I decide to head to City Hall to do whatever I need to do to file. I make a few phone calls, the website information is confusing. It seems that I have to go all the way to Norwalk. With traffic it took me an hour and a half or so to get there. I wasn't there all that long but it felt like forever. Perhaps it was another unexpected $$$ticker (Sticker) shock plus the requirement for signatures that I didn't know about. 40-60 in the district doesn't sound that bad- but to make sure they are actually registered in the district is not an easy or error free task. You'll find most people are clueless about where they lived the last time they registered. If I understood this part, it is likely I would have not paid the filing fee as these were due at 5pm today. In addition, this district has so many visitors to the area (including tourists and other Southern Californians) 2 out of three that I spoke with were friendly and helpful but from somewhere that wouldn't count.
Norwalk is not the district I needed to be gathering signatures in, so this was clearly a disadvantage with the non- refundable filing fee. I waited for quite a while for them to research my party history (which was pretty close to what I had said above) and researched deadlines for filing on my phone. I saw that if the incumbent doesn't file, you get an additional 5 days, which certianly seems more reasonable.
Meanwhile someone else's campaign guy is cursing out the poor elections clerk about deadlines as loudly as possible. The clerk helping me cringes and thanks me for being nice. She offers up advice for signature gathering- go upstairs and get some voter registration cards so that people can register to sign. I asked her about the 5 day window- which she had forgotten about. Since I am heading to the Commission status on Women on Monday, I need a special form for someone else to drop them off. What if I didn't know to ask these things?
So here is the real kicker in all of this for me. The clerk slides over a final form over to me. I clearly have NO IDEA what this is or what these prices are.
Do you know that little blurb in the sample ballots about candidates that you (hopefully) read before voting to remind you who is who and what they stand for costs $8,600.00 for 250 words maximum, and if you want it in Spanish as well, it is $17,200.00. If you'd like further translation, you get the idea.

And this is all due at the same time. So really, getting your "name on the ballot" for $1740.00 really is not $1740. It is true in a literal sense. $1740 gets your name there (plus the pounding the pavement for a couple of days for signatures that you hope and pray pass muster). But there is no blurb about you in the booklet.
For your name on the ballot with the 250 word blurb in English and Spanish you need to fork over $18,940.
"Article I, § 2, cl. 2, provides that a person may qualify as a Representative if she is at least 25 years old, has been a United States citizen for at least 7 years, and is an inhabitant, at the time of the election, of the State in which she is chosen. The qualifications established for Senators, Article I, § 3, cl. 3, are an age of 30 years, nine years’ citizenship, and being an inhabitant of the State at the time of election." (US Constitution).
A Question of Access Somehow this doesn't seem fair for people who don't happen to have this money on hand, especially on short notice. This seat only came up a few weeks ago. It actually seems to be a locked door for anyone without "means to pay their way". Especially for a seat that came available suddenly after 40 years. Essentially it seems you have to be a well established politician with fundraising mechanisms in place or at the very least an individual with plenty of money on hand.

As a final point for this post, you can jump through all of these hoops, and if you don't meet the signature requirement because the well meaning people who signed for you wrote the wrong address or are a block from the district (many don't know the lines) you are out the money AND the running.  I made sure to get 60 (all lines provided by the clerk) and you have to hope that 40 pass.