Part of the Bay Area News Group

This week in big-time campaign cash

By Josh Richman
Friday, August 29th, 2008 at 5:04 pm in campaign finance, Elections, General, same-sex marriage.

Topping this week’s list of big ($25,000 or more) spenders on California campaigns and committees are the power utilities stepping up to oppose Proposition 7, which would require California utilities to procure half of their power from renewable resources by 2025: Rosemead-based Edison International and affiliated entities put up $3 million Monday (bringing its total so far to more than $13.7 million), and San Francisco-based PG&E Corp. and affiliated entities put up $1 million the same day (bringing its total so far to almost $13.9 million).

Equality California put up $1 million Tuesday (bringing their total so far to more than $6.5 million — $5.2 million from this committee and the rest from other affiliated PACs) to oppose Proposition 8, the proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. Palm Desert retiree Murray Kors (related to Equality California executive director Geoffrey Kors?) gave $25,000 Tuesday to oppose the measure. Meanwhile, in support of the measure, Irvine-based Fieldstead & Co. — the personal philanthropic organization through which banking heir Howard Fieldstead Ahmanson Jr. funds conservative causes — put up $100,000 Monday; Bosco Legal Services private investigator R. Scott Jones of Riverside gave $45,000 Tuesday; Intel Corp. finance specialist Richard Patterson of Folsom gave $40,000 Sunday; and Escondito homemaker Dran May-Reese gave $25,000 Tuesday.

Brooklyn, N.Y. retiree Bob Wilson put up $700,000 Tuesday in support of Proposition 5, which would expand state funding and oversight for treatment and rehab programs for nonviolent drug offenders and parolees while reducing criminal penalties and limiting courts’ authority to lock up offenders who violate probation or parole. And New York City financier George Soros, among the nation’s top drug-reform funders, gave $400,000 Thursday.

The Washington, D.C.-based Humane Society of the United States gave another $55,000 Tuesday (bringing its total so far to almost $3.42 million) to support Proposition 2, which would prohibit confinement of certain farm animals in ways that doesn’t let them turn freely, lie down, stand up and fully extend their limbs.

The California Correctional Peace Officers Association anted up another $250,000 Thursday to oppose Proposition 11, the legislative redistricting reform measure; the prison guards’ union previously had given state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata’s Leadership California Committee $602,000 with which to fight the measure, but this was its first donation directly to the “Citizens for Accountability – No on Prop. 11″ committee. The Democratic State Central Committee of California had given $75,000 to oppose the measure a day earlier. In support of Prop. 11, former state Senator Rebecca Morgan of Los Altos Hills gave $50,000 and Marketing Investors Corp. of Dallas gave $25,000, both Monday.

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