VC partners endorse Giuliani, Clinton

kvamme.jpgSilicon Valley mogul E. Floyd Kvamme told reporters on a conference call just now that Rudy Giuliani — who’ll be in the Bay Area early next week — would be the business-friendly president the valley desires.

“The valley is a very globally thinking kind of economy,” he said. “The mayor talks a lot about that… competitiveness in improving our picture.”

Kvamme — a partner emeritus at high-tech venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers — said Giuliani wants to roll back government regulation that forces business overseas, but also is “very committed to the whole issue of workforce generation and education… Most of us here in the valley believe that more choice in the (school) system would be good for the system.”

On immigration, “the mayor is the one person who can sort out this issue, because its a big one and he lived in it for a number of years” but also because he understands total, comprehenisve reform may not be the appropriate, immediate goal if Silicon Valley wants to continue attracting the best and brightest from around the world. And on energy, Kvamme said, Giuliani “has recognized that on the electricity front, the cleanest electricity going is nuclear power” and opposes raising taxes on U.S. oil production.

Giuliani is “taking California very seriously — he has been here a ton of times,” Kvamme said. “People are excited about his candidacy and I think he’s going to do extremely well in California.”

doerr.jpgIncidentally, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner John Doerr and his wife, environmental advocate Ann Doerr, today announced their support of Hillary Clinton, citing her “forward-looking agenda in energy, innovation, healthcare and the economy” and her “experience, judgment and leadership to strengthen America’s standing in the world.”

Just as Kvamme is a longtime GOP figure — high-tech advisory positions in the administrations of President George W. Bush and former Gov. Pete Wilson; a stint as chairman of a Bill Bennett-founded conservative think tank; giving, with his wife, at least $122,000 to Republican causes in the 2004 cycle, $252,000 in 2000 — the Doerrs were big-time Al Gore supporters in ’00 and gave $428,000 to Democratic causes in ’04. John Doerr had endorsed Joe Lieberman in 2003 but quickly fell in line behind John Kerry post-nomination in 2004.


Effort to put Gore on California ballot folds

al-gore.jpgOrganizers of California Draft Gore, a grassroots statewide campaign to put Al Gore’s name on the California presidential primary ballot, announced today that they’re shutting down.

“We have recently received a communication from a member of Al Gore’s staff discouraging any efforts to put Al Gore’s name on the primary ballot,” stated Roy Gayhart, organizer for the statewide campaign. “Accordingly, effectively immediately, we have ceased our signature collection and related fund raising activities.”

This is not the same as the national “Draft Gore” committee which held a fundraiser last month at Oakland’s Grand Lake Theater.

Draft Gore leader Monica Friedlander of Berkeley said the California Draft Gore group was gathering signatures to place Gore’s name on the ballot, while her group’s only goal is to influence his decision to get into the race. “We will continue to do that as long as we think theres a reasonable chance to accomplish that,” she told me today. “We have not received any communications indicating our efforts are anything but appreciated… and we have the freedom to continue as long as we think it can make a difference.”

Read more of California Draft Gore’s news release after the jump… Continue Reading


Draft Gore fundraiser tomorrow in Oakland

Some people just can’t seem to take “I don’t have plans to be a candidate again” for an answer.

Oakland’s Grand Lake Theater tomorrow (Thursday, Oct. 25) will screen Al Gore climate-change magnum opus “An Inconvenient Truth” all day long — that’s five screenings, at noon, 2:30, 5, 7:35 and 10 p.m. — with all proceeds going to benefit the national Draft Gore campaign. Draft Gore activist Monica Friedlander of Oakland — who founded and chaired the effort to pull Gore into the 2004 race, and who now is at it again — says the money probably will be used to produce a television ad; Draft Gore on Oct. 10 ran a full-page ad in the New York Times, which got lots of national media attention but didn’t manage to pull the former vice president and 2000 Democratic presidential nominee into the 2008 race.

Will a television ad work? As I’ve said before, the movie won an Oscar for best documentary; Gore’s Current TV won a Primetime Emmy for interactive technology; and he just shared this year’s Nobel Peace Prize — he seems too effective in his current role, and too smart, to squander all the goodwill he has built up by jumping into a presidential race $91 million and 30 percentage points behind the apparent frontrunner.

