When I filed for State Senate on a promise of getting my filing fee paid for by state party activists. I noticed that the filing fee for Senate District 20 is around $10,170 and in Los Angeles County it is $1200. In the old days when I ran in 2002 the first ballot statement was $615 in San Bernardino County and Los Angeles County was around $165. Basically the taxpayer is not subsidizing the ballot statements like they used to in the past.
Basically ballot statements are a luxury for the high end candidate who may be already wealthy or has money from business or labor unions, but for those who are community and party activists they basically are shut out.
In my election reform essay on my campaign site, I do recommend other options to bring forth voter engagement so they can be informative about the candidates. Ballot statement could be online only as an option for candidates without much financial means. Perhaps for $200 you can have an online only ballot statement for your campaign in the future.
For those without much income such as Crystal Ruiz in Riverside County for her SD 23 race and my own race for SD 20 we could apply for the indigent candidate plan. However we are not given a break with the costs. I would most likely have to pay a heavy chunk each month to the county after the election. I guess Facebook or Twitter advertising would be the wave of advertising in the future.
Most likely at the very best, I might put my sample ballot in the general if I make it that far in Pomona only. Pomona is basically the firewall to make sure any Republican or conservative leaning independent does not get elected such as Paul Leon’s special election.