Page One

Hahn Tops Incumbent in Funds, but Developers Favor Capitelli

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday October 23, 2008 - 09:50:00 AM

Incumbent Laurie Capitelli represents District Five, covering central northern Berkeley, and is facing a difficult race in which his opponent, Sophie Hahn, has raised nearly twice as much campaign funding. 

But Capitelli is the candidate of choice for the donors from development-related businesses, topping Hahn’s contributions from that sector by a factor of nine-to-one. 

As of Sept. 30, Capitelli had reported $17,965 in contributions, compared to Hahn’s $30,760. 

A former high school teacher turned real estate broker, Capitelli is relying heavily on development-sector funding for the race. 

At least $6,325 of his contributions come from individuals with a financial interest in development and the sale of real estate, accounting for 35.2 percent of his donors. 

Those contributors include: 

• Jim Novosel, architect and city planning commissioner, $100; 

• Developer and broker John Norheim, $125; 

• Grubb Co. Broker Susie Schevill, $100; 

• Architect David Trachtenberg, $250; 

• Developer and broker Donald Yost, $250; 

• Architect and city zoning board member Bob Allen, $250; 

• Judy Boe, a broker with Capitelli’s own firm, $50; 

• John Gutierrez, prominent land use attorney who often handles appeals to the City Council, $250; 

• Chip Harley, contractor with Holland & Harley, $250; 

• Ken Holland, contractor and Harley’s partner, $50; 

• Red Oak Realty broker Billy Karp, $100; 

• Red Oak Realty broker Lori Kyle, $250; 

• Berkeley Hills Realty broker Nancy Mueller, $50; 

• Bayer Healthcare community relations manager Trina Ostrander, $250; 

• Planning commissioner Harry Pollack, $100; 

• Mortgage broker Jon Riccardi, MPR financial, $250; 

• Planning commission chair James Samuels, a retired architect, $50; 

• Berkeley Design Advocates secretary David Snippen, $100; 

• Real estate broker Marjorie Sperber, $250; 

• Attorney R.C. Wong, who has handled Berkeley development cases, $100; 

• Developer Christopher Hudson, $250; 

• Mortgage financier Paul Riccardi, $250; 

• Fourth Street developer/builder Denny Abrams, $250; 

• UC Berkeley development official Janet Collins, $100; 

• Transit-oriented development advocate Mike Friedrich, $100; 

• Planning commissioner and retired planner David Stoloff, $250; 

• Steve Yoshimura of Nakamura Realty $100; 

• Real estate broker Ury Beary, $250; 

• Lamorinda Development executive Tak Hirahara, $250; 

• Barbara Ellis, political strategist from Aroner, Jewel & Ellis, $50; 

• Elizabeth Jewel of the same firm, $100; 

• UC Berkeley planning professor Fred Collignon, $100; 

• Attorney and developer Bill Falik, $250; 

• Berkeley Hills Realty broker Gary Austin, $50; 

• Berkeley Hills Realty broker Peter Damm, $100; 

• AC Transit planner Tony Brussone, $150; 

• Berkeley Chamber of Commerce CEO Ted Garrett, $50; 

• Architect Edward Anisman of Interactive Resources, a construction engineering firm, $100; 

• Political strategist Caleb Dardick, who often represents developers, $150. 



Teece donation 

Capitelli’s most interesting supporter, giving the maximum $250, is David Teece, a very wealthy UC Berkeley business professor, business consultant and owner of several businesses in the U.S. and New Zealand. 

Teece was also the silent partner of Patrick Kennedy in many of the downtown apartment buildings recently sold by Kennedy’s Panoramic Interests LLC to a firm controlled by Sam Zell, who is also the new owner of the Los Angeles Times and other Tribune Co. papers. 

His partnership with Kennedy makes him one of Berkeley’s biggest developers, other than the university itself. 

Teece has also been fighting a battle with the IRS, which claims he used illegal ruses to deprive the government of millions in taxes. 


Elective newcomer 

A lawyer turned social activist, Hahn is mounting a formidable and well-funded challenge. 

Capitelli’s opponent has targeted her foe as a developer, and her financing relies far less on pro-development funding, which amounts to only $2,000, or 6.5 percent of her total campaign war chest as of Sept. 30. 

Identifiable development-related donors include: 

• Guerneville architect Dirck Bass, $150; 

• Paul Boyce of Architrave Carpentry, $100; 

• Aloha Bay realty broker Philippa Feldman, $50; 

• Jewish Community Housing for Elders executive Ellen Feingold of Waban, Mass., $250; 

• Architect Joanne Koch, $250; 

• Architect Caitlin Lempres Brostrom, $250; 

• Architect Donald McDonald, $250; 

• Laurie Palepu, real estate developer for Studio Salons, Inc. of Newton, Mass. $100; 

• New York real estate developer Doug Platt, $100; 

• Dewayne Sherill, R.D. Sherill, Inc., contractors, $250; 

• Realtor Patricia Swift of the Grubb Co., $250; 

Hahn, the daughter of a UC Berkeley history professor, is evidently the candidate of choice for history professors, from UC Berkeley and other universities, as well as for Steven Newhouse, who runs the internet division of a privately held print media empire that includes both the newspapers run under the family name and the Code Nast publications.