Sunday, May 3, 2015

Problem with the governor? Maybe UC is not doing its be(he)st

From the Contra Costa Times:

Just because Gov. Jerry Brown has already run his last election campaign doesn't mean wealthy contributors can no longer find a way to his heart. In this year's first three months, donors directed by the governor gave more than $2.73 million in tax-deductible contributions to two charter schools Brown helped launch as Oakland's mayor. That's almost as much as in all of 2014, when Brown vetoed a bill that would have made modest reforms to these "behested payments," so called because they are given at the behest of an elected official. If Brown, a master of the practice, keeps up this pace, he could triple his payments from 2008, his most lucrative year. Top donors include a tribal casino; the controversial CEO of a company that owns 17 California hospitals; the state's biggest car insurer and its biggest wine exporter; one of the nation's biggest general contractors; and the nation's biggest biotech company -- all with vested interests in how Sacramento sets policy. Of the 14 top behested donors this year, at least eight gave money to Brown's 2014 re-election campaign. The crush of contributions comes as Brown no longer needs campaign donations: Term limits prevent him from running for governor in 2016, and he still has about $19.6 million left over from last year's re-election campaign. The governor doesn't personally benefit from these payments, but he clearly appreciates them -- and it's that gubernatorial goodwill that wealthy special interests want...

Brown's largest behested payments so far in 2015:
  • Maurice Kanbar (real estate, Skyy vodka creator, inventor), San Francisco -- $1 million
  • San Pablo Lytton Casino, San Pablo -- $100,000
  • Dr. Prem Reddy (chairman and CEO of Prime Healthcare Services), Victorville -- $100,000
  • Mercury Insurance, Los Angeles -- $99,520
  • Health Net of California, Rancho Cordova -- $75,000
  • E&J Gallo Winery, Modesto -- $50,000
  • Tutor Perini (construction), Sylmar -- $50,000
  • Chartwell Charitable Foundation (former Univision Chairman/CEO Jerrold Perenchio), Los Angeles -- $50,000
  • Schwab Charitable Fund (for Gap cofounder Doris Fisher), San Francisco -- $50,000
  • Gilead Sciences (biotech), Foster City -- $50,000
  • California Association of Realtors PAC -- $50,000
  • Catalina Media Development II (developer of Burbank Studios, former NBC/Universal lot), Santa Monica -- $50,000
  • Action Council of Monterey County, Salinas -- $50,000
  • AT&T, Sacramento -- $50,000
Full story at

There's the principle of the thing (and the interest it creates):

No comments: