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Gebhardt’s not the fundraising king after all

Today’s story about local school board candidates raising money for their campaigns named Fremont’s Bryan Gebhardt as the top fundraiser, having amassed $34,296.

Well, he may be the biggest fundraiser among school board candidates in the Tri-City area, but he’s no match for the politicians in the West Contra Costa school district.

There, incumbent Karen Pfeifer has raised nearly $100K (about what the five candidates in Fremont have raised collectively), and Robert Studdiford has collected about $42K.

According to my colleague at the CCT, the West Contra Costa school district is in the midst of a $1 billion bond program, with most schools being rebuilt. The architects, vendors and unions working on these projects are giving tens of thousands of dollars to their preferred candidates, and the amount of their contributions have grown the past two years. In ’06, one candidate raised about $135K and another collected about $80K.

Just so you know, the amount of money school board candidates in West Contra Costa County are raising is not the norm. In an informal survey of ed reporters in our chain, it appears most school board candidates in the area have raised $25K or less. (Note: In the Mt. Diablo district, the teachers union apparently has spent about $50K to promote the candidates they’re supporting, but that money was not given directly to the candidates.)

Linh Tat

  • http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Castro_Park_Neighbors/message/1243 Linda Lozito

    NO they are NOT fixing MOST of the schools in WCCUSD. WCCUSD identified 5 schools with a high risk of collapsing in 1999 and 2 of those schools, Adams and Portola Middle schools have NOT been fixed. In 2002 DASSE Design completed structural reports identifying by seismic priority 6 schools to be fixed and the same 2 schools were on this list. The school board, funded by “construction interests“ has NOT fixed TWO 3-story nonductile (no shear-wall) CONCRETE middle schools with a high probability of collapsing. They have fixed about 20 schools. In August 2006 at the WCCUSD Facilities Subcommittee discussed the earthquake danger at Portola Middle School and recognized the likelihood that children would die in the facilities under current conditions if an earthquake strikes. It seems Karen then directed the Superintendent to send a letter to the Portola area saying the school was safe based on the Field Act (of 1933)
    ___
    SEISMIC Article with info on THE FIELD ACT of 1933
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/08/24/MNKM12G5I3.DTL&h
    EXCERPT: …An example is nonductile concrete buildings constructed prior to major code revisions in the mid-1970s. Although they complied with codes when they were built, many do not have enough steel in their columns and beams to allow them to bend and twist in earthquakes. Instead, their supports can crumble and even explode under too much pressure. …

    ______________________________________________
    WCCUSD CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS for period 5/1/08 to 9/30/08:
    ______________________________________________
    ANTONIO MEDRANO
    Amount from Architects -0-
    Amount from Construction Managers -0-
    Amount from Unions $1,500
    Amount from Public Relation Firm -0-
    Amount from Security Firms -0-

    Amount Construction Interests -0-
    Amount from Individuals $5,635

    Amount raised within WCCUSD $6,385
    Amount Raised outside WCCUSD $750

    TOTAL CONTRIBUTIONS $7,135
    ________________________________________________
    KAREN PFEIFER
    Amount from Architects $28,500
    Amount from Construction Managers $35,500
    Amount from Unions $29,000
    Amount from Public Relation Firm $100
    Amount from Security Firms $1,000

    Amount Construction Interests $94,100
    Amount from Individuals $1,000

    Amount raised within WCCUSD $12,600
    Amount Raised outside WCCUSD $82,500

    TOTAL CONTRIBUTIONS $95,100
    ________________________________________________
    ROBERT STUDDIFORD
    Amount from Architects $14,000
    Amount from Construction Managers $9,500
    Amount from Unions $8,250
    Amount from Public Relation Firm -0-
    Amount from Security Firms -0-

    Amount Construction Interests $31,750
    Amount from Individuals $1,845

    Amount raised within WCCUSD $3,345
    Amount Raised outside WCCUSD $30,250

    TOTAL CONTRIBUTIONS $33,595
    ________________________________________________
    TONY THURMOND
    Amount from Architects -0-
    Amount from Construction Managers -0-
    Amount from Unions $1,500
    Amount from Public Relation Firm -0-
    Amount from Security Firms -0-

    Amount Construction Interests -0-
    Amount from Individuals $1,970

    Amount raised within WCCUSD $2,970
    Amount Raised outside WCCUSD $500

    TOTAL CONTRIBUTIONS $3,470
    ________________________________________________

    —WCCUSD Mom