Two candidates vying for Palo Alto votes in the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board race are spending vastly different sums of money on their campaigns, with the challenger, Gary Kremen, outspending incumbent Brian Schmidt by hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Kremen, founder of Match.com, is financially trouncing incumbent Brian Schmidt to the tune of more than $280,000. Much of it is in loans to the campaign from Kremen himself. Schmidt, meanwhile, has raised roughly $13,000, according to campaign-disclosure statements filed in Santa Clara County on Monday.
The two filings reveal a considerable difference in approaches, with Kremen's campaign listing $303,067.50 in outstanding debts and Schmidt's balance sheet listing none. The filing statement, which covers the period from July 1 through Sept. 30, includes the contribution totals for the year to date and a list of donors.
Kremen has loaned his campaign $248,500, according to his filing; Schmidt has no loans, instead relying on small donations largely from retired persons, individuals and a few environmental groups. He has donated $500 to his own campaign, according to the filings.
Kremen lists $312,764.03 in total expenditures with $22,614.63 in remaining cash. His expenditures for the year to date include:
Polling: $31,400, with the majority done in the first six months of his campaign
Campaign consultants: $25,301, with more than $20,000 from July 1 through Sept. 30
Web: $41,130 from July 1 through Sept. 30
Campaign literature: $86,557
Campaign paraphernalia: $33,734
Professional services: Approximately $80,000
By contrast, Schmidt lists $8,209.05 in total expenditures with a $4,972.78 current cash balance. His year-to-date expenditures include:
Yard signs: $1,422
The candidates' donor bases are also divergent. Kremen's includes Silicon Valley executives, venture capitalists, heads of solar firms, attorneys and politicians, including Palo Alto Mayor Nancy Shepherd.
Kremen's largest contributor, former California Controller Steve Westly, donated $10,000 as an individual. His firm, The Westly Group, invests and builds companies in socially and environmentally progressive companies, according to the firm's website.
Schmidt's contributors include members of local environmental and open-space organizations, who contributed as individuals, and prominent business people including Palo Alto developer Jim Baer and Buck's Restaurant owner Margaret MacNiven of Woodside, and environmentalists Lennie Roberts and former Palo Alto City Councilwoman Enid Pearson.