News

Caswell leads, Dauber trails, in fundraising

In race for Palo Alto school board, Caswell raises the most cash with the most donors; Dauber effort is mostly self-funded

School board incumbent Melissa Baten Caswell led and challenger Ken Dauber trailed in fundraising for next month's election for the Palo Alto Board of Education, according to campaign finance reports through Sept. 30.

In the last three months, Caswell received $18,012 in contributions from 71 donors. Challenger Heidi Emberling raised $12,844 from 36 contributors; incumbent Camille Townsend raised $10,079 from 40 donors and Dauber raised $9,657 from 29 donors, which included a $5,697 loan to himself.

The four candidates are vying for three available school board seats in the Nov. 6 election.

Caswell's largest donors, at $500, were former school board member Mandy Lowell, Sue and Lou Pelosi, Heather Rose, Preeva Tramiel and Michael Rantz. Contributions at $400 came from Gary Kremen; at $300 from Claudia and Doug Begg; at $260 from Judy and Todd Logan and at $250 from John Kirchmann, Camilla Olson, Yoriko Kishimoto, Marvina White, Asher Waldfogel and Helyn MacLean, Amy Sung and Wim deGroot, Susan Paul, Hollis Caswell. Barb Mitchell, Dorit and Greg Scharff, Lauren Bonomi and Sarah Sands.

Emberling's largest donor, at $500, was Preeva Tramiel. Contributions at $250 came from Aiofe Maynard, Diana Walsh, Brennan McKenzie, Barb Mitchell, Sarah Sands, Richard Hirsch and Steve Ross.

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Townsend's largest donors, at $1,000, were Shan-I Judy Severson and Kathleen Eyre. Contributions at $500 came from Mandy Lowell, Jack Moses and Jim Baer; at $350 from Charles Jacklin; and at $250 from Deborah Peng, Lauren Bonomi, school board member Barb Mitchell and Stephen Smith.

Dauber's campaign has been mostly self-funded, with $5,697 from himself and $3,960 in contributions from others. His largest donors, at $500, were David Bailey and Darren Neuman. Contributions at $200 came from Meri Gruber, Karen Kang, Rajiv Bhateja, Mitchell Polinsky, Greg Schmid and Michael Klausner.

All four candidates reported smaller contributions as well, ranging from $20 to $200.

Complete campaign finance reports are on file with the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters.

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Caswell leads, Dauber trails, in fundraising

In race for Palo Alto school board, Caswell raises the most cash with the most donors; Dauber effort is mostly self-funded

Uploaded: Tue, Oct 9, 2012, 5:30 pm

School board incumbent Melissa Baten Caswell led and challenger Ken Dauber trailed in fundraising for next month's election for the Palo Alto Board of Education, according to campaign finance reports through Sept. 30.

In the last three months, Caswell received $18,012 in contributions from 71 donors. Challenger Heidi Emberling raised $12,844 from 36 contributors; incumbent Camille Townsend raised $10,079 from 40 donors and Dauber raised $9,657 from 29 donors, which included a $5,697 loan to himself.

The four candidates are vying for three available school board seats in the Nov. 6 election.

Caswell's largest donors, at $500, were former school board member Mandy Lowell, Sue and Lou Pelosi, Heather Rose, Preeva Tramiel and Michael Rantz. Contributions at $400 came from Gary Kremen; at $300 from Claudia and Doug Begg; at $260 from Judy and Todd Logan and at $250 from John Kirchmann, Camilla Olson, Yoriko Kishimoto, Marvina White, Asher Waldfogel and Helyn MacLean, Amy Sung and Wim deGroot, Susan Paul, Hollis Caswell. Barb Mitchell, Dorit and Greg Scharff, Lauren Bonomi and Sarah Sands.

Emberling's largest donor, at $500, was Preeva Tramiel. Contributions at $250 came from Aiofe Maynard, Diana Walsh, Brennan McKenzie, Barb Mitchell, Sarah Sands, Richard Hirsch and Steve Ross.

Townsend's largest donors, at $1,000, were Shan-I Judy Severson and Kathleen Eyre. Contributions at $500 came from Mandy Lowell, Jack Moses and Jim Baer; at $350 from Charles Jacklin; and at $250 from Deborah Peng, Lauren Bonomi, school board member Barb Mitchell and Stephen Smith.

