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Antonucci: Campaign contributions flow as California Teachers Association makes more political endorsements

Mike Antonucci | February 6, 2018

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Mike Antonucci’s Union Report will appear weekly at LA School Report. 

The California Teachers Association readied itself for the June primaries by formally recommending candidates for statewide offices and the legislature — and now its money will follow.

The State Council of the 325,000-member union voted in late January to recommend incumbent State Controller Betty Yee and Secretary of State Alex Padilla for reelection. The union had previously endorsed candidates for the other state offices last October. Thanks to the approval of the CTA State Council, those candidates will receive contributions from the union’s political action committee.

For governor of California, the state’s highest-profile race of 2018, CTA is backing Gavin Newsom and will send his campaign $29,200. Last week’s campaign finance filings showed Newsom has nearly three times the cash on hand as his nearest rivals, including the former mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, whom the unions have adamantly opposed.

For the state’s superintendent of public instruction, CTA endorsed Tony Thurmond, who will receive $14,600. The union also endorsed Ed Hernandez for lieutenant governor, Xavier Becerra for attorney general, Fiona Ma for state treasurer, and Ricardo Lara for insurance commissioner. Each will receive $14,600.

All of the above are Democrats. The union endorsed a single Republican, Connie Conway, for a seat on the Board of Equalization. She will also receive $14,600.

PAC regulations limit how much the union can donate directly to candidates, but CTA has no restrictions on the amount of dues money it can apply to independent expenditures. It is likely that the union will devote millions to getting Newsom and Thurmond elected, particularly since the charter schools lobby is likely to heavily support Villaraigosa for governor and Marshall Tuck for schools superintendent.

CTA recommended all of the following incumbent Assembly Democrats in the June primaries:

AD 2 – Jim Wood
AD 4 – Cecilia Aguiar Curry
AD 7 – Kevin McCarty
AD 9 – Jim Cooper
AD 11 – Jim Frazier
AD 13 – Susan Talamantes Eggman
AD 17 – David Chiu
AD 18 – Rob Bonta
AD 19 – Philip Ting
AD 20 – Bill Quirk
AD 21 – Adam Gray
AD 22 – Kevin Mullin
AD 25 – Kansen Chu
AD 27 – Ash Kalra
AD 28 – Evan Low
AD 29 – Mark Stone
AD 32 – Rudy Salas
AD 41 – Chris Holden
AD 43 – Laura Friedman
AD 44 – Jacqui Irwin
AD 47 – Eloise Gomez Reyes
AD 49 – Ed Chau
AD 50 – Richard Bloom
AD 52 – Freddie Rodriguez
AD 53 – Miguel Santiago
AD 57 – Ian Calderon
AD 58 – Cristina Garcia
AD 59 – Reggie Jones-Sawyer
AD 60 – Sabrina Cervantes
AD 61 – Jose Medina
AD 63 – Anthony Rendon
AD 64 – Mike Gipson
AD 70 – Patrick O’Donnell
AD 78 – Todd Gloria
AD 80 – Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher

Notable for her absence from this list is Shirley Weber, who represents the 79th District and has butted heads with CTA on several education reform issues in the past session.

CTA recommended incumbent senators Mike McGuire (SD 2), Richard Pan (SD 6), Bob Wieckowski (SD 10), and Holly Mitchell (SD 30).

For open seats, CTA endorsed Judy Appel in AD 15, Rebecca Bauer-Kahan in AD 16, Robert Rivas in AD 30, and Anna Caballero in SD 12.

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