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  ChevronTexaco Splurges on Richmond Campaign Mailers
October 29, 2004

As the election grows nearer, ChevronTexaco has moved its campaign to control Point Molate away from newspaper ads and TV spots intended to influence public opinion to campaign mailers for specific candidates for Richmond City Council. At about $10,000 a pop, the first wave of mailers paid for by ChevronTexaco hit mailboxes yesterday - - that is if you got your mail at all, which seems to be a growing problem in Richmond. This observation should not be interpreted as a signal of my support for one or the other of the Point Molate proposals. Both Chevron and Upstream have both been sent back to the drawing board to sharpen their pencils, and I anticipate with great interest what will surface next.


The most prolific campaigner of all is the Keep Richmond Safe Committee that, according to today’s West County Times article, has raised a $108,000 war chest and spent $63,000. While I am grateful for the support of the Richmond Police Officers and Firefighters (something that has never come my way before), I am not sure what I have done to deserve it, having voted earlier this week, along with the entire City Council, to cut off their PERS contributions formerly paid by the City and cap their medical premiums at the Kaiser North level. I wish, however, they had asked me for a photo rather than using one taken last Christmas in my Snoopy Christmas tie.


Following is the latest on campaign treasuries from the West County Times:


Keep Richmond Safe hauls in nearly $109,000 in donations


October 29, 2004

Political action committees reported donations in the tens of thousands in the most recent Richmond City Council campaign filing period, which covered only two weeks and ended Oct. 15.

Keep Richmond Safe, a joint committee of the Richmond Fire Fighters Association and the Richmond Police Officers Association, reported $63,000 this filing period and $108,500 so far this season. The money comes from employee salary deductions.

The group has financed several mailers in support of Councilman Nat Bates, challenger Arnie Kasendorf, former Councilman John Marquez, and newcomer Kathy Scharff, and spent almost $6,000 on mailers opposing the candidacy of Andres Soto.

Black Men and Women, or BMW, received $48,590 this period; for a total of $51,590. Contributions include $7,500 from Veolia Water, a Houston-based contractor that runs the city's waste-water operations, and $2,500 from Acacia Construction.

Signature Properties made two $2,500 donations, as did Comcast.

The group also collected $1,200 each from developers, area businesses, firefighters union president Jim Russey, the Committee to Elect Richard Griffin and Upstream Investments.

Incumbent Mindell Penn has proved the most able fund-raiser on the council with $57,135 -- $6,225 in the past two weeks. Among her high-end donations: $2,500 from Cherokee Simeon, and $500 from the Consumer Protection Fund and Rep. George Miller's campaign committee. Cherokee Simeon is the partnership behind the proposed Campus Bay development.

Bates brought in $7,195 this period for a cumulative total of $38,000, with donations from many of the firms who donated to BMW, the political action committee he co-founded and which donated $2,500 to his campaign.

Cherokee Simeon and Levin Richmond Terminal each donated the $2,500 maximum; Sims Metal manager Jimmie Buckland gave $850, and Pacific Infinity Co. donated $500.

Councilman and mortgage banker Gary Bell amassed $18,433 -- more than $9,000 in recent weeks. Cherokee Simeon and DiCon Fiberoptics each gave him $2,500. Most of his donors gave $500 or less, and most are local businesses.

Bell also gave back a donation from an affiliate of waste hauler Republic Sanitary Services when he realized it exceeded donation limits.

Herman Blackwell and Bill Idzerda reported no donations.

Challenger Corky Booze reported nearly $4,000 this period and more than $13,000 across the board, with top donations of $2,500 from Levin Richmond Terminal and $1,000 from DiCon Fiberoptics, Inc.

Councilman Tom Butt received $13,545, for a total of more than $40,000. He collected $2,500 from Cherokee Simeon and Richmond Pacific Railroad, $2,250 from Veolia Water and $1,250 from the Richmond Police Officers Association. Most of his donations came from individuals and small businesses.

Longtime volunteer Arnie Kasendorf raised $3,575 -- $24,324 to date -- in contributions from DiCon Fiberoptics, Inc. and Levin Richmond Terminal.

Candidate Gayle McLaughlin brought in $3,712, for a cumulative gross of $10,904. With the exception of $1,500 from SEIU Local 790, her donors, mostly supporters from social service and environmental organizations, gave in increments of $100 to $250.

McLaughlin returned a $500 contribution to DiCon Fiberoptics last week; she does not accept corporate support.

Former Councilman John Marquez brought in nearly $19,000 in the past two weeks and $36,385 total. With the exception of a $1,500 contribution from Local 790, his donations are in the range of $100 to $250 from labor, small business and friends.

Eddrick Osborne, a newcomer to elective office, raised $10,520 in the last campaign period and $22,281 to date, mainly from labor, area businesses and individual supporters. His most generous donors include the Levin Richmond Terminal ($2,500), the IBEW Education Committee ($1,000) and Sims Metal ($500).

Human resources professional Deborah Preston-Stewart raised $1,355 this filing period and provided no record of her cumulative total. Her donors are primarily friends, family and area supporters who contribute in the $25 to $100 range.

Local newcomer Kathy Scharff, who had run for a Fresno City Council seat previously, raised $3,300, including $2,500 from Levin Richmond Terminal, $500 from White Castle Development, and $200 from a county women's group. To date, she's brought in just under $5,000.

Andres Soto, who works in violence prevention, received $3,620 -- $1,500 from Local 790, and donations ranging from $200 to $500 from family, friends and local supporters, many in the nonprofit community.

First-time candidate Tony Thurmond brought in nearly $10,000 -- $6,156 in the past two weeks. His most generous donors include $1,500 from Local 790 and $1,275 from Koehler & Isaacs attorney Rena Dawson. The bulk of his treasury has come from individual supporters in government, nonprofit groups and business.