Capitol Weekly just reported a $600,000 windfall for former Assembly Speaker Núñez. The money was transferred to Núñez’s ballot measure committee from one that was supposed to help get-out-the-vote efforts. At least one of his colleagues wasn’t too pleased:
"I don’t know what’s going to happen with that money, but we need it today
for registration," said Assemblyman Charles Calderon, D-Montebello. "Without knowing what the circumstances
surrounding that transfer, it looks like it’s no longer available for voter registration. That’s a problem."
The $600,000 question is: What does Núñez plan on doing with all that cash? Or, for that matter, what about the rest of the millions the Democratic Party gave him back in 2006?
That kind of money means leverage and allegiances, and campaign laws are lax enough that it could be spent on behalf of just about anyone. In fact, a few people have already benefitted:
The Committee to Protect California’s Future was Nunez’s main vehicle for financing the campaign to extend
term limits for Nunez and other legislative leaders.
The committee contributed more than $1.1 million to the Yes on Proposition 93 campaign.
Nunez’s chief of staff, Dan Eaton, received $100,000 in consulting fees
from the committee in April. The
speaker’s fundraiser, Dan Weitzman, who also raises funds for
Speaker Karen Bass, received $25,000 from Nunez’s committee. The
Committee to Protect California’s Future has been in existence since
2002 and tradiionally has been controlled by the sitting
The transfer comes as numerous Assembly sources say
Bass is asking members of her caucus to donate $50,000 to another voter registration committee established
by Bass. Under Nunez’s leadership, Voter Registration
2008 has given a $50,000 donation to the Alice B. Toklas Club to help Mark
Leno, and gave $50,000 to the Southwest Voter Registration Project.
But the main beneficiary of the committee has been
Weitzman, who has received more than $200,000 in payments from the committee over the last 18 months.
Núñez has been mum on plans for the rest of the money so far. Probably best to keep ’em guessing.