Heavy hitters helping Garamendi raise funds

Rep. John Garamendi, challenged in his bid for re-election by Republican Colusa County Supervisor Kim Vann, apparently feels it’s enough of a race to warrant asking some well-known names to help him raise money.

John GaramendiGaramendi, D-Fairfield, on Monday had a fundraiser at the San Francisco office of the Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe law firm, with former Mayor and Assembly Speaker Willie Brown as the guest speaker and the current and former chairmen of the California Democratic Party – John Burton and Art Torres, respectively – among the co-hosts. Individual tickets ranged from $250 to $2,500, while “PAC Friends” were asked to give $1,000 to $5,000.

Now Garamendi is touting an evening with House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., on Tuesday, August 21 at Prima, a lovely Italian restaurant in Walnut Creek; the theme will be “rebuilding the American manufacturing base.” Individual tickets for this one range from $500 to $2,500, while PAC sponsors will pay $2,500 and PAC co-hosts will pay $5,000.

“This is a critical event for me,” he said in an e-mail that went out today. “The Republican SuperPACs have made me a prime target in the newly drawn 3rd Congressional District, pouring over $130,000 of PAC money into my opponent’s campaign in just the last two weeks of June and now buying up millions of dollars of air time to smear and distort my image. Please consider supporting my campaign and help me fight back by attending this event.”

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.

  • Rick K.

    The handwriting is on the wall: “Live Shot” Garamendi is headed for defeat and he is kissing as many special interest posteriors (including that of the infamous Willie Brown) to try to save his own. Garamendi’s sordid history as a duplicitous career politician is at long last catching up with him. In the coming months, people will come to understand his incompetence/corruption as State Insurance Commissioner in the Exec Life scandal. They will at long last demand answers at to what Garamendi did as “Washington, DC investment partner” for the shady Yucaipa Companies and his political fundraising sugar-daddy Ron Burkle. UC Davis students and faculty will demand to know what role Garamendi Sr. played in getting his son John Garamendi Jr. that $210,000 a year UC job — the type of political plum that is causing UC Davis students to pay ever-higher fees and faculty and staff to cope with job losses and pay cuts. (Has Garamendi Jr. vested in UC’s generous pension plan, costing yet more generations of UC students higher fees? Let’s find out!) Kim Vann’s campaign must be having a field day sorting through “Live Shot” voluminous TV interviews over the years — surely they’re finding that he talks out of both sides of his mouth. Garamendi was “The Proven Democrat”, running for Congress as a proud Bay Area progressive just three years ago, yet now he is furiously distancing himself from many of the “progressive values” that he championed until just a year ago when the new congressional map was unveiled. Now he casts himself as “the rancher on his high horse.” And does anyone seriously believe that Garamendi had NOTHING to do with drawing the 2001 Democrat-drawn congressional map that infamously placed his “front yard” in one district and his “back yard” in another? Anyone who knows anything about politics knows that “coincidences” like this don’t just happen — an enterprising investigative reporter needs to figure out if Garamendi had any role in drawing such a line, which has all the warning signs of a political meddling (allowing him to run either congressional district). We should all be thankful that California voters wisely passed Prop. 20 in 2010, keeping career politicians like “Live Shot” Garamendi from selfishly influencing their district lines. Independent-minded voters in places like Fairfield, Vacaville and Woodland will turn against Garamendi the more that they know about him, his self-dealing and his political duplicity. Garamendi has had his chance to represent the people since his first election to the Legislature in 1974. He has compiled a record of self-service to his blood relatives and political cronies. It’s time to give someone else an opportunity to provide leadership. Supervisor Kim Vann is qualified to serve in Congress and deserves votes from everyone who cares about honest, faithful government, especially political independents and Democrats who have had enough of self-serving, special interest-catering career pols like “Live Shot Garamendi.”

  • JohnW

    Re #1

    We’ll put Rick K. down as “undecided” on the Garamendi/Vann race.

    “An enterprising reporter needs to figure out if Garamendi had any role in drawing such a line, which has all the warning signs of a political meddling (allowing him to run either congressional district).”

    First, we’re talking 2001 – ancient history. Nobody cares.

    Second, you don’t have to live in a Congressional district to run for office there.

    Third, it ain’t breaking news that redistricting is a blatantly political process, whether in pre-Prop. 20 CA or in any other state.