If you think $226.5 million, the amount of combined spending in 2014 on statewide candidate races and ballot measure campaigns, is a lot of money, consider this: It was kind of a quiet year.
In other words, you ain't seen nothing yet. But more on that in a moment.
The total comes from hundreds of pages of campaign reports filed over the course of the last few hours and days. It represents both the expenditures made by candidates pursuing eight statewide offices on the Nov. 4 ballot ($35.5 million) and by the committees formed to support or oppose the two statewide ballot measures in June and the eight statewide measures in November... plus a few other expenses related to statewide efforts ($173.3 million).
It does not include the millions of dollars spent on races for the California Legislature or for state seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. And a caveat: It may still not include a few dollars here or there spent by several small and quiet groups to influence statewide races in 2014.
The big dogs in California's most recent election cycle were the two health care initiatives on the fall ballot: Proposition 45, a proposed change in health insurance regulation; and Proposition 46, a smorgasbord of everything from doctor drug testing to a looser cap on cash awards in malpractice lawsuits.