Election Section

Out of town real estate interests spend thousands to support Capitelli, Wengraf, Moore and Murphy

Rob Wrenn
Friday October 14, 2016 - 10:18:00 AM

The National Association of Realtors Fund, based in Chicago, has so far spent the following on mailers and online ads:

Laurie Capitelli for Mayor: $60,381.64

Darryl Moore for District 2 City Council: $9,011.76

Stephen Murphy for District 5 City Council: $13,018.26

Susan Wengraf for District 6 City Council: $10,074.13

These independent expenditures are reported on the City’s Web site, here:

Why is this special interest group spending money on candidates in a local Berkeley election? 

Independent expenditures by special interest groups are nothing new in Berkeley elections. In 2014, the Berkeley Police Association PAC spent over $9000 in the District 7 Council race in an unsuccessful attempt to oust Kriss Worthington. 

In 2012, the East Bay Rental Housing Association spent big in an effort to elect a pro-landlord slate of Rent Board candidates. PACs connected to the Chamber of Commerce, SEIU Local 1021 and the Berkeley Firefighters union have also made independent expenditures in past elections. 

Independent expenditures are not supposed to be coordinated with the campaigns of the candidates they support. If you contribute to a candidate for local office in Berkeley, the maximum contribution is $250. There are no limits on independent expenditures by PACs, whether locally based or not.