Unions favor Kamei, Showalter, Siegel while Inks gets developer money

Daily Post Staff Writer

None of the five candidates for Mountain View City Council have raised more than $30,000 in contributions, although donations from real estate developers, unions and other local donors have continued to trickle in.

Labor unions have recently favored Planning Commissioner Ellen Kamei, Councilwoman Pat Showalter and Mayor Lenny Siegel.

Developers have given some money to Kamei and Showalter, but largely poured cash into former Mayor John Inks’ campaign. Inks is the race’s political outlier in that he’s a Libertarian and opposed Measure V, Mountain View’s two-year-old rent control program.

San Francisco-based real estate investor John Zappettini has doled out $250 checks to Kamei, Inks, Showalter and Siegel, but Siegel returned the check and hasn’t received contributions from any other developers.

Inks leads in fundraising with $29,005 while Kamei is in second with $26,538. Close behind her is Lucas Ramirez at $26,269. Incumbent Showalter is in fourth with $21,559. Incumbent Siegel is fifth with $14,665 and Alison Hicks is last with $11,462.

Kamei, who has raised $26,538, has gotten donations from the Northern California Carpenters Regional Council ($600), Silicon Valley Japan Platform Executive Director Kenta Takamori ($500), the California Real Estate Political Action Committee ($500), San Francisco-based real estate investor John Zappettini ($250), SRA Real Estate Partners Senior Vice President Stephen Gazzera ($200), Lex Machina chairman Josh Becker ($175), Alaska Airlines Vice President Annabel Chang ($150), Sares Regis Group project manager Jonathan Wright ($100), Paul Hastings attorney Sarah Besnoff ($100), Santa Cruz state Assemblyman Mark Stone staffer Craig Scholer ($100) and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich Rosati partner Maura Rees ($100).

Inks has raised $29,005, including Palo Alto-based real estate investor Tod Spieker ($2,000), Los Altos-based apartment management company Mitra Oaks ($1,250), the California Real Estate Political Action Committee ($1,000), the California Apartment Association ($999), Los Altos-based Monte Sierra Apartments ($500), San Francisco-based real estate investor John Zappettini ($250), the Mountain View-based Robert Chang Insurance Agency ($100), Mountain View retiree Rich Acuff ($100), Saratoga property manager Ken Weng ($100) and Santa Clara County Superior Court probate referee Ted Faravelli ($100). Inks has loaned $4,000 to his own campaign.

Planning Commissioner Lucas Ramirez has raised $26,269 and has not disclosed new campaign contributions since late September. In July, he said he would adhere to the city’s $25,539 voluntary expenditure limit, which doesn’t
include filing fees.

He has received campaign contributions from De Anza College instructor Anna Miller ($500), Google software engineer Samuel Laane ($250), former California High Speed Rail Authority chair Rod Diridon Sr. ($200), Mountain View retiree Karen Fox ($200), Santa Clara Valley Water District board member Gary Kremen ($101), Menlo Park Councilwoman Kirsten Keith ($100) and state Sen. Jerry Hill ($100).

Showalter has raised $21,559, with contributions from the Santa Clara and San Benito Counties Building and Construction Trades Council ($500), Denver retiree Janet Hayes ($500), San Francisco-based real estate investor John Zappettini ($250), Santa Cruz retiree Allison Russell ($150), Santa Cruz retiree Walter Wadlow ($150), Zanghi Torres Arshawsky attorney Julia Adams ($150), Palo Alto retiree John Sanchez ($100), Lex Machina Chairman Josh Becker ($100), Peninsula Open Space Trust Executive Curt Riffle ($100), Chesapeake Technology software engineer Steve Cutcomb ($100) and Mountain View retiree Suzanne Freeland ($100).

Siegel has raised $14,665, with contributions from the Sprinkler Fitters and Apprentices Local 483 ($1,000), the Northern California Carpenters Regional Council ($700), the Santa Clara and San Benito Counties Building and Construction Trades Council ($500), Mountain View retiree Martin Gorfinkel ($300), Stanford professor Bernard Roth ($300), retired computer scientist Michael Van deVanter ($300), Mountain View retiree Helen Landsman ($225), Google technical writer Bee Hanson ($202.89), Service Employees International Union-United Service Workers West ($200), Las Vegas psychologist Roberta Osgood ($200), Palo Alto Medical Foundation physician Roy Hong ($200), Mountain View retiree Jane Horton ($200), Google software engineer Pardis Beikzadeh ($200), Microfocus software engineer Serge Bonte ($200), the California League of Conservation Voters ($100), Oracle software engineer Stephen
Chessin ($100), Chesapeake Technology software engineer Steven Cutcomb ($100), Juniper Networks information development manager Vincent Leone ($100), Mountain View retiree Joan MacDonald ($100) and Mountain View attorney Carol Rhoads and consultant Keating Rhoads ($100).

Livable Mountain View cofounder Alison Hicks has raised $11,462, with contributions from Mountain View architect Joyce Yin ($1,588.10), Apple software engineer Edward Falk ($500), privacy consultant Mary Hodder ($500), retired mechanical engineer David Lewis ($223.51), Walnut Creek retirees William and Joy Hicks ($200), Mountain View resident Albert Jeans ($198.99), Intel software engineer Robert Cox ($150), Mountain View retiree Laszlo Papp ($100). Hicks has loaned $1,000 to her own campaign.


  1. Its clear that John Inks is the only candidate w experience to solve the current problems facing the city of Mountain View. None of the incumbents have shown the maturity to solve problems they created. None of the other candidates are mature enough to solve them. Except for Inks, the other choices are not acceptable

  2. There are 6 candidates for three seats. Conventional wisdom has the incumbents (Siegel and Showalter) winning 2 seats. In the last 4 years, homeowners have profitted from higher housing prices and for 2 years, many renters have been saved by rent control. The third seat would not go to a Libertarian running against a Democrat – but Inks is running for that 3rd spot against 3 Democrats. Plus he spent 8 of the last 10 years on the City Council and is now being bankrolled by developers and landlords. So, I see Inks getting back on the City Council. And the good news about that will be that Inks may raise important issues – such as endlessly escalating pay and benefits (including pensions) in the public sector. Other candidates have nothing to say about pay and benefits. Indeed, some of them are endorsed by public employee unions.

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