In a textbook example of political money following political power, Doris Allen became a magnet for tens of thousands of campaign dollars after her surprise election as Assembly Speaker.
Of the $171,002 Allen raised in the first six months of 1995, a third, $58,300, was recorded in the three weeks after her June 5 election as Speaker, according to an Associated Press review of reports filed with the secretary of state.
The California Applicants Attorneys Assn. gave Allen $500 on May 30. After she became Speaker, the group gave her another $2,000. The California Medical Assn. contributed $500 on May 8, and an additional $2,000 on June 6, the day after her election.
Allen (R-Cypress) joined forces with former Democratic Speaker Willie Brown of San Francisco to win the Assembly's top job. Brown delivered all 40 Democratic votes and Allen added her own to be elected Speaker over Assembly GOP Leader Jim Brulte of Rancho Cucamonga.
That put Allen in a key position to influence the flow of legislation in the Assembly.
Ruth Holton of Common Cause's California branch said she wasn't surprised to see a surge of money to Allen, whose hold on the speakership remains precarious.
"I think certainly if it were a clearer victory, you would have seen even more money flowing to Allen," Holton said. "Since the situation was so confused, lobbyists want to hedge their bets and give to all three."
With control of the Assembly in flux for much of the first half of 1995, it appears that special interests did just that.
Allen, Brown and Brulte raised a collective $1.8 million during the period.
Brown, who was Speaker a record 14 years, led the group with $1,034,404 in campaign contributions.
Brulte, who was expected to win the Speaker's job before he lost to Brown and then Allen, received $670,000 during the first six months of 1995.
Allen, meanwhile, raised $103,042 during the first three months of the year, when she made a losing run for a vacant state Senate seat. Contributions then dipped in a big way before she became Speaker.
The $171,002 Allen raised during the period was a marked contrast to the $25,050 she raised in the first six months of 1993, the last non-election year, and $70,083 in the first six months of 1994, an election year.
Both Brown and Brulte funneled large sums into two recall elections vital to determining who leads the house.
Brown gave $468,098 to the unsuccessful campaign to retain Paul Horcher, the assemblyman who was recalled by his constituents in May because he changed from Republican to independent in December to provide the vote that retained Brown as Speaker. Brulte gave $93,212 to the effort to recall Horcher.
Brown also has given $137,100 to the campaign to keep Assemblyman Michael J. Machado (D-Linden). Machado faces a Aug. 22 recall election sought by Republicans. Brulte shifted $108,309 to the Committee to Replace Willie Brown, which is the name of the Machado recall group.