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Locals contribute over $3.4M to fight Newsom recall

George Marcus, Laurene Powell Jobs among top donors

Gov. Gavin Newsom, shown here with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan during an Aug. 17, 2021 tour of Big Basin Redwoods State Park, has received over $3 million in contributions from Midpeninsula donors. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

With the California recall election less than three weeks away, the campaign fighting the effort to oust Gov. Gavin Newsom has established a commanding lead in cash raised — with local donors playing a major role.

Even though none of the 46 candidates vying to replace Newsom are from the Midpeninsula, area residents are leading the way when it comes to raising money to fight the recall, campaign finance data from Secretary of State Shirley Weber shows.

Of the roughly $58 million that the main anti-recall campaign has raised to date, the vast majority has come from labor unions and statewide political action committees. At the same time, more than $3.4 million came from individuals in the Midpeninsula cities of Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Redwood City, Portola Valley and Woodside. This includes $1.43 million from Palo Alto donors, a field that includes — among others — prominent tech executives, philanthropists, developers and investors.

The biggest local donor — by a wide margin — was George Marcus, founder of the real estate firm Marcus & Millichap Company and longtime donor to Democratic causes. Marcus donated $1 million to the anti-recall campaign, Stop the Republican Recall. Among all of Newsom's individual donors, only Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, contributed more to the cause: $3 million.

Hastings, Marcus and Connie Balmer, a Washington resident who contributed $1 million to oppose the recall, are the only individuals on the list of top 16 donors to the anti-recall campaign. Others on the list include the California Democratic Party, which gave $2.15 million to oppose the recall; Dignity Service Employees International Union Local 2015, which contributed $2 million; the California Teachers Association Independent Expenditure Committee, which gave $1.8 million; and the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, Truth in American Government Fund, which contributed $1.75 million.

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Marcus, well known for his Democratic activism, is hardly the only donor from this area to make a sizable contribution to the campaign fighting the recall. Atherton philanthropist Elizabeth D. Simons, chair of the Heising-Simons Foundation board, made two contributions to the committee totaling $575,000. Her husband, Mark Heising, founder of the investment firm Medley Partners, contributed another $425,000.

Other notable Palo Alto residents who contributed to the anti-recall campaign are Laurene Powell Jobs, president of Emerson Collective, who gave $400,000 to the committee known as Stop the Republican Recall. Marissa Mayer, former CEO of Yahoo, and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who now manages the investment firm Hillspire LLC, contributed $200,000 and $100,000, respectively.

The anti-recall committee also benefited from contributions from Redwood City investor Doris Fisher, who gave $250,000, and developer Richard Tod Spieker, an Atherton resident who contributed $100,000 to keep Newsom in office. Other local developers who have chipped in to support Newsom include John Sobrato, who gave $6,000 over two separate contributions, and Peter Pao, who contributed $500.

They are among the roughly 2,000 contributors from the Midpeninsula who donated to fight the recall effort, helping the anti-recall campaign establish a commanding fundraising lead over those of Newsom's challengers for the governor's job. The overwhelming majority are small donors. Of the contributions that had been reported as of Aug. 25, all but 32 were for amounts of $1,000 or lower.

Several of Newsom's 46 opponents in the recall effort have also benefited from local largess. Talk show host Larry Elder, who has amassed a war chest of $6.8 million, is among them. Though his list of top donors is dominated by contributors from southern California, Elder has also received $32,400 contributions from Woodside resident Saul Fox, CEO of Fox Paine; $5,000 from Palo Alto investor William Jarvis; and $2,000 contribution from local developer Boyd Smith.

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Woodside resident Stacey Siebel, a philanthropist whose husband, Thomas Siebel, founded the software company Siebel Systems, gave $5,000 to Elder's campaign. She also contributed $25,000 to the campaign of Kevin Faulconer, the former San Diego mayor who is also hoping to replace Newsom.

