacted. He was the mayor of Oakland, Calif., from 1998 to 2006, before being elected attorney general in 2007.

The Field Poll of 748 likely general election voters and 353 likely Republican primary voters was conducted from March 9 to 15. The survey has a 3.7 percent margin of error in its general election results and a 5.5 percent margin of error in its Republican primary survey.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at

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