Dauber's campaign has been mostly self-funded, with $5,697 from himself and $3,960 in contributions from others. His largest donors, at $500, were David Bailey and Darren Neuman. Contributions at $200 came from Meri Gruber, Karen Kang, Rajiv Bhateja, Mitchell Polinsky, Greg Schmid and Michael Klausner.

All four candidates reported smaller contributions as well, ranging from $20 to $200.

Complete campaign finance reports are on file with the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters.

— Palo Alto Weekly staff

Comments

What's-It-Cost-To-Buy-A-Seat-On-The-School-Board?
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 9, 2012 at 6:40 pm
What's-It-Cost-To-Buy-A-Seat-On-The-School-Board?, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 9, 2012 at 6:40 pm

Seems that there were only 148 people (actually 147 including Dauber's money) that are financing this school board election. There are somewhere in the order of 8,500 homes contributing students to the schools, and possible 25,000 taxpaying properties in the jurisdiction.

Interesting that fewer than 150 of this lot is interested in buying this election for those winning seats on the Board. Would be interesting to see who is contributing, and how much?


Mom
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 9, 2012 at 7:48 pm
Mom, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 9, 2012 at 7:48 pm

I have been contributing as much sweat equity to Dauber's campaign as I can, because things are tight financially right now. I am really grateful that he's been willing to put up his own money, and I just wanted to say Thanks Ken, you speak for me and my family!


Raise issues not money
Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 9, 2012 at 8:12 pm
Raise issues not money, Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 9, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Ken Dauber is doing an important service to the community and he got in late and primarily to ensure we would even have an election at all. Instead of raising money by palling around with the so called 400 and trying to cozy up to the rich and powerful interests, Dauber bought some yard signs and set out to meet voters in a grassroots campaign to raise awareness of important issues. Instead of a popularity contest we are having an issue driven campaign about site based control, homework, stress and achievement for all. I saw him last night at the special Ed forum and he was fantastic, just what this district needs. I glad he's spending his time raising issues not money. Go Ken we need you!!!!


can't
Meadow Park
on Oct 9, 2012 at 10:22 pm
can't, Meadow Park
on Oct 9, 2012 at 10:22 pm

Based on how the Daubers have treated the school district over the past two years (including the emails where they seemed rude to district office employees), I could never vote for him.


soccer mom
Midtown
on Oct 10, 2012 at 7:57 am
soccer mom, Midtown
on Oct 10, 2012 at 7:57 am

In this post Citizens United era, keeping money out of politics is national headlines. I am concerned that Barbara Mitchell, a current Board member is donating significant sum of money to Heidi Emberling and Camille Townsend. Of course Ms. Mitchell is free to contribute to whom she pleases. However what happens when Heidi and Camille need to make independent decisions on important Board issues that affect all of us in the District? Will they feel beholden to Ms. Mitchell and agree with her viewpoint out of a sense of obligation? I thought I was evaluating the candidates based on their stand on important issues. I thought that I could expect them to vote the way they told me that they were going to at the Forum I attended. Now I am not so sure.


ruh roh
Atherton
on Oct 10, 2012 at 11:18 am
ruh roh, Atherton
on Oct 10, 2012 at 11:18 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


concerns
Palo Alto High School
on Oct 10, 2012 at 11:36 am
concerns, Palo Alto High School
on Oct 10, 2012 at 11:36 am

@soccer mom - you bring up a great concern.

Related to this problem of Ms. Mitchell contributing to her co-board members, is an equally alarming event: Ms. Caswell and Ms. Townsend have cross-endorsed each other.

They are not running against each other, but are supporting each others campaigns. It looks like the incumbents are trying to decide the election for us.

I think this effectively makes them running as a slate.

This has never been brought up...and should be raised in open discussion.


palo alto mom
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 10, 2012 at 12:57 pm
palo alto mom, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 10, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Concerns - Why do you view Ms. Caswell and Ms. Townsend as a slate?


concerns
Palo Alto High School
on Oct 10, 2012 at 2:02 pm
concerns, Palo Alto High School
on Oct 10, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Well, they have a similar voting record, they are both incumbents who don't really support term limits, and they both endorse each other...