Despite these efforts, the total amount raised by Elder's campaign from the Midpeninsula is just a fraction of that received by the anti-recall faction. Donors from the cities Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Woodside, and Portola Valley accounted for $79,575 in contributions received by Elder.

Businessman John Cox has reported $7.7 million in contributions, though $6.9 million consist of money he contributed to his own campaign. His biggest contributor from the Midpeninsula area was the Sunnyvale-based construction company De Anza Building and Maintenance, which gave $32,400 to Cox (while state law caps contributions to gubernatorial candidates at $32,400, that rule does not apply to contributions made by political parties or by political action committees that are not tied to a particular candidate). No one else from the Midpeninsula gave more than $100 to the Cox campaign, finance records show.

Faulconer's biggest supporter from the area is Palo Alto resident John Chambers, who contributed $32,400 to Faulconer. Los Altos Hills resident Douglas Scrivener contributed $17,500, while Woodside resident Michael Marks gave $15,000, records show.

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Locals contribute over $3.4M to fight Newsom recall

George Marcus, Laurene Powell Jobs among top donors

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Thu, Aug 26, 2021, 8:52 am

With the California recall election less than three weeks away, the campaign fighting the effort to oust Gov. Gavin Newsom has established a commanding lead in cash raised — with local donors playing a major role.

Even though none of the 46 candidates vying to replace Newsom are from the Midpeninsula, area residents are leading the way when it comes to raising money to fight the recall, campaign finance data from Secretary of State Shirley Weber shows.

Of the roughly $58 million that the main anti-recall campaign has raised to date, the vast majority has come from labor unions and statewide political action committees. At the same time, more than $3.4 million came from individuals in the Midpeninsula cities of Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Redwood City, Portola Valley and Woodside. This includes $1.43 million from Palo Alto donors, a field that includes — among others — prominent tech executives, philanthropists, developers and investors.

The biggest local donor — by a wide margin — was George Marcus, founder of the real estate firm Marcus & Millichap Company and longtime donor to Democratic causes. Marcus donated $1 million to the anti-recall campaign, Stop the Republican Recall. Among all of Newsom's individual donors, only Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, contributed more to the cause: $3 million.

Hastings, Marcus and Connie Balmer, a Washington resident who contributed $1 million to oppose the recall, are the only individuals on the list of top 16 donors to the anti-recall campaign. Others on the list include the California Democratic Party, which gave $2.15 million to oppose the recall; Dignity Service Employees International Union Local 2015, which contributed $2 million; the California Teachers Association Independent Expenditure Committee, which gave $1.8 million; and the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, Truth in American Government Fund, which contributed $1.75 million.

Marcus, well known for his Democratic activism, is hardly the only donor from this area to make a sizable contribution to the campaign fighting the recall. Atherton philanthropist Elizabeth D. Simons, chair of the Heising-Simons Foundation board, made two contributions to the committee totaling $575,000. Her husband, Mark Heising, founder of the investment firm Medley Partners, contributed another $425,000.

Other notable Palo Alto residents who contributed to the anti-recall campaign are Laurene Powell Jobs, president of Emerson Collective, who gave $400,000 to the committee known as Stop the Republican Recall. Marissa Mayer, former CEO of Yahoo, and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who now manages the investment firm Hillspire LLC, contributed $200,000 and $100,000, respectively.

The anti-recall committee also benefited from contributions from Redwood City investor Doris Fisher, who gave $250,000, and developer Richard Tod Spieker, an Atherton resident who contributed $100,000 to keep Newsom in office. Other local developers who have chipped in to support Newsom include John Sobrato, who gave $6,000 over two separate contributions, and Peter Pao, who contributed $500.

They are among the roughly 2,000 contributors from the Midpeninsula who donated to fight the recall effort, helping the anti-recall campaign establish a commanding fundraising lead over those of Newsom's challengers for the governor's job. The overwhelming majority are small donors. Of the contributions that had been reported as of Aug. 25, all but 32 were for amounts of $1,000 or lower.

