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N.Y. Mayor Bloomberg didn't fare well backing California campaigns

July 27, 2012 |  9:45 am

GetprevWealthy New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is batting 0-for-2 in his attempt to use his big wallet to affect California political campaigns this year.

Bloomberg made a well-publicized contribution of $500,000 this year to California's Proposition 29, the ballot measure that would have raised the state’s tobacco tax by a dollar a pack. The measure fell just short in the June election, getting 49.8% of the vote.

Now, in financial papers filed by Bloomberg this week, the mayor acknowledged that he gave a bundle to a losing candidate in the race for a San Fernando Valley Assembly seat.

Bloomberg reported that he directly contributed the maximum $3,900 to the campaign of educator Brian Johnson in the 46th Assembly District race, and on the same day gave $75,000 to a group that spent heavily on an independent campaign in favor of Johnson. The Bloomberg contribution went to the California Charter Schools Assn. Advocates Independent Expenditure Committee, which spent the bulk of its money, about $200,000, on trying to get voters to cast ballots for Johnson.

Johnson, a Democrat, placed third in the June primary and will not be in the November general election, which will feature a matchup between Republican Jay Stern and Democrat Adrin Nazarian.

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-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento

Photo: New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, shown at a July 18 charity event, was 0-for-2 in picking winners in California political contests this year. Credit: Ben Gabbe / Getty Images/Marvin Traub Associates

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