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Calif. recall benefits businesses

/ Source: The Associated Press

Businesses big and small shared the estimated $107 million pumped into California’s economy by the recall.The biggest campaign expense — $27 million recorded to date — has been for television or cable airtime, according to financial disclosures filed with the state. But other beneficiaries included campaign button makers, bakers, petition gatherers and companies renting everything from computers to cars.

They all got a piece of the $55 million spent so far by the campaigns as well as the estimated $52 million it took to stage last Tuesday’s election, according to an Orange County Register analysis published Sunday.

“It’s become almost a cottage industry,” said Jack Kyser, senior economist for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.

The recall generated a “multiplier effect,” he said, meaning that up to one additional job was created for each job directly linked to the election. Statewide, Kyser said, the economic bump may not be very noticeable, but it was a boost for some industries.

Although the campaigns did not list the individual television stations they paid, figures show that Southern California’s three top network stations earned a total of at least $2.4 million.

Avantpage, a language-translation company in Davis, will collect about $45,000 for translating the official recall voter pamphlet into six languages.

Pardini’s Catering in Fresno earned $20,000 serving up corn dogs, hamburgers and ice cream at a carnival-type rally for Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante on what otherwise would have been a slow day.

Even Uncle Sam got a piece of the action: at least $11 million in first-class postage for the voter’s guide, nearly twice the usual cost.