The Democrat-on-Democrat contest in San Bernardino County’s 47th Assembly District is awash in independent money from charter school supporters, teachers unions and a group of tribes with casinos, among others, spending more than $1.1 million since mid-September.
Rialto Councilman Joe Baca Jr. is running against Cheryl Brown, a Rialto businesswoman and an aide to Assemblywoman Wilmer Amina Carter, D-Rialto.
More than $753,000 of the independent expenditures has gone to support Brown or oppose Baca and $403,000 has gone to support Baca or oppose Brown through the weekend.
The main groups pushing Brown’s election are the Sacramento-based California Tribal Business Alliance political action committee ($480,000), the San Rafael-based Parents and Teachers for Putting Students First ($228,000), and the California Black Political Action Committee ($34,000.)
The main organizations behind Baca are the California Teachers Association ($163,000), the Alliance to Get California Working PAC ($119,463) and the Golden State Leadership Fund PAC ($67,000).
The parents and teachers group gets its money from StudentsFirst, the Sacramento-based group led by former Washington D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee, who clashed repeatedly with the DC teachers union. In addition, the tribal business alliance has received $100,000 from the California Charter Schools Association.
In the case of the pro-Baca Jr. IE’s, the Golden Leadership Fund’s biggest donor is the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians near San Bernardino. The Alliance to Get California Working PAC has a variety of donors, including the private prison company CCA.