Groups Launch Independent Campaigns for State Candidates
Optometrists are among interest groups that are "spending heavily" in advance of the June primary election on campaigns independent of state candidates' official campaigns, the Los Angeles Times reports. Independent campaigns have accounted for about $11.6 million in spending this year, and spending increases daily, according to campaign finance reports.
Optometrists have spent about $165,000 in favor of Ed Hernandez, a past president of the California Optometric Association, in his Democratic primary contest for Assembly against Renee Chavez. The candidates are seeking to represent the La Puente-Baldwin Park area.
According to the Times, optometrists on legislative issues "regularly battle ophthalmologists," physicians who "generally seek to limit optometrists' duties." The Legislature recently voted in favor of granting optometrists limited authority to write prescriptions. Hernandez and his wife are optometrists.
Ophthalmologists are contributing to Chavez's campaign, "albeit modestly," the Times reports (Morain, Los Angeles Times, 5/21).