Governor puts off fund-raiser

The Associated Press
Wednesday September 25, 2002

SAN JOSE — Democratic Gov. Gray Davis postponed a second fund-raiser amid sharpened attacks from Republican opponent Bill Simon slamming him for raising money from special interests while considering legislation important to those groups. 

Davis was set to attend a town hall forum in Palo Alto and a $10,000-a-person tech fund-raiser on Tuesday, but postponed both events on Monday, the San Jose Mercury News reported. 

The TechNet fund-raising event in Palo Alto, co-sponsored by venture capitalist John Doerr and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, was organized at the same time that the tech industry has been lobbying Davis to veto legislation that would impose new fees on companies to pay for recycling environmentally hazardous computer parts, the Mercury said. 

Davis campaign spokesman Roger Salazar said the governor postponed the events only because he is pressed for time to sign or veto hundreds of bills. 

He called the report “speculation.” 

“I’m not sure how many people are really interested in that legislation,” Salazar said. “TechNet is not a company, it is a group of activists in the Silicon Valley some of whom are involved in the tech industry. TechNet has been very supportive of the governor in the past, they’ve held events for us in the past.” 

Last week, Davis canceled a fund-raiser organized by Rod Diridon, the governor’s appointee to chair the state’s High-Speed Rail Authority. 

The $1,000-a-person event at Diridon’s home was scheduled to take place the day after the governor signed a bill that will put a $10 billion bond measure on the 2004 ballot. If approved, the measure would pave the way for the state’s high-speed rail line. 

The event was canceled after it became public that Diridon had sent e-mails seeking contributions from executives who “will build, operate and maintain the system.” 

Simon went on the offensive Tuesday morning over the new fund-raising report. 

“Gov. Davis is in bed with moneyed special interests on a daily basis with his fund-raising activity,” Simon said after a campaign stop in Sunnyvale. 

Salazar dismissed Simon’s criticism as “wild imaginings.”