Assembly race: latest reports on campaign contributions


With a couple of months left until election day, Palo Alto City Councilman Marc Berman is leading in campaign contributions in his race against patent attorney Vicki Veenker to succeed Rich Gordon in the 24th Assembly District, with close to $100,000 in his election coffers, according to the latest financial filings.

Berman has a reported $97,363 available compared to Veenker's $58,462.

Marc Berman (Photo by Veronica Weber)

Vicki Veenker (Photo by Veronica Weber)
Berman received a total of $77,448 in contributions during the latest filing period, which covered May 22 through June 30. He also spent close to that amount -- $69,599, according to filing documents.

By comparison, Veenker received $67,003 and spent $98,015 during that same time period.

Both Berman and Veenker have also loaned their respective campaigns more than $100,000 so far.

Berman has received significant donations from prominent local community members, including Laurene Powell Jobs ($4,200), founder of the Emerson Collective and widow of Steve Jobs, and Palo Alto developer Roxy Rapp ($4,200), as well as several elected officials. Councilman Greg Scharff has donated $1,250; Cory Wolbach, $150; former mayor Nancy Shepherd, $300; and Liz Kniss, $1,000, according to campaign filings. Current Palo Alto Board of Education President Heidi Emberling gave $200 and former board member Barb Mitchell, $100.

Berman has also received $8,400 so far from the Rich Gordon for State Assembly 2014 campaign. Assemblyman Evan Low, who represents the 28th district and is running for re-election, gave Berman's campaign $8,400. Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, who represents the 22nd district, has donated $4,200.

Mountain View Councilman Mike Kasperzak, who ran against Berman and Veenker in the State Assembly primary, gave Berman $500.

Many political action committees and labor unions have supported Berman's campaign, from the California State Council of Laborers PAC ($4,250) and the San Francisco Laborer's Local 261 PAC ($4,200) to the California Medical Association PAC ($4,200) and California Apartment Association PAC ($4,200).

Berman's largest campaign contribution so far, $8,500, comes from the California Real Estate PAC - California Association of Realtors.

Veenker's top contributions come from the California Teachers Association/Association for Better Citizenship ($8,500); the California Nurses Association Political Action Committee ($8,500); Felice Swapp, chief operating officer of law firm Harney Westwood & Riegels; retired Stanford University professor Vernon Oi ($8,400); and Elizabeth Veenker ($8,400).

Palo Alto City Council members Karen Holman ($100), Tom DuBois ($100), Eric Filseth ($250), Kniss ($500) and Mayor Pat Burt ($250) all donated. Palo Alto school board Vice President Terry Godfrey gave Veenker's campaign $500.

Current Menlo Park Mayor Kirsten Keith also contributed $100 and former Menlo Park councilwoman Kelly Fergusson, $250.

Veenker has also received support from several political action committees, including the Consumer Attorneys of California Political Action Committee ($4,200), the Political Action for Classified Employees of California School Employees ($4,000) and the Foothill-De Anza Faculty Association PAC ($1,000).

Several women-focused political organizations have also made contributions, including the National Women's Political Caucus of California ($500), Democratic Activists for Women Now ($1,500), the Women's Political Committee ($4,200) and EMILY's List ($2,500), a Washington, D.C., group that supports pro-choice Democratic women running for office.

Veenker has spent close to $180,000 on print advertisements, TV or cable production costs and $38,500 on San Francisco campaign-consulting firm SCN Strategies, according to her filing documents. Berman has spent about $30,000 on campaign consulting and has no reported advertisement costs.

However, Berman has spent close to $200,000 on campaign literature and mailings. Veenker's expenditures in that category pale in comparison: only about $16,000.

Berman and Veenker, both Palo Alto residents, were the top vote-getters in the June 7 primary race. The 24th district includes Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Atherton, Woodside, Portola Valley, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Sunnyvale, a part of Cupertino and the San Mateo County coastside -- from El Granada to the Santa Cruz County border.

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Like this comment
Posted by John McGraw
a resident of Portola Valley: Los Trancos Woods/Vista Verde
on Aug 3, 2016 at 12:25 pm

Seems like both candidates are bought and paid for by the unions.

Like this comment
Posted by Huey - Workin' for a livin'
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 3, 2016 at 12:40 pm


Berman: Laborers PAC ($4,250) and the San Francisco Laborer's Local 261 PAC ($4,200) to the California Medical Association PAC ($4,200) and California Apartment Association PAC ($4,200). Berman's largest campaign contribution so far, $8,500, comes from the California Real Estate PAC - California Association of Realtors.

Seems real estate is spending ,ore than worker's groups.

Venker slightly more so, but there's a lot of non working groups in there. Possibly you are adding in Women's groups as Unions? (c'mon - one commie looks like another, amiright?)

Or is any representation for a working man just a bad thing for you?

Don't like it? Public financing - get rid of a system that allows groups, including the wealthy, to buy politicians.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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