Tuesday, November 11, 2014

"Air War": Spending for Political Television Ads on KTVU: October & November 2014

The “air war” for the November 2014 election was not as intense in the San Francisco Bay Area as it was in past elections.  More than one million dollars were spent for political ads on KTVU (channel 2, Fox owned-and-operated station, Oakland) in October and November, 2014.  

Governor of California

Incumbent Governor Jerry Brown (D) spent a total of $394,840 on KTVU ads between October 8 and Election Day.  Brown spent $30,000 on a spot during the Giants-Royals World Series on October 26, $81,000 during the October 28 game and another $81,000 during the October 29 game.  Brown spent $14,000 on a spot during the October 19 Oakland Raiders game. Those four spots during sporting events cost Brown $210,000 (53% of his total KTVU ad spending).   

Political television commercials are lucrative not only for broadcasters, but also for the campaign’s advertising placement agents, who generally receive 15 percent of ad spending as commissions.  The Brown campaign’s agent was Sadler Strategic Media of Studio City (southern California).

Republican challenger Neel Kashkari spent $337,815 on KTVU ads between October 14 and Election Day.  Kashkari’s big splurge was $162,000 for a 60-second spot that ran during the World Series game on October 28 (nearly one-half of Kashkari's total KTVU ad spending was on this single advertisement; $162,000 is more than five times the California per capita money income of $29,551).  Kashkari also spent $60,000 for a single 60-second spot during the November 2nd 49ers game. 

Kashkari ran 30-second ads in mid-October.  In late October through Election Day, he ran 60-second spots.  KTVU mistakenly ran the 30-second spot during its 5 p.m. newscasts on October 30 and 31.  It charged for those spots, but compensated the Kashkari campaign by running the 60-second spots during the 5 p.m. newscasts on November 2 and 3 at no charge.  The Kashkari campaign’s agent was the Smart Media Group of Alexandria, Virginia. 

State Legislature: 16th Assembly District (East Bay: Orinda to Livermore)

The race for the 16th Assembly District (AD16) [East Bay: Tri-Valley, Walnut Creek (part), Lamorinda] was a rare state legislative contest that attracted television advertising on broadcast stations in 2014.

Legislative candidates in the San Francisco Bay Area usually avoid television broadcast advertising because they are an extremely inefficient means of reaching likely voters in a specific district.  The 2010 Census of Population found 7.15 million Bay Area residents.  The population of AD16 is 466,000, a mere 6.3 percent of Bay Area population.  Theoretically, this means that for every 1,000 KTVU viewers, just 63 reside in AD16.  Many of those 63 out of 1,000 viewers are not registered or are unlikely to vote.  The ad is mostly irrelevant to the other 937 out of 1000 viewers.

AD16 Democratic candidate Tim Sbranti apparently spent more money on KTVU ads in October and November 2014 than any other candidate for any other office.  From invoices reported as of November 10, 2014, the Sbranti campaign spent a total of $267,600 on KTVU ads.  These included $81,000 spent on a 30-second spot during the October 29 World Series game and $72,000 spent on a 30-second spot during the October 26 World Series game and $55,000 for a single 30-second spot during the October 11 Giants playoff game.  

Sbranti has been active in the statewide political affairs of the California Teachers Association union.  A single World Series spot bought by the Sbranti campaign cost more than the beginning or mid-range annual salary of the average California public school teacher at the elementary and high school levels and exceeded the highest annual salary of teachers at small school districts, according to California Department of Education statistics for the year 2011-12.  So the Sbranti campaign spent more in 30 seconds than most California teachers earn in an entire year.

The grand total of KTVU ad spending by the Sbranti campaign likely will rise as more invoices are disclosed in coming days because the Sbranti campaign signed contracts for other World Series ads that have not yet appeared in invoices.  Sbranti signed contracts for ads on KTVU during six of the seven World Series games; if those six spots are invoiced, Sbranti’s grand total for KTVU 2014 World Series ads will be $427,500.   

Sbranti spent $59,600 on ads during KTVU's morning and evening newcasts in the days leading up to Election Day (ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 per 30-second spot).  The Sbranti campaign’s agent was MBMG, Inc. (Milner Butcher Media Group) of Studio City in southern California.

