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Lots of upcoming GOP fundraisers in Bay Area

A slew of Republican fundraising events are scheduled all over the Bay Area in coming weeks.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, April 30, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will headline a fundraiser for Long Beach mayoral candidate Damon Dunn, the NFL-player-turned-businessman who was the 2010 Republican nominee for secretary of state. Tickets to the 6 p.m. reception at Sharon Heights Country Club in Menlo Park start at $250 each.

Next Tuesday, May 7, John Herrington – U.S. Secretary of Energy during the Reagan administration and a former state GOP chairman – and Contra Costa Republican Party Chairwoman Becky Kolberg will co-host a reception honoring California Republican Party Chairman Jim Brulte. Tickets for the 5:30-to-7:30 p.m. event at Vic Stewart’s, 850 S. Broadway in Walnut Creek, cost $25 each and are available online.

Brulte has more Bay Area appearances coming in May.

Jim BrulteOn Friday, May 10, Brulte will keynote the San Mateo County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner, joined also by Ruben Barrales of Grow Elect – a GOP Latino outreach entity. Singer Diana Nagy will provide musical entertainment for the 7-to-9 p.m. event at the Elks Lodge, 229 W. 20th Ave. in San Mateo. Tickets for the dinner cost $49, or $250 with a VIP reception, and are available online; sponsorships range from $1,000 to $5,000.

On Wednesday, May 15, Brulte and Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway, R-Visalia, will headline the Santa Clara County Republican Party’s Lincoln Reception at Lexus of Stevens Creek, 3333 Stevens Creek Blvd. in Santa Clara; other special guests include former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldanado, former Rep. Ernie Konnyu, former Assemblyman Jim Cunneen and various county and local officials. Tickets to the 6 p.m. VIP reception cost $250, while tickets to the 7 p.m. general reception cost $45; all are available online. Sponorships cost from $1,000 to $10,000.

And on Thursday, May, 16, Brulte and California Republican Party Vice Chair Harmeet Dhillion will be at the Alameda County Republican Party’s leadership dinner, also joined by Barrales and honorary co-host Pleasanton Mayor Jerry Thorne. The event will be at the Pleasanton Marriott Hotel, 11950 Dublin Canyon Road; tickets including admission to a 6 p.m. VIP reception cost $150 while the 7 p.m. dinner by itself is $60, and all are available online.

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Damon Dunn named Hoover Institution fellow

Damon DunnDamon Dunn, the pro football player turned businessman who was last year’s Republican nominee for secretary of state, has been named a visiting fellow in the Hoover Institution, the internationally renowned think tank at Stanford University.

Dunn, 34, of Irvine, will hold an appointment through Aug. 31, 2012. Hoover Institution fellows take part in “assembling and disseminating ideas directed at positive policy formation in economic, political, and social changes in societies, at home and abroad,” Dunn’s news release said; a Hoover Institution spokesperson confirmed his appointment.

“I am proud and honored to be named a visiting fellow in the Hoover Institution at Stanford,” Dunn said in his release. “I look forward to working with pre-eminent leaders in public policy as we help the Golden State regain some of its luster.”

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Dunn leads Bowen in fundraising for Sec’y of State

Campaign finance reports are due today, and incumbent Secretary of State Debra Bowen filed her report saying she raised more than $60,000 and spent more than $12,600 from May 23 through June 30, leaving her with more than $113,000 cash on hand at mid-year. She’s lagging behind Republican nominee for Secretary of State Damon Dunn, a former NFL player turned businessman, who reported raising more than $126,500 and spending more than $81,000 during this period, leaving him with cash on hand of almost $176,600.

In other statewide races, state Treasurer Bill Lockyer’s re-election committee reported having a mammoth $8.52 million cash on hand as of June 30, even after having spent more than a million in the first half of this year (including almost $258,000 from May 23 through June 30); that spending includes the more than $676,000 his committee has given to his wife’s campaign as she seeks a seat on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. Meanwhile, Republican nominee for state Treasurer Mimi Walters, the state Senator from Laguna Niguel, reported raising $36,455 and spending $26,505.42 from May 23 through June 30, leaving her with cash on hand of almost $350,000.

