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Against 'wasteful,' but for 'anonymous'

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Eastern Ventura County's 27th state Senate district is the hotspot in California for the state versions of super PACs -- called independent expenditure committees -- to spend their money.

Through Tuesday, the Fair Political Practices Commission reports, independent expenditure committees had dumped just under $5 million into legislative races

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Watch videos analyzing the November California ballot propositions featuring Timm Herdt and David Maron of the Ventura County League of Women Voters.
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statewide. An analysis by the Sacramento Bee's Capitol Alert staff (complete with a nifty pie chart) shows that 21 percent of that spending has been to influence the race in the 27th Senate District between incumbent Democrat Fran Pavley and Republican challenger Todd Zink. The about $1 million spent so far has been about evenly divided -- half to oppose Pavley, half to support her.

It's easy enough to determine where the money is coming from to suppoirt Pavley: $494,054 from the California Teachers Association Independent Expenditure Coimmittee and $28,000 from the California League of Conservation Voters PAC.

The source of the nearly half-million dollars spent to oppose Pavley is a little murkier. I've already written about the so-called "California Senior Advocates League PAC" and the hoops it goes through to obscure the source of the $316,980 it has spent against her so far. This week, a new vaguely named group was formed calling itself "Citizens Against Wasteful Spending," and immediately ponied up $103,183 to attack Pavley. What's the source of that money? It's impossible to say. Because of the timing of the group's formation, it has not yet had to report the source of its contributions.

These groups have spent nearly all their money to oppose Pavley, but they have set aside a little to support Zink -- $315, to be exact..

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95 percent accurate
Over the last 25 presidential elections, Ventura County voters have backed the winner 24 times, or over 95 percent of the time. It is one of only a handful of counties in the nation that has been such a predictable bellwether.
about Timm Herdt
Timm Herdt
The Ventura County Star's Sacramento Bureau Chief Timm Herdt on state issues and politics from Sacramento to Ventura County. He can be contacted at therdt@vcstar.com
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