Candidates’ donors revealed

Daily Post Staff Writers

With 97 days to go until the Nov. 6 election, candidates in races on the mid-Peninsula have begun disclosing information on their donations. The first deadline in this campaign season to file the financial reports, known as Form 460, was yesterday (July 31) at midnight. While not all of the forms were available, the information available provides a glimpse of the funds being funneled to local candidates by supporters and interest groups.

Palo Alto City Council

Incumbent Palo Alto Councilman Cory Wolbach and newcomer Alison Cormack have been raking in contributions, with each raising over $35,000 — more than anyone else running for the three open seats on Palo Alto City Council.

Wolbach raised $37,467.38 through June 30, including $822.07 from himself, and Cormack raised $35,299.14, including $1,000 from herself.

Notable contributors to Wolbach’s campaign include former Planning Commissioner Eric Rosenblum ($1,000), Pacific Union International Realtor Amy Sung ($1,000), economist Stephen Levy ($1,000), Modern Homes real estate broker Monique Lombardelli ($2,500), Mountain View engineer Lauren Angelo ($1,037), Farmer’s Business Network corporate counsel Steven Lee ($1,000), Return to Corporation founder Drew Dennison ($1,000), IAS CEO Amy Rao ($1,000), the Patio sports bar manager Mark Kawkab ($2,500) and tech investor Jason Matlof ($1,080).

The contributions actually surpass Wolbach’s personal income from last year, according to a statement of economic interests that he filed on April 1.

Wolbach said that he made less than $10,000 in 2017, claiming income from just one consulting client, Kathryn Myronuk of Singularity University.

Cormack, the former president of the Palo Alto Library Foundation, has pulled in more than $6,000 in donations from Google employees, including research manager Daniel Russell ($1,000), business executive Sophie Bromberg ($1,000), Google Americas president Allan Thygesen ($1,000), technical program manager Jane Manning ($1,000), software engineer Pavan Kumar ($1,000) and computer scientist P. Pandurang Nayak ($1,670.60).

Other donors to Cormack’s campaign include Facebook software engineer Sriram Sankar ($1,000), Sonim Technologies lawyer Kristina Vetter ($1,000), Cornerstone Research consultant Kristin Feitzinger ($1,000), Bailard investment counselor Andrea Gandolfo ($1,000), Kaiser psychologist Uma Ratnam-Sankar ($1,000) and graphic designer Kristen Loew ($1,000).

The other two incumbent councilmen running have raised less than $400 each.

Incumbent Councilman Tom DuBois only reported two donations: $255 from former Planning Commission hopeful Christian Pease and $100 from Palo Altans for Sensible Zoning advocate Terry Holzemer.

Vice Mayor Eric Filseth reported a single $250 donation from Tregaron Capital Managing Director Matthew Collins.

Former TV reporter Pat Boone had not filed any campaign finance documents yesterday. His statement of economic interests reports that he makes less than $100,000 per year as a media consultant.

A sixth candidate, 44-year-old software engineer Cedric de la Beaujardiere, has also pulled papers, but told the Post yesterday that he hasn’t decided whether he’ll run.

Palo Alto school board

Not much has been raised in the Palo Alto school board race. School district critic Kathy Jordan and special ed advocate Stacey Ashlund said they hadn’t raised any funds.

Alex Scharf, a 21-year-old Paly graduate running for school board, hadn’t turned in 460 forms yesterday.

Palo Alto school board candidate Shounak Dharap, a 28-year-old litigator and Gunn High School graduate, said he had raised $2,689.26, including $667.03 from Pacific Biosciences marketing specialist Michelle Vierra, $500 from Adobe product management director Chanda Dharap and $250 from Equifax software engineer Spencer Morningstar.

Mountain View City Council

In Mountain View, incumbent Councilwoman Pat Showalter reported raising $6,795.64 while Planning Commissioner Lucas Ramirez has raised $24,627.45, including $528.46 of his own money. Former Mayor John Inks, Planning Commissioner Ellen Kamei and newcomer Alison Hicks hadn’t filed 460 forms yesterday.

