California Campaign Statements
All candidates for any state or local office in California must file a campaign statement.
Committees supporting or opposing state and local ballot propositions also must file campaign statements.
Statements also are required by political party committees or independent political committees (committees that are not affiliated with a particular candidate's campaign).
The California Secretary of State's Cal-Access website provides online access to the information in the statements.
Any "major donor" - a person, company or organization that has contributed a total of $10,000 to California candidates or ballot measures in the past year - must file a statement with the California Secretary of State's Office detailing all of their contributions.
What's in the Campaign Statements
The statements itemize loans and contributions to a candidate from any individual or company that total $100 or more during an election cycle (an election cycle is a primary election or a general election). For each contribution, the statements list:
- the donor's name
- the donor's address
- the donor's occupation and employer
- the date of the contribution
- the amount of the contribution
Non-monetary contributions (such as donation of office space or services) or loans must be reported as well.
The statements also describe what money was spent by the candidate or committee, detailing payments to campaign workers or consultants and expenditures on postage, printing, media advertising, polling surveys, office expenses, etc.
When the Statements are Filed
During an election year, seven statements usually are filed by each candidate or committee.
Four statements are filed for a June primary election - in January, March and May leading up to the election, and then in July for expenditures from late May through the June election date.
During the 90 days leading up to the June election, campaigns also must report within 24 hours any individual contributions of $1,000 or more.
Note: the filing schedules will be different if a primary election is held in a different month.
Three statements are filed for the November general election - in early October and late October leading up to the election, and then in December for expenditures from late October through the November election date.
During the 90 days leading up to the November election, campaigns also must report within 24 hours any individual contributions of $1,000 or more.
In a year in which no elections are scheduled, elected office holders still must file campaign statements every six months.
Where the Statements are Filed
For candidates for state office such the Assembly and Senate, Governor, Attorney General, etc., the statements are filed with the California Secretary of State in Sacramento. Major donor statements also are filed with the California Secretary of State.
Each state legislator - Assembly or Senate - also must file a copy of his or her campaign statement with the county registrar of voters in the county that has the largest number of registered voters in the legislator’s district.
For candidates for county offices and for special government districts or agencies (such as a school district or transit district board), the statements usually are kept with the county registrar of voters office or county elections department.
For candidates for city offices, the statements usually are kept by the city clerk’s office.
What's Available Online
Campaign statements for state offices, including state ballot measures, can be accessed at the Secretary of State’s website called:
Any campaign committee that raises or spends $50,000 or more in an election must file electronically with the state and thus is included in the online database.
At the main Cal-Access page you can click on the main menu selections to find filings by candidates, ballot measure committees, political party committees, independent committees, major donors or late contributions.
Then either pick a particular candidate, committee or donor and an election period.
Once you've selected a particular candidate, committee or donor, choose the type of information you want - such as contributions received, political contributions made, expenditures made - to get detailed reports.
Note: The information in the campaign statements compiled at the CalAccess site are consolidated for each election. So all the statements filed leading up to a primary election will be consolidated into one electronic report, and all the statements filed leading up to a general election will be consolidated into another electronic report.