Seems like a slate.

When two candidates are endorsing each other, do you think they will raise tough questions to each other in debate? I doubt it.

It feels like we are voting for one person with two votes.

(or not voting for them...)


Insider
Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 10, 2012 at 3:59 pm
Insider, Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 10, 2012 at 3:59 pm

A few comments:
No one seems to have noticed that Barbara Klausner's husband Michael is on Ken Dauber's donor list. That fits with her editorial that basically endorsed his candidacy, and the fact that I've heard that she's been calling electeds about him.
Melissa/Camille is not a slate, it is 2 incumbents scratching each other's back. They both have a sense of entitlement. I doubt if Melissa really wanted Camille's endorsement.
Barb M giving a big check to Heidi is unusual in a contested race. I suspect she's worried about Ken getting on the board (Mitchell has been the sole holdout on changes to counseling at Gunn, for example, and wasn't a big fan of the A-G change), and would rather have Heidi sitting next to her than Dauber ---- especially if Barb has paid some of Heidi's bills.


Umm
Charleston Gardens
on Oct 10, 2012 at 8:53 pm
Umm, Charleston Gardens
on Oct 10, 2012 at 8:53 pm

M. Klausner is on the faculty of Stanford Law with Dauber's wife. I would expect that is a closer tie that any faux endorsement. If B. Klausner wanted to endorse Dauber, I imagine she would just do so.

I find it interesting that none of the current board members have endorsed Dauber, despite a fair amount of cross endorsing. It seems like none of them are excited about him joining them.


can't
Meadow Park
on Oct 10, 2012 at 9:04 pm
can't, Meadow Park
on Oct 10, 2012 at 9:04 pm

Barb Mitchell is probably the only board member who I support.


Puzzled
Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 11, 2012 at 1:17 am
Puzzled, Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 11, 2012 at 1:17 am

If seems Mr Dauber has had more ad space on the Weekly website than any of the other candidates, and his yard signs are everywhere (which cost $$). I'm surprised that he "trails" in overall funding in this election. Is the Weekly giving him some ad space for free or at a discounted rate?


David Pepperdine
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 11, 2012 at 10:45 am
David Pepperdine, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 11, 2012 at 10:45 am
parent
Palo Alto High School
on Oct 11, 2012 at 3:59 pm
parent, Palo Alto High School
on Oct 11, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Very interesting the significant differences in funding/self-funding. I seem to recall that in the last governor's race, one candidate spent an enormous amount of her personal funds on her campaign and it didn't end so well. Perhaps the Weekly has propped up this candidate from the very beginning because the theatrics from his group generate a lot of hits to the website??

In any event, while there is certainly room for improvement in the school district, as there is in all of us, I think the tactics this underfunded candidate employs will be more destructive than helpful in the long run.... and the ones who will be at the short end of the stick will be the students.


Raise issues not money
Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 11, 2012 at 6:04 pm
Raise issues not money, Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 11, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Ken keep running your positive, issue vases campaign and keep your focus on the kids as it has been. They need your voice on the board. Don't listen to the haters and keep running!


Look around
Community Center
on Oct 11, 2012 at 6:48 pm
Look around, Community Center
on Oct 11, 2012 at 6:48 pm

Dauber has a lot of yard signs out because....he has a lot of supporters. It takes money to buy signs but support to get them out there. People like the message and the focus on kids and the clear vision. Some insiders don't want fresh ideas fresh blood and high expectations. Thats why we have democracy.


Wait and see
Greenmeadow
on Oct 12, 2012 at 11:35 am
Wait and see, Greenmeadow
on Oct 12, 2012 at 11:35 am

Umm says "I find it interesting that none of the current board members have endorsed Dauber, despite a fair amount of cross endorsing. It seems like none of them are excited about him joining them."

^ Neither Dana Tom nor Barbara Klausner have endorsed any candidate, so this is a rather disingenuous comment.


Chedabob
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 16, 2012 at 9:39 am
Chedabob, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 16, 2012 at 9:39 am

This whole argument over who has raised more money is pointless. It doesn't matter who makes more money, it only matters who wins in the end.


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