Voters of AD50 Choose Osborn while Sacramento Machine Backs Butler

May 29th, 2012

Finance Reports Frame Contest as the Grassroots Locals vs. Entrenched Insiders

SANTA MONICA, CA— The heated contest for the new, open 50th Assembly District seat is a stark contrast between Torie Osborn, a fresh, homegrown and grassroots candidate, and Betsy Butler, a Sacramento insider backed by an old-style political machine.

That’s the clear conclusion from updated campaign finance numbers, which show Osborn dominating in local support and small individual contributions while Butler is relying heavily on money from PACs and Sacramento politicians.

“I am grateful to have such strong support from small donors and from people who live in this district and feel they are investing in part of a movement to help restore the California Dream,” said Osborn, a nationally respected director of community nonprofits. “The people want to fundamentally reform Sacramento so we can fully fund public education, create jobs, provide universal health care, and protect the environment.”

According to recent fundraising reports filed with the California Secretary of State, Osborn has raised $803,753 from 3,626 individual donations. Sixty-eight percent (68%) of the donations were $100 or less, considered a sign of grassroots support and ability to mobilize new voters into the political process.

Osborn dwarfs Butler in those small individual donations. Osborn has received 2,481 small donations, while Butler pulled in a mere 123 such donations. In another indication of broad grassroots support, 1,488 donations were made online to Osborn’s campaign, totaling $251,503, vs. 119 to Butler for $41,285.

Butler, a lawmaker who represents the South Bay and moved to Beverly Hills to run for this seat, trailed Osborn miserably in raising local money and showing support from the 50th District. Osborn raked in 1,658 contributions, totaling $403,430 from the new district. Butler drew less than ten percent of that – 107 contributions totaling $59,463.

The following list is a comparative breakdown of fundraising data compiled from the Secretary of State’s website, and highlights the significant differences between where Osborn and Butler have each received their campaign contributions by community, as of the most recent filing period:

Contributions from within the new 50th Assembly District

  • Torie Osborn has received 1,658 contributions from within AD50, totaling $403,430
  • Betsy Butler has received 107 contributions from within AD50, for a grand total of $59,463

Contributions from Sacramento

  • Torie Osborn has received 9 contributions from Sacramento totaling $8,625
  • Betsy Butler has received 142 contributions just from Sacramento that come to $291,044

Contribution Size

  • Torie Osborn has received over 20 times the amount of contributions $100 or less than Betsy Butler. Butler 123 to Osborn 2,481
  • Betsy Butler has received over 154% more contributions over $1,000 than Torie Osborn. Butler 338 to Osborn 220

Online Fundraising

  • Torie Osborn has received 1,488 online contributions, totaling $251,503 – 31.3% of all donations.
  • Betsy Butler has received 119 online donations for $41,285- 4.6% of her total support.

Sacramento Insiders

  • Butler has received $352,000 from Sacramento PACs
  • Butler has received $195,000 from Assembly & State Senate Campaign Committees.

These numbers underscore the fact that Torie Osborn is the clear candidate of choice for donors in the 50th Assembly District. At the same time, it shows that Butler is by far the choice of Sacramento, the special interests, and the political establishment.

“These incredible figures demonstrate that it’s possible for a citizen-driven campaign that’s fueled by people to truly take on Sacramento. It shows that, collectively, we can make our voices heard loud and clear that we want bold reforms, a fix to our state’s ongoing dysfunction, and that we’re done with politics as usual,” said Osborn. “I am deeply honored and humbled by the tremendous support that my campaign has built. I plan on continuing to channel the grassroots energy and enthusiasm behind my campaign into our Get Out The Vote (GOTV) efforts for this final week.”

For more information about the Torie Osborn for Assembly campaign, click here.


Osborn is acclaimed for her pioneering leadership as an executive at several nonprofit organizations, including the Liberty Hill Foundation and the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center – both of which are located in the new 50th Assembly District – as well as United Way of Greater LA. Osborn also served as a senior policy advisor on homelessness, poverty and economic development to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. She is currently a senior strategist for California Calls, a network of 25 organizations throughout the state committed to commonsense governance reform.

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