Sure, Californians (and the state) are cutting back to cope with ongoing economic hardship.
But it doesn't appear that pinching pennies has curtailed contributions to potential candidates' campaign coffers.
The Fair Political Practices Commission released an analysis today showing that close to $61 million was raised in the first six months of 2009 by candidates considering a run for office in 2010, 2012 and as far out as 2014.
As FPPC Chairman Ross Johnson noted in a statement, many candidates who are current officeholders spread the wealth across several committees, legally raising money for multiple possible bids at once.
"California's tough economic times haven't slowed the flow of campaign contributions. Millions of dollars have been raised for races to be held one, three, or even five years in the future," he said.
FPPC Executive Director Roman Porter said because this is the first off-year analysis report of this nature compiled by the commission, it's hard to say whether fundraising figures are higher or lower than this point in the cycle in past years, but FPPC's Billion Dollar Money Train report shows fundraising totals for past cycles to give a sense of the total cash being raised for campaigns.
You can see a list of candidates and what they have raised in their various accounts here.