Several of Newsom's 46 opponents in the recall effort have also benefited from local largess. Talk show host Larry Elder, who has amassed a war chest of $6.8 million, is among them. Though his list of top donors is dominated by contributors from southern California, Elder has also received $32,400 contributions from Woodside resident Saul Fox, CEO of Fox Paine; $5,000 from Palo Alto investor William Jarvis; and $2,000 contribution from local developer Boyd Smith.

Woodside resident Stacey Siebel, a philanthropist whose husband, Thomas Siebel, founded the software company Siebel Systems, gave $5,000 to Elder's campaign. She also contributed $25,000 to the campaign of Kevin Faulconer, the former San Diego mayor who is also hoping to replace Newsom.

Despite these efforts, the total amount raised by Elder's campaign from the Midpeninsula is just a fraction of that received by the anti-recall faction. Donors from the cities Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Woodside, and Portola Valley accounted for $79,575 in contributions received by Elder.

Businessman John Cox has reported $7.7 million in contributions, though $6.9 million consist of money he contributed to his own campaign. His biggest contributor from the Midpeninsula area was the Sunnyvale-based construction company De Anza Building and Maintenance, which gave $32,400 to Cox (while state law caps contributions to gubernatorial candidates at $32,400, that rule does not apply to contributions made by political parties or by political action committees that are not tied to a particular candidate). No one else from the Midpeninsula gave more than $100 to the Cox campaign, finance records show.

Faulconer's biggest supporter from the area is Palo Alto resident John Chambers, who contributed $32,400 to Faulconer. Los Altos Hills resident Douglas Scrivener contributed $17,500, while Woodside resident Michael Marks gave $15,000, records show.

Comments

felix
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 26, 2021 at 11:22 am
felix, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Aug 26, 2021 at 11:22 am

Palo Alto Developer Boyd Smith supports a right-wing talk show host Larry Elder, giving him $2000. Way to go, Boyd supporting a propagandizer who has NO qualifications or experience to even run for city council, let alone to govern California, the 5th largest economy in the world.

The Governor may appoint a replacement for 88-year old Sen. Feinstein should she die before her term expires. The Gov. will write the budget, have great power over how the federal infrastructure funds will be spent. Yet you want Elder to be in the exective post where 1 in 10 in the U.S. live.

Recall is only intended for corruption, serious malfeasance or substantial misconduct. Read the reasons for Recall in your County Registrar information Guide, pg. 10 - all are political and a misuse of Recall.

No one who believes in democracy should vote other than NO. Any of those listed, even leading candidate Elder, can win with a pittance of votes (18%, whatever), no matter how clownish. Don't vote for any of them.



Trofim Lysenko
Menlo Park

Registered user
on Aug 26, 2021 at 1:00 pm
Name hidden, Menlo Park

Registered user
on Aug 26, 2021 at 1:00 pm

Due to violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are only visible to registered users who are logged in. Use the links at the top of the page to Register or Login.


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Aug 26, 2021 at 1:43 pm
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Aug 26, 2021 at 1:43 pm

If this is what people want to do with their hard earned money, more power to them. We prefer the local food bank, a local animal rescue, kids programs and homeless shelters, etc. I guess we're more old fashioned than I thought we were, and that's okay.


jr1
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Aug 27, 2021 at 2:34 pm
jr1, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Aug 27, 2021 at 2:34 pm

Gov. Newsom has been in office for nearly three years. Several issues should have been addressed in the last three years. Issues like fire, homeowners insurance, water, farming, budgets, and schools are not being addressed by Gov. Newsom. Solutions are possible, but Newsom seems unable to make proposals. What I see is a failure to provide solutions. Newsom wasn't a very good Mayor, why should we expect any improvement. If Democrats feel this is an attempt to get a Republican elected select another Democrat. That is what I did. If Newsom survives the recall he will probably be defeated next year. As a voter, I don't see a solution Governor, I see a blame Governor. Newson seems to always blame someone else for problems. He needs a strong staff to guide him, but I don't see that coming.


