With police brutality and what to do about it moving to the center of 2020 politics, attention is focusing on the money California’s largest law enforcement group spends on candidates and causes.
The 77,000-member Peace Officers Research Association of California spreads its political contributions widely, figures from the California secretary of state’s office show. It supports both Democrats and Republicans in races ranging from city council and county supervisor to the Legislature and the governor.
• Far and wide: Since 2017, the 67-year-old organization has spent about $3 million on its political operations, including campaign contributions to candidates across the state. The support flows not only into city council races in major California cities like Los Angeles, Fresno and Oakland, but also to contests in places like Clovis (Fresno County), El Segundo (Los Angeles County), Fontana (San Bernardino County) and Chico.
The police group was involved in board of supervisors campaigns in Alameda, San Francisco and San Mateo counties, as well as in Butte, Sutter and Placer counties.
• Both parties: It has given $465,000 to the California Democratic Party since 2017 and $52,000 to the California Republican Party.
• Bay Area lawmakers: In the Bay Area, state Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco received money from the group, as did fellow Democrats Assemblymen Phil Ting of San Francisco, Evan Low of San Jose, Marc Berman of Palo Alto and Tim Grayson of Concord. (Wiener says he will give this year’s contributions to youth groups.) Democratic state Sens. Nancy Skinner of Berkeley, Mike McGuire of Healdsberg and Steve Glazier of Orinda all took contributions.
• Variety of offices: District Attorney Lori Frugoli of Marin County took the group’s money in 2018, as did District Attorney Nancy O’Malley of Alameda County. BART board members Liz Ames and Mark Foley, San Francisco Community College District trustee Thea Selby and three members of San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors — Matt Haney, Rafael Mandelman and Gordon Mar — were all backed by the law enforcement group, as was Jane Kim in her unsuccessful 2018 run for mayor.