Logue keeping quiet on political future
Assemblyman Dan Logue has opened an account to run for statewide office next year, but said it does not mean he has made any decision on his post-Assembly plans.
Logue, R-Loma Rica, opened an account to run for state treasurer in 2014, but said Wednesday he is thinking more about his current role in the Assembly than his future prospects.
"Right now, I'm concerned on the state of the state and working with small businesses," Logue said. "I'd like to keep working on these state regulatory agencies so they're working with businesses and not harming them."
Logue said by opening the account, he can raise money either for a future run for office or to support other candidates with a pro-business outlook.
A former Yuba County supervisor who will be termed out of the Assembly after next year, Logue said he has been approached about running for both state treasurer and lieutenant governor, in addition to making a run at Congress. Some political observers have said Logue will run against Democratic incumbent US Rep. John Garamendi next year, though Logue said he has made no such decision.
Opening a campaign account for a seat you will not run for may seem odd, but it is a common practice, said Barbara O'Connor, a professor emeritus of communications and director of the Institute for the Study of Politics and the Media at California State University, Sacramento.
"You're waiting to see who else will run," O'Connor said, adding that because of term limits, many state politicians open accounts as trial balloons to see what they might do in the future. "It's confusing. As long as it's legal, that's the test, and they all do it.'
If a candidate like Logue does not use the account for a race of his own, she said, he could use its funds to donate to other candidates, a charity or to establish a not-for-profit group.
But election law forbids Logue from using the funds in the account for a congressional bid, she said.
Logue said he has no timeline for when he will decide on his next move.
The "Logue for Treasurer" account balance of about $15,000 is mostly from previous donations Logue received in an abandoned bid to run for state Senate in 2012.
Candidates already looking to run
A quick look at the secretary of state's website shows Assemblyman Dan Logue isn't the only one signaling he may have more elections in his future.
Under a tab for future elections, several state lawmakers have filed statements of intent to run for various offices in 2014, 2016 and even 2018. In fact, Logue, R-Loma Rica, hasn't filed such a statement for running for state treasurer next year, only established a campaign account under that heading.
The 2014 listing of statements of intention show five candidates looking at the race for treasurer, with state Treasurer Bill Lockyer termed out, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, looking to run for state controller.
State Controller John Chiang is one of the prospective treasurer candidates, along with former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez and former state Sen. Sam Blakeslee, the only Republican listed.
Barbara O'Connor, a longtime observer of state politics and a professor emeritus of communication at California State University, Sacramento, said who ultimately decides to run may revolve around whether Gov. Jerry Brown runs for another term.
If he doesn't, Chiang, the most high-profile candidate in the treasurer's race, may seek to be governor instead, she said. In turn, that could draw more people into the treasurer's race, and scare off others.
O'Connor said shewould like to see the state Fair Political Practices Commission take a harder look at the practice of opening up campaign accounts simply to stash money rather than actually run.
"Right now, it's totally legal to do it," she said.
CONTACT Ben van der Meer at bvandermeer @appealdemocrat.com or 749-4786. Find him on Facebook at /ADbvandermeer or on Twitter at @ADbvandermeer