Campaign Contribution Limit Set for Fresno County Races at $30K - GV Wire - Explore. Explain. Expose
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Campaign Contribution Limit Set for Fresno County Races at $30K



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The days of unlimited campaign contributions for candidates running for Fresno County offices are over.

Now, the limit is $30,000 per election cycle (primary and general election), as approved by the Fresno County Board of Supervisors, 5-0, at Tuesday’s meeting.

The limits not only apply to individual contributors but to political action committees as well — a fact that rankles unions.

I like level playing fields, and I appreciate the fact that this is more restrictive than what was in place last year,” supervisor Nathan Magsig said.

Labor Union Leader Critical of Limits

“The primary driver of this ordinance is to handicap unions going into the 2022 elections. Unions do not equal one person.”Labor leader Dillon Savory

Dillon Savory, executive director of the Fresno-Madera-Tulare-Kings Central Labor Council, told Politics 101 via email that supervisors are targeting labor unions’ access to the political process.

“The primary driver of this ordinance is to handicap unions going into the 2022 elections. Unions do not equal one person,” Savory said. “Unions collect voluntary donations each month from our members and use those dollars collectively to support real public officials who aren’t bought by their campaign contributors. If the supervisors are serious about campaign finance reform, they should match the limits of state or federal elections.”

Savory said the supervisors should concentrate on “saving lives” rather than debating campaign limits — a reference to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Since Fresno County refuses to accept public comment over the phone or internet, it’s obvious that there is something dishonest about this ordinance,” Savory said. “To set the campaign finance limit at $30,000 is not even setting a limit at-all. That’s a down payment on a house for most Valley families. The only ‘people’ that have that type of cash to throw at elections are the same old money families that already finance most of the supervisors.”

Savory said the limit is 10 times higher than the limit for congressional candidates, even though supervisor districts are smaller. The federal limits are $2,800 for individuals and $5,000 for PAC.

Changes Based on State Law

Last year, state legislators passed AB 571, requiring counties and cities to set limits if none had been there before. If a jurisdiction fails to set limits by the Jan. 1 deadline, maximum contributions revert to state limits for assemblymembers and state senators — $4,700 an election cycle.

The city of Fresno has established limits already tied to the $4,700 maximum.

Current supervisors and recent candidates have raised big money in the past. Steve Brandau received $40,000 in contributions from Granville Homes for the 2019 special election. Darius Assemi, president/CEO of Granville Homes, is the publisher of GV Wire.

In that same contest, SEIU 521 contributed $45,000 to Nasreen Johnson.

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email