This week in big-time campaign cash

The biggest spender in this week’s roundup of big ($25,000 or more) spenders on California campaigns and committees was the Democratic State Central Committee of California, giving $250,000 Monday to Assemblywoman Lois Wolk‘s state Senate campaign; $250,000 Thursday to Shafter Mayor Fran Florez‘s Assembly campaign; $135,000 Wednesday to former Assemblywoman Hannah Beth Jackson‘s state Senate campaign; and $65,930 Tuesday to Manuel Perez‘s Assembly campaign.

Equality California gave $500,000 Wednesday while the National Center for Lesbian Rights in San Francisco; the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) in New York City; and Google senior technical recruiter Carrie Farrell of San Francisco each gave $50,000 Monday to help defeat Proposition 8, the proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. Also opposing the measure, 1994 U.S. Senate candidate and former Rep. Michael Huffington of Marina Del Rey gave $100,000 Wednesday; Equidex Inc. chairman and former U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg James Hormel of San Francisco gave $100,000 Thursday; and Malibu consultant Chuck Williams gave $25,000 Wednesday. (Like everyone else on the planet, I heard actor Brad Pitt gave $100,000 this week to oppose Proposition 8, but I couldn’t find it in the state’s database.) Meanwhile, supporting Proposition 8, Stephanie Sorenson of Laguna Niguel and Intuitive Surgical Inc. director Bob Sundstrom each gave $30,000 Sunday while Ventura-based Lassen’s Health Food gave $25,000 the same day. On Tuesday, Tulare Rotary Club president Sherrie Bell; BAE Systems engineer Robert E. Culbertson of Pleasanton; Whittier Realtor Jeanne Muhlestein; Nancy Schindler of Encinitas; Modesto real estate broker Ronald Stone; Redlands dermatologist Dr. J. Robert West; and Cheryl Wilde, wife of Community Memorial Health System CEO Gary Wilde, of Ventura each gave $25,000 to support the measure. And on Wednesday, William A.G. Wilde‘s Wilde Investments SC LLC of San Carlos gave $50,000 and Jana L. Mullen of Alamo gave $25,000 to support the measure.

The El Cajon-based Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Indians gave $175,000 and the Santa Clarita-based California Narcotics Officers’ Association gave $60,000 today to the campaign opposing 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.

Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander of Houston gave $100,000 Monday to the campaign supporting 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. Los Angeles billionaire surgeon Gary Karlin Michelson gave $25,000 to support the measure Wednesday, while Demler Egg Ranch of San Jacinto gave $30,000 Monday to oppose the measure and BNSF Railway Co. of Fort Worth, Texas, gave $25,000 today to oppose it.

Packard Bell founder Beny Alagem of Beverly Hills, now chairman and CEO of the Alagem Capital Group and owner of the Beverly Hilton Hotel, gave $100,000 Tuesday to support Proposition 11, the legislative redistricting reform measure.

And the Women’s Political Committee of Los Angeles gave $25,000 Wednesday to the campaign opposing 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.