Campaign finance update: Ballot measures, Brown

ch-CHING!Palo Alto physicist Charles T. Munger Jr., son of Warren Buffett’s billionaire investor partner, yesterday put another $512,167 into his “Voters First Act for Congress” ballot measure, bringing his total so far to $1,515,197. The measure would remove authority for setting California’s 53 Congressional district boundaries from the state Legislature, and would give that authority instead to the same Citizens Redistricting Commission that will soon be setting state Legislative boundaries (as required by last year’s successful Proposition 11).

Real-estate and financial billionaire Eli Broad of Los Angeles put up $100,000 for Californians for an Open Primary. That’s the committee backing the ballot measure that state Sen. Abel Maldonado, R-Santa Maria – the guy Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger tapped this week to serve as lieutenant governor – forced Legislative Democrats to put on the June 2010 ballot in exchange for his crucial Republican vote on a budget agreement earlier this year. The money, so far, has not been rolling in fast.

Republican former Los Angeles Mayor, 2002 gubernatorial primary candidate and education secretary Richard Riordan gave $6,500 Friday to Democrat Gloria Romero’s campaign for superintendent of public instruction.

And among those showing Jerry Brown’s gubernatorial campaign the deep-pocketed love in the past week are Gemini Industries founder Sebastian Paul Musco and his wife, Marybelle, of Newport Beach ($103,600); movie mogul Rob Reiner of Beverly Hills ($50,000); Belkin International President and CEO Chet Pipkin and his wife, Janice, of Manhattan Beach ($50,000); Hard Rock Hotel and Casino founder and chairman Peter Morton of Los Angeles ($50,000); investor Linda Buckel of Park City, Utah ($50,000); and Annenberg Foundation chairwoman, president and CEO Wallis Annenberg of Los Angeles ($46,000).

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.

  • John W

    Seems like an uphill battle to do a “Prop. 11” for congressional districting. The GOP would gain at least a couple of seats. From a national Democratic Party perspective, it amounts to unilateral disarmament, unless a large Republican-majority state (Texas, for example) does likewise.