Catharine Baker, Sbranti’s Republican challenger for the open Assembly seat, did not purchase any KTVU ads in 2014.  Spirit of Democracy California, a pro-Baker independent expenditure committee largely funded by multi-millionaire Charles Munger, Jr., executed an advertising agreement with KTVU on October 22.  Spirit of Democracy apparently placed ads on KTVU, but KTVU is declining to disclose when those ads ran and what those ads cost.  Non-federal "issue advertising" apparently is exempt from the FCC's political advertising disclosure requirements.  (If anyone has information about AD16-related TV advertising by Spirit of Democracy-California, especially the content of those ads, please share that information in the comments section below.)  Chariot LLC was Spirit of Democracy California's media purchasing agent.

Baker agreed to the California Fair Political Practices Commission's voluntary expenditure ceiling of $953,000 for Assembly candidates in the November 2014 election. Sbranti did not and therefore spent as much money as he wished (apparently a half million dollars on KTVU commercials alone).

Ms. Baker narrowly won AD16.  She became the first Republican to capture a Democratic-held Assembly seat in the East Bay since 1980, when Bill Baker (R-Danville) won Dan Boatwright’s (D-Concord) vacant Assembly seat in Contra Costa County and Gib Marguth (R-Livermore) defeated incumbent Assemblyman Floyd Mori (D-Pleasanton).

Congress: 17th District (South Bay: Fremont to Sunnyvale & Cupertino)

The only congressional campaign that purchased KTVU ads in fall 2014 was that of incumbent Michael Honda (D) in the 17th congressional district [South Bay: Newark and part of Fremont in Alameda County; Milpitas, northern part of San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale and Cupertino in Santa Clara County).  Challenger Ro Khanna (D) bought KTVU ads in spring 2014, but apparently did not purchase KTVU ads in the fall.

As with Bay Area Assembly and state Senate races, spending on broadcast TV ads for Bay Area congressional contests makes little sense.  Each congressional district was a population of approximately 703,000 or 9.8% of the entire Bay Area.  Theoretically, 902 out of every 1,000 KTVU viewers cannot vote in the CD17 race.

The Honda campaign bought $95,030 worth of ads on KTVU in October and November 2014, mostly during newscasts and syndicated sitcom re-runs (“Big Bang Theory,” “Modern Family”).   The Honda campaign spent $2,800 each for at least five 30-second spots in the week preceding Election Day during KTVU's "10 o'clock News." Honda’s agent was Adelstein & Associates of Chicago.

Honda narrowly defeated Khanna in November 2014.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

East San Francisco Bay Area Members of Congress: 1865 to 2014: George Miller is Just Third to Retire Normally in 150 Years

Thirty-five individuals (thirty-three men and two women) have represented the East San Francisco Bay Area (Alameda and Contra Costa counties) in the U.S. House of Representatives since California’s first single-member districts were created in 1864.  (This does not include the two congressmen who represented California at-large from 1883 to 1885.  California gained two seats in 1882 as a result of the post-1880 census re-apportionment but the Legislature postponed re-districting until the 1884 congressional elections.)

The East Bay today has six U.S. representatives: George Miller, Barbara Lee, Eric Swalwell, Jerry McNerney, Mike Honda and Mike Thompson.

Here is how the 29 other U.S. representatives left their East Bay districts:

  • Defeated in primary or general elections: 14 (Higby, Page, Hilborn, English, MacLafferty, Eltse, Carter, Condon, Allen, Cohelan, George P. Miller, Baker, Pombo, Stark)
  • Died in office: 3 (Elston, Curry Sr., Baldwin)
  • Resigned mid-term: 4 (McKenna, Metcalf, Dellums, Tauscher)
  • Re-districting caused loss of all East Bay territory: 3 (Curry Jr., Edwards, Garamendi)
  • Ran for another office at end of term: 3 (Sargent, Knowland, Waldie)
  • Retired at end of term: 2 (Budd, Tolan)
Retirements are very rare.  Just two East Bay representatives in the past 150 years have retired from the House at the ends of their terms and not sought another political office immediately thereafter: James Budd in 1884 and John Tolan in 1946.  George Miller III will become the third in 2014.

There have been just sixteen open House seats in the East Bay since 1864, created by:

  • Four new congressional seats (1912, 1932, 1952, 1992)
  • Four mid-term resignations (McKenna, Metcalf, Dellums, Tauscher)
  • Three deaths (Elston, Curry Sr., Baldwin)
  • Three runs for higher office at the ends of term (Sargent, Knowland, Waldie)
  • Two retirements (Budd, Tolan)
George Miller III’s retirement in 2014 will create the 17th open congressional seat in the East Bay in the past 150 years. On average, an open East Bay congressional seat is a once-in-a-decade phenomenon.

