Pleasanton Weekly

Column - October 15, 2010

It takes money to win an election

by Jeb Bing

True to the requirement of a state legislative law enacted back in 1893, candidates for election as mayor and city council members in Pleasanton have filed the Form 460s showing how much money they've raised, have spent and what others are contributing in kind to help them in their campaigns.

There were no surprises in the Campaign Finance Disclosure Reports for the upcoming election with council-candidate Jerry Thorne once again outpacing the others with contributions totaling $19,015 for this election period, a bit ahead of Cheryl Cook-Kallio who has received $18,315. The others are trailing with single-digit earnings (we're talking in the thousands of dollars here). The newcomer to the council race, Karla Brown, has $9,837 in contributions, followed by mayoral candidate Cindy McGovern with $8,780 and Mayor Jennifer Hosterman with $8,080. Tea Party council candidate Fred Watson has raised $2,001, but that appears to be a loan he made to himself to get the campaign rolling.

Campaign expenditures, which the state also requires be accurately reported, vary from the donation totals. In this category, Thorne is the front-runner, having spent $14,970 so far on printing, signs and newspaper ads, including in this newspaper, which we're glad to have. Next is Hosterman, who has spent $11,108; Cook-Kallio at $10,881; Karla Brown at $6,233; and McGovern at $3,769.

Watson, the operations manager at Open Heart Kitchen, shows in his 460 that he's spent nothing so far, although he must have paid a filing fee of $1,142 to get his name in the Sample Ballot, which the other candidates have reported. He also has a few campaign signs on home yards in Pleasanton. City Clerk Karen Diaz has asked him to re-file the campaign expenditure report.

Since part of the state reporting requirement also makes candidates fess up to just who is contributing to their campaign, the 460s provide a quick look at who's behind these folks, financially speaking, at least. In Pleasanton, full disclosure starts at $25, which most contributors think is far too low when other cities don't disclose names until the contributions reach $50 or $100. Since there are many in the $25 and $50 donation category, I'll only tell you who's spent more than $100.

And to be fair, I'll out those contributors alphabetically starting with Brown. I'd end with Watson but for the fact he has only four contributors besides himself, and none gave more than $75.

For Karla Brown, Allen Roberts of the "Save Pleasanton's Hills" citizens' coalition contributed $1,000; Lou Astbury, $200; John Carroll, $250; Richard Pugh, $250; William Rasnick, $200; Steve Brozosky, $250; Christine Schlies, $150; and Greg O'Connor, $500.

Cheryl Cook-Kallio is next, with contributors to her campaign for re-election to the City Council including Kathleen Wat, $500; Nancy Allen, $200; Teresa Cox, 150; Carol Molinaro, $150; Robert Molinaro, $150 on Aug. 9 and $250 on Sept. 9; Salwan Property Management & Investments, $250; Frank Capilla, $250; Boulder Company, LLC., $250; Wendy's of the Pacific, $500; Central Labor Council of Alameda County Solidarity PAC, $250; U.A. Local 32 PAC, $400; and Rental Housing Owners Association of Southern Alameda County, $250.

Contributors to Mayor Jennifer Hosterman's re-election campaign include Jerry Anderson, $500; Karen Chamousis, $500; Jack Edwards, $500; Tom and Sue Fox, $200; Graham-Hitch Mortuary, $200; Walter Lupeika, $250; Rosemary Martelli, $200; Robert Molinari, $500; Matthew Solopov, $500; John Steinbuch, $200; Joan Theobald, $200; Weldon Theobald, $500; James Tong, $500; Steve Watty, $500; Braddock & Logan Services Inc., $500; Joan Buchanan, $250; The Bowlby Group, $250; Leisure Sports, $500; and USA Title Data Xpress Services Ltd., $300.

Councilwoman Cindy McGovern has received the following contributions in her campaign for mayor: Allen Roberts, $1,000; Louis Astbury, $150; Chris and Christine Schlies, $250; Joe and Lynn Candaux, $350; John Carroll, $250; Mark & Roberta Emerson, $250; Richard Pugh, $500; Julie Rasnick, $200; Brenda Balletto, $200; Steve and Annie Brozosky, $200; Richard Duffy, $200; Robert Howe, $200; Jim and Debi Frost & Lutkenhoust, $200; Carol Molinaro, $250; and June and Ray Thompson, $125.

Councilman Jerry Thorne's contributors to his campaign for re-election include Daniel Tsai, $500; Robert Molinaro, $250; Tom Richert, $200; Elizabeth Milano, $200; Frank Capilla, $250; Joe Johal, $500; and the Rental Housing Association of Southern Alameda County, $250.

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