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Hancock and Chan Vie for Funding

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Friday March 14, 2008

In the race for money to finance their campaigns to replace Don Perata as State Senator for District 9, Assembly-member Loni Hancock is drawing heavily on businesses, labor organizations, and associations from around the state, as well as on individual contributions from inside District 9, while former Assemblymember Wilma Chan’s main source is Asian-Americans living outside the district lines. 

Hancock, who represents Assembly District 14, raised $500,507 for the senate race during 2007, ending with a cash balance of $343,907. Chan, former assemblymember for District 16, raised $164,834, but ended the year with $526,641, almost $200,000 more than Hancock.  

Hancock’s main fund-raising edge came in contributions from associations, businesses, political action committees, and campaigns of other candidates and officeholders, where she outraised her opponent $257,573 to $43,350. Fifty-two percent of Hancock’s donations came from non-individual sources. 

Several of Hancock’s donations come from companies with interests in development in District 9. 

The donation from Hancock from the most controversial source is $3,000 from Upstream Point Molate LLC of Emeryville, the company that holds a multi-million dollar option on property on the Richmond shoreline on which it wants to build a Native-American-based casino and convention center complex. The project, which has been the subject of several lawsuits, is currently being held up pending Bureau of Indian Affairs approval of the status of the Guidiville Band of Pomo Indians. 

Other major Hancock business contributors with major business or development interests in the district are Wareham Develop-ment Corporation of San Rafael ($3,000), which owns and operates several properties in Emeryville and West Berkeley, and which the East Bay Business Times calls “the largest commercial developer of laboratory space in the East Bay;” the Seagate Properties real estate investment firm of San Rafael ($2,625), which operates a number of commercial buildings in downtown Berkeley, including the Berkeley Promenade, Bayer Corporation ($4,000); Clear Channel Outdoor ($4,000); Owens-Illinois General of Illinois ($3,500), the owner of food and beverage bottle manufacturer Owens-Brockway Glass Container with several local plants; and Clorox Corporation of Oakland ($2,000).  

Other large business donations for Hancock came from the Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railroad ($2,000), Richmond Pacific Railroad ($2,500), and explosives manufacturer and U.S. Defense Department contractor MP Associates of Ione, California ($3,750). 

Hancock also received $3,600 from Artichoke Joe’s Casino in San Bruno. 

Almost 12 percent of Hancock’s contributions ($59,250) came from labor organizations, including $3,600 from the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 PAC, $3,000 from the Boilermakers Local #549, $3,600 from the California Association of Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors National Association PAC, $7,200 in two donations from the California Nurses Association PAC, $3,000 from the California Professional Firefighters PAC, $2,000 from the Drive Committee of the Teamsters, $3,600 from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers COPE Political Action Committee and $7,200 from the IBEW Local 302 PAC, $2,500 from the Northern California Carpenters Regional Council, $3,600 from the Plumbing Industry Consumer Protection Fund UA Local 159, $3,000 from the Political Education Committee of Public Employees Local 1, $3,000 from the U.A. Local 342 PAC Fund, $2,000 from the United Services Automobile Association, and $2,000 from the Western States Council of Sheet Metal Workers PAC. 

Hancock raised $15,600 from political action committees based in the medical-dental field, including $3,000 from the Physicians For The Group Practice of Medicine PAC, $3,000 from the California Hospital Association PAC, $2,000 from the California Association of Psychiatric Technicians, and $2,000 from the Union of American Physicians and Dentists Medical Defense Fund. 

In addition, she received $3,600 from Abbott Laboratories, an Illinois-based pharmaceutical manufacturing and medical research firm. 

In the legal field, Hancock raised $3,000 from the Consumer Attorneys’ PAC and $2,000 apiece from the California Attorneys For Criminal Justice PAC and the California Applicants’ Attorneys’ Association. She received $3,500 from Furtado, Jaspovice & Simons personal injury attorneys of Hayward, $2,500 from Hanna, Brophy, MacLean, McLeer & Jensen workers’ compensation and employment-related litigation law firm of Oakland, $3,600 from the law firm of Kazan, McClain, Abrams, Lyon, Farrise & Greenwood of Oakland and $3,000 from the Levin, Simes, Kaiser & Gornick firm of San Francisco, both of which specialize in representing claims of victims of asbestos poisoning. 

She received $2,000 from California Beer & Beverage Distributors Community Affairs pac and $3,100 from horse racing interests, including $2,600 from the Pacific Racing Association and the Los Angeles Turf Club. 