Incumbent state Controller John Chiang’s re-election campaign reported raising $125,000 and spending more than $31,000 from May 23 to June 30, leaving almost $1.28 million cash on hand at midyear. Republican state Controller nominee Tony Strickland, the state Senator from Moorpark, reported raising $173,000 and spending almost $38,000 during this period, leaving him with almost $309,000 cash on hand as of June 30.

Still awaiting full readouts on the races for attorney general, lieutenant governor and insurance commissioner…

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NY Giants coach backs Dunn

Damon Dunn

Damon Dunn

New York Giants head football coach Tom Coughlin is endorsing GOP Secretary of State candidate and former NFL player Damon Dunn.

The announcement comes on the heels of news that football icon Ronnie Lott has also thrown his name behind Dunn’s candidacy.

“Damon was a joy to coach — always had a great attitude, an abundance of enthusiasm, and incredible energy for everything,” Coughlin said in an email. “He is very smart and was always like a sponge in terms of learning. Damon was very involved with community service –- constantly volunteering and never had to be pushed –- he had a true sense of wanting to give back and once he started something, he always finished the task.”

No offense to Coughlin. I’m sure he is fine fellow. I confess, I am not a football fan. I had to Google his name, where I found glowing reviews about his character and leadership.

But do California voters care which candidate a New York football coach has endorsed? After all, Dunn had a brief and undistinguished NFL career.

Dunn says Caughlin’s support, along with that of Lott’s and others, is an indication of his leadership skills.

“These men and women are leading in the real world, not influenced by quid pro quo, and see leadership qualities in me,” Dunn wrote. “The gridlock in Sacramento will not be mitigated by public policy wonks or some new innovative idea.  It will be mitigated by applying leadership.  We need strong leaders in Sacramento in every elected position.”

Dunn is running against Democratic incumbent Secretary of State Debra Bowen.

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Upcoming political events: Pelosi, Newsom, Dunn

Nancy Pelosi Fresh from her win on health-care reform, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, will address the Commonwealth Club of California at noon on Tuesday, April 6 in the Peacock Court of the Mark Hopkins Intercontinental Hotel, at 1 Nob Hill in San Francisco. She’s expected to explain the financial ramifications of the new law and describe how it will affect the future of American health care. Tickets are available online at a cost of $20 for club members, $35 for non-members and $7 for students with valid ID, or for premium seating in the first few rows, $45 for members and $65 for non-members.

San Francisco Mayor and Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor Gavin Newsom will chat with Commonwealth Club of California President & CEO Gloria Duffy at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 7 in the club’s offices on the second floor of 595 Market St. in San Francisco. Tickets are available online at a cost of $15 for club members and $25 for non-members, or for premium seating in the first few rows, $30 for members and $45 for non-members. Newsom today announced his endorsement by the California Teachers Association; on Friday he’d announced endorsements from Bay Area Assemblymembers Mary Hayashi, Jerry Hill, Jared Huffman, Ira Ruskin and Sandré Swanson.

Arthur RosenfeldRenowned physicist and energy efficiency expert Arthur Rosenfeld will speak on efficiency and conservation at the Lamorinda Democratic Club’s meeting on at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 8, in the Orinda Community Church, 10 Irwin Way. Rosenfeld began his physics career at Cal and the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in the 1950s and chose to focus on energy conservation after the 1973 Arab oil embargo. In 1975 he founded the Center for Building Science for development of energy-efficiency standards and technologies; from 1994 to 1999 he served as Senior Adviser for the U. S. Department of Energy’s Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; and now, after 10 years on the California Energy Commission, he’s returning to the Berkeley Lab to continue working on energy efficiency projects. “The Rosenfeld” was recently proposed as the name for “electricity savings of 3 billion kilowatt-hours per year,” the amount needed to replace the annual generation of a 500-megawatt coal-fired power plant. Tickets to this event cost $5 per person but are free for students with valid ID.

