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Campaign Contribution Reports Reveal Financial Backers of Local Measures, Candidates

Read our roundup to find out the people and organizations funding political efforts in Santa Barbara County

Ballots for the Nov. 2 election are already in the hands of many Santa Barbara County voters, and candidates were required to submit their last pre-election campaign contribution forms earlier this week. Here’s a roundup of who’s financially backing some of the candidates and measures.

Measure S

The half-cent sales tax measure that would primarily fund a new north county jail recorded $71,874 in contributions, with the largest contribution coming from the Santa Barbara County Deputy Sheriffs Association. The group donated $20,000 for Measure S, by far the largest amount recorded. Also on the list of top contributors was labor group SEIU 620 with $5,000, and developer Michael Towbes with $5,000. Texas developer Randall Van Wolfswinkel also appeared on the roster this election year, donating $2,500 to the measure.

Measure T

Santa Barbara’s Measure T would ban all storefront medical marijuana dispensaries within city limits. Top donors to fund the effort to prevent the ban are several dispensaries located in the city. The Santa Barbara Patients Group, at 3128 State St., was the largest donor at $1,500. The Green Room Dispensary in Summerland gave $1,250, and the Milpas-based Santa Barbara Patients Collective Health Cooperative gave $500.

Proponents of Measure T and a citywide ban gave $3,705 to the effort, with the largest donation of $1,000 backed by Davies Public Affairs, at 808 State St. Jim and Sharon Westby followed with $750, and the Carmichael-based Citizens Against Legalizing Marijuana gave $600 to the effort.

Measures Q and R

If approved, the measures would issue bonds to fund improvements to the elementary and secondary schools within the Santa Barbara School District. The measures have brought in $43,478, $10,000 of which came from the Santa Barbara Education Foundation. Steve Flowers reportedly gave $5,000, and the business R.J. Carroll & Sons Plumbing has put forward $3,000 for the measures.


Republican Assembly candidate Mike Stoker brought in total contributions of $141,936.67 this year, with his largest donations coming from an agricultural political action committee, a Santa Maria real-estate business and a Republican running for state Senate.

The Irving-based United Agricultural PAC gave $7,800 to Stoker. Another $7,800 came from Alexi Realty Inc., and another $7,800 came from Blakeslee for Senate 2012. Also of note is a $3,900 donation from the Santa Barbara County Deputy Sheriffs Association, $2,000 from investor Tony Romasanta and $1,400 from the California Independent Petroleum Association.

Democrat Das Williams recorded total contributions of $545,678.75 this year. By far, Williams’ largest financial support came from the four members of the Sperling family, who donated $32,200 among four family members.

Labor groups were behind most of the larger donations fueling Williams’ campaign, with the largest coming from SEIU groups — one local and one statewide, which donated $25,900. Two other Sacramento-based labor groups donated more than $10,000 each to his campaign. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees contributed $7,800 to Williams, and the Santa Barbara County Firefighters Government Committee gave $7,200.


Democratic Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, recorded some of her largest donations from political action committees. The 23rd District congresswoman received $8,000 from the National Association of Realtors PAC and $4,000 from the National Cable and Telecommunications Association PAC.

Republican challenger Tom Watson funded the largest donations to his campaign personally, but also recorded $2,500 from the American Society of Anesthesiologists Political Action Committee.

Libertarian Darrell Stafford and independent John Hager recorded no contributions.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

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