CALIFORNIA, USA — The November elections are just around the corner, but as Californians check their voter guides, they might notice a curious absence.
Voters will not see Governor Gavin Newsom in the voter information guide that goes to homes across the state. Ballots are starting to arrive, and many voters said there is no picture or candidate statement for Governor Newsom in their voter guide. There is, however, one listed for his Republican challenger, Brian Dahle.
According to political experts, this is no mistake.
“No, this was not a mistake. There was nothing sinister about this at all. This was a calculated move by Governor Newsom’s campaign several months ago when he first announced his intention to run for governor,” said political analyst Steve Swatt.
Swatt said it all centers around money, more specifically it relates to campaign finance reform approved by California voters back in 2000 with Proposition 34.
“The main idea of Proposition 34 back in 2000 was to impose spending limits on various campaigns, and as an incentive to get candidates to agree to spending limits, those who adhered to them would be allowed to purchase space inside the Secretary of State’s ballot pamphlet that goes out to every voter in the state of California,” Swatt said.
A spokesperson with the Secretary of State’s office released a statement saying Governor Newsom did not agree to the spending limits required to submit a candidate statement for the Voter Information Guide.
“It was to guard against a super rich candidate coming in and spending unlimited funds against him, so this was well thought out,” Swatt said.
As for the limits themselves, candidates for Governor must voluntarily agree to spend just under $10 million in the Primary Election and about $16 million in the General Election if they want to have a candidate statement in the voter guide.