Damon DunnThe Alameda County Republican Party will host a tribute to Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president, with GOP Secretary of State candidate Damon Dunn as the guest of honor from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 8, at a home in Piedmont; tickets cost $50, and reservations and directions are available by calling 510-665-7886. All Republican candidates for governor, state and local offices have been invited; California Republican Party Vice Chairman Tom Del Beccaro and Bay Area Regional Vice Chairman Morgan Kelley will attend.

(UPDATE @ 4:13 P.M. TUESDAY: The Alameda County GOP’s Jeff Wald tells me tickets for the event with Dunn are available online.)

The Northern California American Political Items Collectors show returns to Berkeley from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 10 in the Finnish Brotherhood Hall at 1970 Chestnut St. Thousands of new and vintage political buttons, posters and ephemera will be on sale from a variety of dealers; free appraisals are available. Admission costs $3, but is free for children or students with valid ID.

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Political events round-up

Check out the following upcoming political events in Contra Costa County:

Danville

Dunn

Dunn

GOP Secretary of State candidate and former NFL player Damon Dunn is the featured speaker at the March 10 evening meeting of the Blackhawk Republican Women.

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Blackhawk Country Club, 599 Blackhawk Club Drive in Danville. The cost is $25 per person.

For reservations, call 925-820-6452 or e-mail rlyons1009@sbcglobal.net.

Orinda

Veteran author and journalist Peter Schrag will speak on California’s fiscal crisis at the March 11 meeting of the Lamorinda Democratic Club.

Schrag, a former Sacramento Bee editorial page editor who has written several authoritative books on California public policy, will speak on his 10-step solution for fixing California’s fiscal crisis while protecting the state’s education system and social safety net,

Shrag’s most recent book, “California: America’s High-Stakes Experiment,” was published by the University of California Press in April 2006. His “Not Fit for Our Society,” a history of immigration restriction movements and ideology in the United States is scheduled for publication in the spring

The club’s social hour begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by its business meeting at 7:30 p.m. and its speaker at 8 p.m. It meets at the Orinda Community Church, 10 Irwin Way in Orinda. Entry is $5 per person and students are free.

For more details, call 925-567-3367 or visit www.lamorindemoclub.org.

Walnut Creek

DeSaulnier

DeSaulnier

A free public workshop on ways to save money on telephone and energy bills will be held on March 12.

The event is sponsored by state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, and the California Public Utilities Commission.

Speakers will discuss state and federally mandated programs, energy efficiency and conservation programs, bill payment assistance plans and how to empower consumers against scams and fraud.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at Heather Farms Community Center, 301 North San Carlos Drive in Walnut Creek.

For more information on the utilities commission, visit www.cpuc.ca.gov.

Clayton

Businessman and 7th Congressional District GOP candidate Roger Peterson is the featured speaker at the March 17 luncheon meeting of the Ygnacio Valley Republican Women Federated.

Also on the agenda is Chase Cabot, who present his essay on the Transcontinental Railroad that has won for him a chapter and district award from the Daughters of the American Revolution Chapter.

The luncheon begins at 10:15 a.m. at the Oakhurst Country Club. 1001 Peacock Creek Road in Clayton.

The cost is $22 a person. For reservations, contact Barbara Allen at 925-672-5061 or e-mail jngcabot@pacbell.net

Pleasant Hill

Bonilla

Bonilla

Contra Costa County Supervisor Susan Bonilla will host a budget town meeting on March 25.

The public is invited to voice their concerns and ask questions of a variety of county department managers, including County Administrator David Twa, Health Department Director and Dr. William Walker, Sheriff Warren Rupf, District Attorney Bob Kochly and Interim Contra Costa Fire Chief John Ross.

The town hall will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. at 500 Ellinwood Way in Pleasant Hill.

For more information, contact Bonilla’s Concord office at 925-521-7100.