Just give me money, that’s what I want

Plenty of big-ticket political contributions flowed to California causes and committees while I was basking on the shores of Clear Lake last week. Here’s a rundown from the past seven days, limited to contributions of $25,000 or more for the sake of brevity, and in no particular order:

The California Correctional Peace Officers Association‘s Truth in American Government Fund on Friday laid a cool $250,000 on Leadership California, a committee controlled by state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland. Leadership California is the organ through which Perata has fought for causes such as 2006’s infrastructure-bond ballot measures; Senate Democrats’ 2007 healthcare reform platform; and this year’s failed effort to recall state Sen. Jeff Denham, R-Merced.

Big money was moving for and against Proposition 8, the proposed state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. Big-time contributions supporting the measure in the past week included $1 million from the New Haven, Conn.-based Knights of Columbus; $250,000 from Holland, Mich. retiree and conservative philanthropist Elsa Prince; $125,000 from Pacific Shores Masonry of Corona; $100,000 from North American Health Care Inc. director Donald G. Laws of Laguna Beach; and $25,000 each from South Coast Health Care Management administrator Alan H. Anderson of Laguna Beach and Robert N. Packer of Lafayette. Big contributions against Proposition 8 in the past week included $150,000 from the Washington, D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign; $40,000 from Eureka Information Services Group principal David Ring of Healdsburg; $30,000 from the San Francisco-based National Center for Lesbian Rights‘ Social Justice Fund; and $25,000 each from Los Angeles attorney Christopher Caldwell, Santa Rosa attorney Elizabeth Cabraser, Farallon Capital Managment managing member Richard B. Fried of San Francisco, and San Francisco-based Levi Strauss & Co.

Children’s Hospital of Orange County and Children’s Hospital Central California in Madera last Wednesday each ponied up $695,625 in support of Proposition 3, the Children’s Hospital Bond Act, which would authorize almost $1 billion in bonds to be repaid from state’s General Fund to fund the construction, expansion, remodeling, renovation, furnishing and equipping of children’s hospitals.

The past week’s contributions to Proposition 11, the legislative redistricting reform measure, included $100,000 each from Pleasanton-based Safeway Inc. and Manhattan Beach retiree William Bloomfield Jr., and $25,000 from the American Council of Engineering Companies California‘s Issues Fund.

And Palo Alto homemaker Catherine H. Johnson last Thursday gave $45,000 to the campaign against Proposition 4, the proposed state constitutional amendment which would require doctors to inform the parent or guardian of a minor 48 hours before providing an abortion to that minor.

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.