Search the Archive:

Back to the Table of Contents Page

Back to The Almanac Home Page


Publication Date: Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Senator John Kerry makes his presidential pitch in Portola Valley Senator John Kerry makes his presidential pitch in Portola Valley (September 24, 2003)

** Candidate raises $100,000 in two-hour event.

By David Boyce
Almanac Staff Writer

U.S. Senator John Kerry paid a visit to Portola Valley the evening of September 16 to speak with about 100 people and collect some $100,000 for his campaign to be the Democratic challenger in the 2004 presidential election.

Sen. Kerry was the guest of registered Democrat Eileen Donahoe and her husband John, a registered Republican, who together hosted about 100 people at their home, Ms. Donahoe said.

The event itself raised about $63,000, but the event's co-hosts raised an additional $12,000, and state Controller Steve Westly from Atherton raised an additional $25,000, Ms. Donahoe said. Several Republicans brought checks, she said, including some for $2,000, the maximum amount allowed under the new campaign reform law.

During the two-hour event, Sen. Kerry spoke for about half an hour, took some questions publicly, then answered questions one-on-one, she said. The event was catered.

Ms. Donahoe and co-host Danna Breen arranged the invitation to Sen. Kerry through Emily's List, a grassroots political network that normally raises money for Democratic candidates who are pro-choice women.

"I've become so disgusted with what's going on with this president and this administration that I really wanted to do something," said Ms. Donahoe, who stressed that one of her priorities is getting Republicans to cross over and vote for a Democrat.

Her interest in him as the best person to challenge President George W. Bush stems from Sen. Kerry's stances on what she called the core issues of foreign policy, military affairs and the environment. "He is the only guy with experience in all these things," she said. "He's very smart and very honest."

"He's impressive. He's certainly presidential," said Ms. Breen. "I think he's the one who can beat Bush."

According to a recent Zogby poll, Sen. Kerry is 12 points behind former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean in the Iowa presidential primary election to be held in February.

Ms. Breen took the opportunity to give Sen. Kerry a book, "Living, Leading and the American Dream," a collection of essays by the late John Gardner, the founder of Common Cause, a nonprofit, nonpartisan citizens lobbying group that promotes open government.

Ms. Breen, who considers Mr. Gardner's legacy an important source of inspiration for leaders, said the book asks the question "How do you see your role as a leader who effectively releases the creative energies in citizens."

Among the leaders present at the event from Portola Valley were Mayor Ted Driscoll and former mayors Patricia Williams and Jon Silver.

Mr. Silver, who is a registered Republican with strong environmental views, said he appreciated the substance and detail in Sen. Kerry's remarks, particularly his record on environmental issues and his plans to stimulate the economy, a plan that includes rolling back tax breaks that favor the wealthy.

"Tax cuts that principally go to the wealthy aren't the kind of things that are going to stimulate the economy," he said. Mr. Silver said he prefers tax cuts that go to working class people who would be more likely to spend the money refunded to them.

"I think that Kerry would be a welcome contrast," he said.


Copyright © 2003 Embarcadero Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Reproduction or online links to anything other than the home page
without permission is strictly prohibited.