Campaign finance update: Panda loves Meg

The three daughters of Panda Express cofounders Andrew and Peggy Cherng – Andrea, an attorney; Michelle , an intern at the family’s Chinese fast-food empire; and Nicole, a student – each gave $25,000 last Monday to Republican Meg Whitman’s gubernatorial campaign. The parents gave $51,800 back in June.

Also, Mercury General on Friday put another $500,000 – bring its total as the sole donor so far to $2.5 million – into its Californians For Fair Auto Insurance Rates committee, which is pushing a ballot measure it says would make “continuous coverage discounts” portable so motorists can change insurance companies without losing their accrued time, something most other states already allow. Opponents say the measure would let insurers penalize people who’ve missed just one payment, or who decided not to drive for a time and let their insurance lapse during that period.

And, Internet and media mogul Barry Diller gave $15,000 Friday to Democrat Jerry Brown’s gubernatorial campaign. His wife, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, and stepson, Alexander von Furstenberg, last month gave Brown’s campaign $25,000 and $10,000, respectively.

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.