A "George Miller" has represented the East Bay in Congress for 68 of the past 70 years.  Rep. George P. Miller (D-Alameda), no relation to George Miller III, served from 1945 until after Pete Stark defeated him in the 1972 Democratic primary.  That Rep. Miller was chairman of the House Science & Astronautics committee for most of the 1960s and therefore oversaw NASA's Apollo/lunar landing program.  The only time since World War II that there was not a "Rep. George Miller" from the East Bay was 1973-75.

Several East Bay members of Congress have attained higher political offices.  Rep. James Budd, a Stockton lawyer, was elected to the California governorship in 1894, a decade after he retired from his single term in Congress.  A close friend of suffragist Susan B. Anthony, Rep. Aaron Sargent ascended to the U.S. Senate in 1872, where he introduced the first constitutional amendment (unsuccessful) granting women the franchise. 

Rep. Joseph McKenna resigned in 1892 to serve as U.S. Ninth Circuit Court judge. He subsequently became U.S. attorney general (1897) and Associate Justice of the United States (1898 to 1925).  Rep. Victor Metcalf resigned from Congress mid-term to become President Theodore Roosevelt’s Secretary of Commerce and Labor (1904-06) and Secretary of the Navy (1906-08).

Two East Bay representatives did not run for re-election because they sought other higher offices.  In 1914, Rep. Joseph Knowland (father of future U.S. Sen. William Knowland) ran unsuccessfully in California’s first direct U.S. Senate election.  In 1974, Rep. Jerome Waldie ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for Governor of California (he lost to Jerry Brown – Waldie’s bid is perhaps most famous for his walk across a portion of the state, memorialized in Mary Ellen Leary's book Phantom Politics).

James Budd of Stockton, elected in 1882, was the first Democrat to represent an East Bay district.  [John Glascock (D-Oakland) also was elected in 1882, but he was elected at-large by all voters of California.]  The first third-party member, Progressive John Elston, was elected in 1914.  The first African American, Ronald V. Dellums of Berkeley, was elected in 1970.  Ellen O. Tauscher of Tassajara Valley became the region’s first congresswoman in 1997.

The following are the 35 occupants of the East Bay’s nine seats in the U.S. House of Representatives over the past 150 years:

Seat A: Created in 1864 as one of California’s original three congressional districts.  2nd District from 1865 to 1885 (central Sierra Nevada to East Bay).  3rd District from 1885 to 1913.  6th District from 1933 to 1953.  8th District from 1953 to 1975 (southern Alameda County plus eastern Oakland).  9th District from 1975 to 1993 (San Leandro to Livermore Valley).  13th District from 1993 to 2003 (I-880 corridor from San Leandro to Milpitas).  15th District from 2013 to 2023 (most of southern Alameda County, all of eastern Alameda, San Ramon).  [15 occupants]

1865-69            William Higby (R-Calaveras County)(defeated for re-nomination)
1869-73            Aaron A. Sargent (R-Nevada City) (elected to U.S. Senate)
1873-83            Horace Page (R-Placerville) (defeated by Budd in genl. election after re-districting)
1883-85            James Budd (D-Stockton) [retired – did not seek re-election; later elected governor (1895-99)]
1885-3/92         Joseph McKenna (R-Suisun City) (resigned to serve as U.S. 9th Circuit judge)
12/92-4/94        Samuel Hilborn (R-Oakland) (unseated by House; Warren English declared winner)
4/94-95            Warren B. English (D-Oakland) (defeated in general election)
1895-99            Samuel Hilborn (R-Oakland) (defeated for re-nomination)
1899-7/04          Victor Metcalf (R-Oakland) (resigned to serve as Secretary of Commerce & Labor)
12/04-15            Joseph Knowland (R-Alameda) (unsuccessfully ran for Senate)
1915-12/1921     John A. Elston (Progressive/R-Berkeley) (died in office)
11/1922-1925     James H. MacLafferty (R-Oakland) (defeated in primary)
1925-45            Albert Carter (R-Oakland) (defeated in general election)
1945-73            George P. Miller (D-Alameda) (defeated in primary)
1973-2013         Fortney “Pete” Stark (D-Danville/Oakland/Hayward/Fremont)(defeated Nov. ‘12)
2013-present       Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin)

[Seat A is now a southern & eastern Alameda County district plus San Ramon in Contra Costa County.  It is entirely within the East Bay.]