But hey, maybe it’ll be a VERY convincing ad.


McAuliffe: Why would Al Gore run?

Terry McAuliffe — Hillary Clinton’s national campaign chairman, in the Bay Area today to rally troops and speak at the Alameda County Democrats’ annual unity fundraising dinner — told me this morning he last saw newly minted Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore about a month ago.

“He’s doing great, he’s a world leader… He’s by far the prophet on this issue (of global warming),” McAuliffe said, gazing out at the sun-drenched, panoramic Bay view from the San Francisco Grand Hyatt’s 36th-floor restaurant. “How do you change that? You go run for president. Why would he risk it?”

That is, I asked, why would Gore go up against a guy he once called “the greatest fund-raiser in the history of the universe” — McAuliffe himself? “He wouldn’t,” McAuliffe chuckled.

Here’s the plain truth as I see it: if Gore got into the race tomorrow, he would have an Emmy, an Oscar, the Nobel Peace Prize and international goodwill under his belt, but he also would be about $90 million and at least 30 percentage points behind Clinton. And most Nobel Prize winners are smarter than that.

BTW, the Clinton campaign’s home page today spotlights a picture of Gore with the caption, “Congratulations to Al Gore for his well-deserved Nobel Peace Prize. His dedication and tireless work have been instrumental in raising international awareness about global warming.”


Gore awarded Nobel Prize while in Bay Area

Al Gore, along with the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, jointly won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize today for their efforts to spread awareness of global warming; coincidentally, he’s here in the Bay Area as the plaudits roll in.

Gore yesterday spoke at a San Francisco fundraiser for U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.; in a few minutes he’ll meet the press at the Palo Alto headquarters of the Alliance for Climate Protection, which he co-founded. Will he run for president, everyone breathlessly asks? My money is still on “No.”

Here’s what some notables have to say about Gore’s Nobel Prize:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco: “Al Gore sounded a clarion call that awakened the world to the very real threat of global warming. He has performed an invaluable service to humanity that is more than worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize.

“Through his ground-breaking film, ‘An Inconvenient Truth,’ his lectures, books, concerts, and many other activities, Al Gore has done more to educate the public on the dangers of climate change – and on the positive steps we can take to prevent it – than any other individual.

“Vice President Gore’s public advocacy and the scientific efforts of Dr. Rajenda Pachauri and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have opened the world’s eyes and removed any doubt that the climate crisis threatens our world and our children’s future.”

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.: “No one on Earth has done more to put climate change and global warming on the front burner of public policy in virtually every country than Al Gore.

“My husband and I saw him last evening, and he had no idea. So, it must be a wonderful surprise.

“An Oscar, an Emmy, and a Nobel Peace Prize, is an unprecedented combination in one year. So, congratulations, Al Gore.”

Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles: “I’m delighted about the award because it not only recognizes Al Gore’s visionary leadership on climate change, it also establishes the fact that climate change has broader implications beyond specific environmental threats. Awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Al Gore and the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reminds us all that global instability and insecurity will rise alongside the planet’s temperature. It’s very appropriate that the prize was announced while the Vice President was here in California, since California has been the proving ground that shows political leaders, the business community and environmental groups can all come together behind effective climate change solutions. For years Al Gore has issued a stirring challenge to the world. With our commitment to implementing AB 32, developing new alternative fuels and spurring a green economy for our state, California will continue to lead the response to that challenge.”


Global warming is HOT, HOT, HOT today in SF

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., today gave the keynote address at the Business Council for Sustainable Energy’s climate change conference in San Francisco. She called for a comprehensive legislative agenda to achieve major reductions in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, including increasing automobile fuel-economy standards; promoting development of a national cap-and-trade framework to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from major electricity and industrial sectors; and encouraging the use of low-carbon fuels.

Meanwhile, climate-change guru Al Gore will be in San Francisco this afternoon to speak at a fundraiser for U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.; musicians Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Browne also will be on hand for an acoustic performance. Gore had cancelled yesterday, but reversed that earlier today and is scheduled to attend — one day before this year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner is announced, with rampant speculation that it’ll be Al Gore himself.

Will he win? If so, will he run for president? My guesses: maybe, and no.

If you’re interested in DiFi’s remarks today, the prepared text is after the jump… Continue Reading