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San Diego ballot measures continue to attract large amounts of campaign cash

Campaigns for and against three San Diego ballot measures continue to secure large campaign contributions to pay for mailers and advertising during the final stretch before the Nov. 8 election.

In the city’s hottest council race, Democrat Tommy Hough is loaning money to his campaign in an effort to keep pace with fellow Democrat Kent Lee in their battle for the north central District 6 seat.

New disclosures posted this week show the campaign supporting Measure D, a controversial proposal to lift the city’s ban on union-friendly project labor agreements, raised $932,000 between Sept. 25 and Oct. 22.

That’s more than triple the $296,000 raised by opponents. And the pro-D campaign spent twice as much as opponents during the period covered by the new disclosures, $1.75 million versus $825,000.

Support for Measure C, a proposal to lift the 30-foot building height limit near the sports arena, got a jolt of support during the contribution period when Midway Rising donated $460,000.

Midway Rising is the development team chosen by Mayor Todd Gloria and the City Council to replace the city’s aging sports arena with high-rise housing and a new arena. More than $300,000 has already been spent, primarily on mailers.

Reform Local Government, a statewide political action committee led by former City Councilmember Carl DeMaio, has spent $32,500 so far to defeat Measure C.

Additional support for Measure C comes from a committee that raised $203,000 during the disclosure period to jointly support Measure C along with Measure B, which would repeal a century-old law guaranteeing free trash pickup for single-family homes.

The committee supporting both measures spent $170,000 during the disclosure period. Of the $272,000 it has raised in total, $193,000 came from the Municipal Employees Association, a city labor union strongly in favor of Measure B.

Reform California, a separate statewide political action committee led by DeMaio, has spent $50,000 on efforts to defeat Measure B. Those efforts have included slate mailers, digital ads, phone calls and texts.

Neither supporters nor opponents of Measure H, which would amend the city charter to allow childcare centers to operate in city parks, have reported raising or spending any money.

In the council runoff between Lee and Hough, Lee outraised Hough $34,000 to $7,000 during the disclosure period. But Hough loaned his campaign $19,000, bring the fundraising totals closer together.

Hough has loaned his campaign $57,000 so far this year, while Lee has relied only on contributions from donors.

Lee outspent Hough $76,000 to $71,000 during the disclosure period. District 6 includes Mira Mesa and University City.

Lee has also benefitted from contributions to committees supporting his candidacy. The MEA gave $50,000 to a committee supporting his candidacy during the summer, and the police officers’ union has given him $16,000.

Contributions to committees are not subject to the city’s $650 maximum for individuals who contribute directly to candidates.

In other council races, incumbent Democrat Jennifer Campbell and Republican Linda Lukacs each raised $13,000 during the period. But Campbell was able to outspend Lukacs $66,000 to $6,000 because she came into the period with a large fundraising lead.

Campbell and Lukacs are in a runoff for District 2, which includes Point Loma and Clairemont.

In District 4, which includes much of southeastern San Diego, Democratic incumbent Monica Montgomery Steppe raised $16,000 during the period and spent $23,000. Her opponent, Republican Gloria Evangelista, has not reported raising or spending any money.

In District 8, incumbent Democrat Vivian Moreno and her opponent, fellow Democrat Antonio Martinez, both raised and spent relatively little during the disclosure period. Moreno raised $1,250 and spent $11,000, while Martinez raised nothing and spent $2,000. District 8 includes Barrio Logan, San Ysidro and Otay Mesa.

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