House candidate to raise $$$ for charity

gerber.jpgIt isn’t every day that a political candidate uses the campaign’s bully pulpit to raise money for something other than the campaign itself.

But that seems to be the case out in the 10th Congressional District, where Moraga businessman Nicholas Gerber — unopposed in the June 3 Republican primary, headed for a showdown with incumbent Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo, in November — is organizing a “Twist On Politics” charity fundraising event.

Gerber says he was sickened to realize this year’s presidential contest will cost upward of $1 billion, and found himself musing what even a tiny fraction of that sum would do for a needy community organization that either is headquartered in, or does a significant amount of work in, the 10th Congressional District.

So through his campaign’s Web site he’s asking local residents to nominate local charities they believe are worthy, and the one with the most votes will get the proceeds of a Scrabble tournament fundraiser scheduled for Sunday, May 25 at the Lafayette Veterans Memorial Hall, 3780 Mt. Diablo Blvd.

Melinda Gerber, the candidate’s wife, tells me all the money raised will go to the charity, none to the campaign. “When it comes time to do the fundraising, checks will be made payable to the charity and donors will receive a receipt and the usual tax deduction,” she said. “None of the funds will flow through us.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.