Ken Dauber, Catherine Crystal Foster lead in campaign contributions | News | Palo Alto Online |


Ken Dauber, Catherine Crystal Foster lead in campaign contributions

Finance statements illustrate how much Palo Alto school board candidates have received -- and spent

The latest campaign finance statements filed the first week of October paint a picture of the money coming in and out for each of the Palo Alto school board candidates, with Ken Dauber leading the 2014 contributions with a total of $29,580 to date.

Catherine Crystal Foster is close behind Dauber, having brought in $29,039 in contributions so far. Terry Godfrey has received $27,946 and Gina Dalma, $22,688.

Candidate Jay Cabrera has not filed any finance statements to date and said he is running a "no money, no solicitation campaign." He has not spent not received any money, he said. Candidates who do not form campaign committees are not obligated to file a Form 460.

Dauber's donor base draws from a range of sources. Palo Alto City Councilwoman Gail Price donated $100 and Laurene Powell Jobs, chair of the Emerson Collective and Steve Jobs' widow, gave $1,000. Fellow Google engineers have donated anywhere from $200 to $1,500.

Russlyn Ali, former assistant secretary for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Education and now managing director at the Emerson Collective, donated $250. Ali is also a longtime friend of Dauber's wife, Michele, a Stanford University law professor.

Special-education parent and Community Advisory Committee member Mary Vincent has donated $1,250 to Dauber's campaign.

Dauber has also spent the most so far, $16,905, according to his finance statement.

Foster received donations from U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo ($250), who has also endorsed her, as well as from Santa Clara County Chief Assistant District Attorney Jay Boyarsky ($300).

Two former school board presidents also contributed to Foster's campaign. Carolyn Tucher gave $100 in August and Barbara Klausner $212 in September. Klausner gave the same amount to Dauber, Godfrey and Dalma as well.

Godfrey's campaign coffers are partially full due to a $9,000 loan -- $5,000 from her husband, Steve Godfrey, and $4,000 of her own money. She was also the only candidate who has paid for print advertising at Palo Alto's two high schools ($500 to Paly and $100 to Gunn). The former Palo Alto Council of PTAs president, Godfrey received $100 from the current president, Susan Usman. Former Palo Alto City Councilman and Mayor Victor Ojakian donated the same amount in early September.

Dalma's highest donation to date ($2,000) came from Amy Hald, the president and co-founder of Medallia, a Palo Alto customer-feedback software company. She also received donations of $1,000 from ImproveNet founder Jan Leeman, Foothill College Education Executive Director Gay Krause, Palo Alto Unified teacher Doree Tschudy and Silicon Valley Education Foundation CEO Muhammed Chaudhry. Dalma worked at the Silicon Valley Education Foundation before her current position at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley board member Lauren Berman also donated a large chunk to Dalma's campaign -- $1,500.

Palo Alto councilwoman Price also gave to Dalma's campaign ($100), as did San Jose City Councilman Sam Liccardo ($250).

With less than a month to go until election day, Foster leads the pack in remaining cash to spend, with $13,254 as of Sept. 30, according to her finance statement. Dauber's ending cash balance stands at $12,674; Dalma's at $10,519 and Godfrey's at $9,451. Candidates have mostly spent money on campaign materials, filing fees, advertising and fundraising events.

To view the candidates' campaign finance statements, visit the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters' website.

View the candidates' top contributors and financial totals

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4 people like this
Posted by Palo Verde dad
a resident of Palo Verde School
on Oct 7, 2014 at 3:42 pm

Seeing the contribution history for the different candidates really gives some great insight into how the different school board hopefuls view the election and the role of money in politics (importantly, it shows where there may be a conflict of interest). Thanks, Weekly, for digging through this and putting it together for us.

There's one thing I would call special attention to: the top contributors to a given campaign are often the best predictor of what a candidate will be like. Is his/her candidacy being bought out by a few select people, or not? The Weekly also put together a PDF on this, linked at the bottom of the article (or right here: Web Link). It'll only take you a few seconds to look at, and it's definitely worthwhile reading.

Like this comment
Posted by Paly Parent
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 7, 2014 at 5:39 pm

[Post removed.]

1 person likes this
Posted by Yay
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Oct 7, 2014 at 6:50 pm

[Post removed.]

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Posted by Ken is the Right Messenger
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 7, 2014 at 7:30 pm

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Posted by Women Rule the School Board Candidates
a resident of Fairmeadow School
on Oct 7, 2014 at 9:56 pm

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Posted by stats
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 8, 2014 at 8:40 am

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Posted by JLS mom of 2
a resident of JLS Middle School
on Oct 8, 2014 at 2:43 pm

JLS mom of 2 is a registered user.

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1 person likes this
Posted by Joe Kool
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 9, 2014 at 5:45 pm

Joe Kool is a registered user.

Who cares? I read the article - all of the candidates' money appears to originate from entirely innocuous (and obvious) sources.

The most interesting thing I learned from the report was that rich, over-payed, under-worked people are laughably stingy with their money.

I pity the candidates; most are wealthy themselves, and it must be painful to beg for $100 - $250 when you make 5 times that in an hour at work.

I found the authors mention of the $100 donation from Ms. Ali to Mr. Dauber to be a laughably hollow and ultimately trite insinuation, meant to push the reader to use their imagination to draw the connections the author never actually established with research.

Fantastic tabloid journalism...

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