John Harvard
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Aug 30, 2021 at 12:39 pm
John Harvard, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Aug 30, 2021 at 12:39 pm

Felix - Your comment is ridiculous. Why did you choose to single out Boyd Smith? He gave $2000 and yet you don't comment on John Chambers who gave 10x that amount? What about Mike Moritz who is funding most of the recall. There are plenty of "liberals" fed up with Gavin's poor governance.

Gavin Newsom is a disgrace and hasn't done his job. San Francisco is a mess. Homelessness, crime, drugs and feces. This state has experienced a mass exodus from people sick and tired of the high taxes, poor schools, homelessness, exorbitant cost of living, no plan for water, government overreach on Covid (DiFi, Pelosi, Newsom who didn't "mask up" when it didn't suit them), unfriendly business environment, $11bn of welfare fraud, open borders, etc. etc. etc.

People are welcome to express their opinions and shouldn't be subjected to, or publicly shamed and/or bullied for exercising their political conscience. Try to offer freedom of thought and speech to both sides. Ironically, the people most focused on "tolerance" are the least tolerant.

Shame on you.


Annette
Registered user
College Terrace
on Aug 30, 2021 at 3:39 pm
Annette, College Terrace
Registered user
on Aug 30, 2021 at 3:39 pm

This is interesting. The donations buy media time and campaign collateral. Media time is used for spin and collateral is used to buy name recognition. When I see or hear too much spin about any candidate, especially an incumbent, I wonder who that person is kidding or trying to convince. Any incumbent should be able to rely on his or her record and not need $58 MILLION worth of ads, lawns signs, and slick mailers to convince us that he or she is doing a good job. $58 MILLION. Imagine the good that money could do if dedicated to schools, affordable housing, support for the homeless.


Leslie York
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Sep 2, 2021 at 2:23 am
Leslie York, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Sep 2, 2021 at 2:23 am

What makes anyone think Larry Elder would be better than Newsom? Elder is wholly unqualified to run the state and is to the right of Attila the Hun. As a Republican he would likely mess with voting rights as has happened in the South. Elder is ahead in the polls and that's who you'll wind up with if Newsom is recalled. The devil you know vs. the devil you don't.


Annette
Registered user
College Terrace
on Sep 6, 2021 at 11:12 am
Annette, College Terrace
Registered user
on Sep 6, 2021 at 11:12 am

@Leslie York: that Elder is doing as well as he is is pretty stunning, but it reveals a couple of things about CA: this state may not be as blue as it was when Newsom was elected and support for Newsom may be waning. He is still the front guy on fundraising and we are going to see and hear more of him for the next few weeks, but that alone speaks to a much bigger problem: our political model. A candidate should win b/c he or she is deemed by voters to be the most capable person, not b/c he or she is backed by an effective political machine that can drown the opposition in ads and air time. How effective has the super majority in Sacramento really been? Is PG&E under control? Schools adequately funded? Homelessness decreasing? Crime decreasing? Forestry programs proving effective? Transportation better?
Roads better? (101 is garbage heap). Are there effective plans for increasing water supply and availability? Elder's not the answer but I think it would be beneficial for our representation in Sacramento to be more diverse and accountable; the status quo isn't improving anything.


AlexDeLarge
Registered user
Midtown
on Sep 6, 2021 at 11:56 am
AlexDeLarge, Midtown
Registered user
on Sep 6, 2021 at 11:56 am


Man, Newsom's really raking it in from the locals. Nothing to see here...


community member
Registered user
University South
on Sep 7, 2021 at 2:27 pm
community member, University South
Registered user
on Sep 7, 2021 at 2:27 pm

Have you actually looked at what Elder advocates?
He is more neanderthal than Trump. Against women's rights, against masks (yes, believe it), against unemployment insurance, and more.
He's a Trump wannabe.
Want to live under a right wing dictator? I don't.


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