The 14th District Assemblymember also raised $37,000 from campaign organizations of other candidates or political officeholders, including $3,600 apiece from Alan Lowenthal For State Senate, Friends of Anthony Portantino, Friends of Fabian Nuñez, Friends of Patty Berg, Kevin De Leon For Assembly, and Swanson For Assembly 2008, $2,600 from Karen Bass For Assembly (the new Assembly Speaker), and $2,000 from Charles Calderon For Assembly. 

Showing how quickly politicians are forgotten by their peers once they leave office, Chan received only $8,600 from other political campaigns in 2007, including $3,300 from Re-Elect Fiona Ma (Assemblymember from San Francisco), $2,000 from the State Board of Equalization President Betty Yee campaign, and $1,000 apiece from the John Chiang For Controller committee and the State Board of Equalization Member Judy Chu Campaign Committee. 

Chan received $3,600 in contributions from Harbor Bay Isle Associates, developers of the 1,000 acre Harbor Bay residential community in Alameda, $5,000 from SunCal Companies of Irvine, developers of the 770 acre Alameda Point mixed-use development in Alameda, and $2,000 from AGI Capital Group real estate development investment company of San Francisco. Chan only received $4,000 overall in contributions from labor organizations, $3,000 from the Steamfitters Local 342 PAC. 

But besides beating Chan overall in fund-raising during the year, Hancock also beat her opponent in almost every measure of fund-raising from individual contributors. 

Individual contributors are allowed to give a maxium of $3,600 per election to a political candidate in California. “Per election” is the operative phrase, since the primary and the general election are two separate elections. A donor may give a candidate up to $3,600 in separate checks earmarked for either the primary or the general election. In Chan’s case, two individual donors chose to contribute this way, putting them over $3,600 in contributions for the year.  

Overall, Hancock raised $236,697 in individual contributions to Chan’s $116,110 in 2007. From individual contributors living inside District 9, the disparity was even greater, with Hancock raising $161,098 to Chan’s $37,950. In Berkeley alone, Hancock raised over $95,000, a whopping 40 percent of her total individual contributions. Only in her hometown of Alameda did Chan outraise Hancock, $9,230 to $347.46. 

Chan’s major fundraising from individual donors came from California cities outside of District 9, where she took in $71,61, more than 61 percent of her total individual contributions. Chan raised $10,000 in San Francisco alone from 28 individual contributors. 

Nearly 73 percent of Chan’s contributions came from individual donors, most of them from citizens with Asian-American surnames. 

Chan had seven individual contributors of $3,000 or more during 2007: First Allied Securities financial consultant Michele Y.K. Hu of Atherton ($5,700 in three separate donations), homemaker Margaret M. Kung of Los Altos ($3,900 in three separate donations), United Way of Silicon Valley associate Angela Kung of Mountain View ($3,500 in two separate donations), KL Acquisitions Management property manager Hong Yao Lin of Pleasanton ($3,400), Signal Hill Golf Course manager Daniel Tsai of Dublin ($3,300), Bridgeport Consulting CFO Mei Chun Lin of Pleasanton ($3,300 in two separate donations), and actor/director Rob Reiner of Beverly Hills ($3,000).  

The former Oakland Assemblymember had 31 individual donations of $1,000 or more. 

Hancock had 20 individual contributors of $3,000 or more, including herself and her husband, Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, who gave $3,600 apiece to her campaign: Meyer Sound Principal Helen B. Meyer of Berkeley ($3,600), farmers David and Galila Harrington (perhaps relatives--Hancock’s maiden name was Harrington) of Santa Fe, New Mexico ($3,600 apiece), retiree Jeanine Saperstine of Piedmont ($3,600), Keker & Von Nest attorney Jon B. Streeter of Berkeley ($3,600), Gillin, Jacobson, Ellis & Larsen attorney Luke Ellis of Orinda ($3,600 in two separate donations), Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Lab engineer Lynn Seppara of Livermore ($3,600), Alafi Family Foundation President Margaret Alafi ($3,600), Alafi Capital partner Moshe Alafi of Berkeley ($3,600), developer Soheyl Modaressi of Berkeley ($3,600), Key Curriculum Press publisher Steven Rasmussen of Berkeley ($3,600), Justice Matters policy advocate Susan Sandler of San Francisco ($3,600), Sunpower Corporation CEO Tom L. Dinwoodie of Piedmont ($3,600), retiree Tony Suh of Lafayette ($3,600), retiree Mary Friedman of Castro Valley ($3,000), Convera Corporation chairman Ronald J. Whittier of Belvedere ($3,000), homemaker Sara F. Sanderson of Berkeley ($3,000), and The Review Group architect Steven R. Winkel of Berkeley ($3,000). 

Altogether, Hancock had 83 individual contributors giving $1,000 or more.