Seat B: Created in 1912.  California’s 3rd District from 1913 to 1933 (Based in Central Valley but included Contra Costa County).  As of 1933, no longer an East Bay district.  [2 occupants]

1913-10/30       Charles F. Curry (R-Sacramento) (died)
1931-33            Charles F. Curry Jr. (R-Sacramento) (defeated; district lost East Bay territory)
[Seat B lost its East Bay territory in 1932 and evolved into Sacramento/Central Valley district].

Seat C: Created in 1932: California’s 7th District from 1933 to 1975; 8th District from 1975 to 1993; 9th District from 1993 to 2003. 13th District from 2013 to 2023. [6 occupants]

1933-35            Ralph Eltse (R-Berkeley) (defeated in general election)
1935-47            John H. Tolan (D-Oakland) (did not seek re-election; retired in Jan. 1947)
1947-59            John J. Allen (R-Oakland) (defeated in general election)
1959-71            Jeffery Cohelan (D-Berkeley) (defeated in primary)
1971-2/1998      Ronald Dellums (D-Berkeley/Oakland) (resigned mid-term)
4/1998-present   Barbara Lee (D-Oakland)
[Centered on Oakland and Berkeley (covering all of northern Alameda County from Albany to San Leandro), Seat C remains in the East Bay in the 2010s.]

Seat D: Created in 1952.  California’s 6th District from 1953 to 1963 (all of Contra Costa and Solano counties).  14th District from 1963 to 1975.  7th District from 1975 to 2003.  11th District from 2013 to 2023. [4 occupants]

1953-55            Robert L. Condon (D-Walnut Creek) (defeated in general election)
1955-3/66         John F. Baldwin, Jr. (R-Martinez) (died in office)
6/66-75            Jerome Waldie (D-Antioch) (ran for governor)
1975-present     George Miller III (D-Martinez) (not seeking re-election; retiring in January 2015)
[Seat remains in East Bay in 2010s, entirely within Contra Costa County.  It includes most of central Contra Costa County plus Pittsburg and western Antioch plus Richmond/El Cerrito/San Pablo/Pinole]

Seat E: Created in 1962.  Primarily based in Santa Clara County.  Included portion of Alameda County from 1963 to 1993.  9th District from 1963 to 1975.  10th District from 1975 to 1993.  District lost its East Bay territory in 1992. [1 occupant]

1963-93            Don Edwards (D-San Jose) (retired in Jan. 1995, but after district left East Bay)
[Seat E lost its East Bay territory in 1992.  Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) now occupies it.]

Seat F: Created in 1992.  California’s 10th District from 1993 to 2003 (central and eastern Contra Costa County; eastern Alameda County plus Castro Valley).  District lost its East Bay territory in 2012 [3 occupants]

1993-97            William P. Baker (R-Danville) (defeated in general election)
1997-2009         Ellen O. Tauscher (D-Tassajara Valley/Alamo) (resigned mid-term)
2009-13            John Garamendi (D-Walnut Grove)  (district no longer in East Bay)
[Seat F lost its East Bay territory in 2012.]

Seat G:   San Joaquin County-centered district.   Added East Bay territory in 2002. 11th District from 2003 to 2013 (Pleasanton, Dublin, San Ramon, Danville, most of Brentwood, most of San Joaquin County, Morgan Hill). 9th District [most of San Joaquin County plus much of eastern Contra Costa County (eastern Antioch, Oakley, Brentwood, Discovery Bay)] [2 occupants]
2003-2007              Richard Pombo (R-Tracy) (defeated in 2006 general election)
2007-present            Gerald "Jerry" McNerney (D-Pleasanton/Stockton)

Seat H:  North Bay-centered district.  Added East Bay territory in 2012. 5th District from 2013 to 2023. [1 occupant]
2013-present            Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena)

[Seat H historically has been a North Bay district.  In 2012, a portion of Contra Costa County was added to the district, including most of Martinez, Crockett, Hercules.  Outside of the East Bay, district includes Vallejo and Benicia in Solano County, all of Napa County, part of Lake County and the Santa Rosa/Rohnert Park/Cotati area of Sonoma County.]

Seat I: Silicon Valley district.  Added East Bay territory in 2012.  17th District from 2013 to 2023. [1 occupant]
2013-present             Michael Honda (D-San Jose)

[Seat I historically has been a Santa Clara County district.  Southern Fremont was added in 2012.]