Cotchett Pitre Spends Big Campaign Bucks

It’s called California Voice, but the independent expenditure committee that debuted Friday might as well be named the Political Bullhorn of Cotchett, Pitre, Simon & McCarthy.

According to filings with the Secretary of State, Joseph Cotchett, Frank Pitre and five other attorneys from the Burlingame firm poured a combined $105,000 this week into California Voice, a newly formed committee that, so far, has supported just two Democratic candidates: Mike Nevin, running for state Senate in the 8th District, and would-be-lieutenant-governor Jackie Speier. The Cotchett Pitre office account kicked in another $45,000 to make it a cool $150,000 for the two Peninsula politicians.

Using an independent expenditure, or IE, committee to spend campaign cash allows donors to sidestep state rules that cap an individual’s contributions to a candidate at just $3,300. The only catch is Cotchett Pitre, er, California Voice can’t coordinate with the campaigns of either Nevin or Speier. But the two probably aren’t complaining; $150,000 buys a lot of glossy mailers and stamps.

Cotchett Pitre also has contributed heavily to other IEs in recent weeks: $50,000 to Californians for Jobs & Education (supports Kevin de Leon, Democratic Assembly candidate from L.A.); $50,000 to Consumers for Responsible Government (bought air time for ads backing Joe Dunn, the trial lawyer and state senator running for controller); and $50,000 to the California League of Conservation Voters (supports East Bay state Senate candidate Ellen Corbett).

Cheryl Miller

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