Espinosa retains lead in Palo Alto council $$ race

Donors have also favored Dykwel, Burt and Yeh

By raising $29,400, candidate and philanthropy executive Sid Espinosa has retained the monetary lead in the race for Palo Alto City Council, according to financial reports filed Thursday with the city.

Realtor Dan Dykwel, with $21,200 in cash contributions, has slipped ahead of Planning Commissioner Pat Burt, who has raised $18,100 as of Oct. 20.

In fourth place financially, Yiaway Yeh, a public management consultant, has received $15,000.

Thursday marked the second major reporting deadline for the Nov. 6 election, when Palo Alto voters will select four new members to the nine-person City Council.

In addition, Santa Clara County's two major partisan organizations have issued endorsements. The Santa Clara County Democratic Party has picked Burt, Dykwel, Espinosa and Yeh for the four seats. The county' s Republican Party of Silicon Valley has endorsed Mark Nadim, an engineer and real estate investor, and attorney Bill Ross.

The Republicans also reported spending $2,750 on mailings for Ross.

Espinosa collected $7,500 in cash between Sept. 23 and Oct. 20, the current reporting period.

Dykwel, who raised $7,580 during the 27-day reporting period, said he was "absolutely thrilled" with his fundraising efforts.

"I'm extremely appreciative to the community. As you can see we have it from a wide range of people," Dykwel said. "It's really heartwarming."

He also reported a $5,600 nonmonetary contribution -- his Web site -- from Alex Kaplinsky on Lytton Avenue and a $1,700 nonmonetary donation for the kick-off party from Mike and Loren Gordon on Maple Street.

Burt raised $4,250 during the reporting period and said he hopes to raise about $25,000 total.

"It allows us to voice a strong campaign, but not one that's dominated by money or special interests," Burt said Thursday.

He reiterated that he is only accepting contributions of $250 or less and not taking money from anyone, such as a union or political action committee, that might have an interest before the council.

Yeh collected $5,560 during the reporting period. Previously, nearly all of his contributions had been from out-of-the-area, but this statement showed more than $2,500 from Palo Alto residents.

And Yeh said he's raised even more money since the Oct. 20 close from Palo Altans.

"I'm encouraged definitely by the increasing number of Palo Altans that have donated to the campaign," he said.

He said the forums and coffees have given him an opportunity to connect with voters, but admitted that "it never gets comfortable asking for contributions."

Ross raised $10,600 this period for a total of $14,800 in monetary contributions during the campaign.

Excluding his own contributions, Ross raised $775 this period in Palo Alto. The bulk of his funds came from Southern California, including a $1,000 contribution from Democratic Congressman Xavier Becerra and $2,500 from a client, Yvonne Cummins.

Former school board candidate and economist Greg Schmid raised $6,400 in cash this period, for a total of $12,500.

Contributors include familiar Palo Alto names such as Councilman Jack Morton, Mayor Yoriko Kishimoto and school board members Mandy Lowell and Gail Price.

Tim Gray -- who turned in his statement out-of-breath three minutes before the 5:30 p.m. deadline -- reported raising $5,500 this campaign, from himself. Gray is not accepting contributions or endorsements.

He said he's spending his own money because "I felt if I'm going to enter I have to do a good-faith effort to tell my story."

Nadim reported raising $2,025 during the month-long period for a total of $5,400 this campaign. He said he is spending about three hours a day walking through Palo Alto neighborhoods.

"I think it's more effective (than advertising)," Nadim said. "It's just more work."

As of Thursday evening, candidates Donald "Smokey" Wallace, Stella Marinos and Victor Frost had not submitted campaign-finance statements.

The Los Angeles-based California Real Estate Political Action Committee (CREPAC), part of the California Association of Realtors and affiliated with the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors, contributed $500 each to Schmid, Espinosa and Nadim and $1,000 to Dykwel, who said he is a member.

Two union groups -- Cement Masons PAC, based in Sacramento and Santa Clara County, and San Benito Building and Construction Trades Council -- donated $200 and $300 respectively to Yeh and $200 and $500 respectively to Espinosa.

Yeh and Espinosa also received $250 contributions from the Bay Area Municipal Election Committee, a PAC that supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.

The California League of Conservation voters also donated $300 to Espinosa and Yeh.

Espinosa also reported a $250 donation from the California Apartment Association Tri-County Division.

Staff Writer Becky Trout can be e-mailed at


Posted by lilymatha, a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 1, 2008 at 7:48 pm

Seems more and more groups or organizations support gayl, lesbian and bisexual. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff].

If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Veggie Grill coming soon to Mountain View's San Antonio Center
By Elena Kadvany | 23 comments | 3,477 views

Is HBO's Silicon Valley Any Good?
By Anita Felicelli | 23 comments | 2,309 views

Finding mentors in would-be bosses
By Jessica T | 0 comments | 1,979 views

A memorable Paly prom
By Sally Torbey | 7 comments | 1,154 views

Chinese Immersion
By Paul Losch | 7 comments | 441 views