Ramirez has received contributions from Microsoft engineer Max Beckman-Harned ($1,000), former Councilman Mike Kasperzak ($100), Google manager Deb Henigson ($1,000), Councilman Ken Rosenberg ($250), Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors President Joe Simitian ($250), political consultant Mary Hughes, Simitian’s wife ($250), Mountain View Whisman school board member Ellen Wheeler ($100), Mountain View Chamber of Commerce CEO Tony Siress ($500), Mountain View Rental Housing Committee member Emily Ramos ($500), Palo Alto Councilman Cory Wolbach ($200), Save the Bay organizer Mitchell Oster ($200) and the San Mateo County Democratic Central Committee ($250).

Showalter has received contributions from Santa Clara Valley Water District CEO Norma Camacho ($500), Menlo Park Councilwoman Kirsten Keith ($100), Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors President Joe Simitian ($150), Google manager Deb Henigson ($1,000) and China Silicon Valley Chairman Victor Wang ($100).

Los Altos City Council

Fundraising in the Los Altos council race hasn’t started. Only Mayor Jean Mordo and HP attorney Neysa Fligor had filed 460 forms yesterday, but neither reported contributions.

Menlo Park

So far, only Councilwoman Kirsten Keith and Sister City commissioner George Yang have turned in their 460s. Yang is running to represent the Belle Haven district while Keith is running to represent the Willows and Flood Triangle neighborhoods.

Yang has loaned $1,000 to his campaign and has gotten $50 from Los Altos Hills resident George Yang.

Keith has raised $19,267 so far. Her contributors include the Sobrato Organization ($950), developer John Tarlton ($950), the California Apartments Association ($500), Palo Alto Mayor Liz Kniss ($250), San Mateo County Supervisors David Canepa ($250) and Don Horsley ($200), Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian ($100), San Mateo County Harbor Commissioner Sabrina Brennan ($100), former Menlo Park City Manager Glen Rojas ($100), and MidPen Housing Vice President Jan Lindenthal ($100).

Financial forms for Cecilia Taylor, Ron Shepherd, Mike Dunn and Drew Combs had not been posted on the city’s website as of last night.

Redwood City

In the crowded race for three seats on council, only Complete Streets Commissioner Jason Galisatus and Planning Commissioner Ernie Schmidt have not yet filed form 460s with City Clerk Pam Aguilar.

Planning Commissioner Giselle Hale has raised nearly double the amount of the next highest fundraiser so far — renters advocate Diana Reddy.

Hale has raised $48,946. Her contributors include: former assemblywoman Sally Lieber ($200), Box vice president of software engineering Matthew Self ($250), Facebook Vice President David Fischer ($2,000), Councilwoman Shelly Masur ($100), Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian ($250), Sequoia Union High School District trustee Georgia Jack ($100), Menlo Park Councilwoman Kirsten Keith ($250), Facebook employee Alexander Schultz ($2,000), Belmont council members Charles Stone ($250) and Julia Mates ($250), Facebook Vice President David Marcus ($2,000), County Supervisor Don Horsley ($200), Councilman John Seybert ($500), Sheriff Carlos Bolanos ($500), Redwood City Forward member Adrian Brandt ($250), and $1,000 each from Fox Theater operators Eric and Lori Lochtefeld.

Diana Reddy has raised $28,715. Her contributors include: retired resident Julie Pardini ($3,970), rent control advocate Cynthia Cornell ($547), San Mateo Mayor Rick Bonilla ($200), council candidate Christina Umhofer ($100), resident Ron Bongio ($2,000), Community Legal Services for East Palo Alto attorney Dan Saver ($100), Executive Director of First Church of Redwood City Katherine Fosgett ($1,000), Pacifica Mayor John Keener ($100), council watchdog Kris Johnson ($250) and San Mateo planning commissioner and MidPeninsula Regional Open Space District employee Joshua Hugg ($250).

Former Planning Commissioner Rick Hunter has raised $10,677 so far, including giving his campaign $250. His contributors include: Redwood City Councilwoman Janet Borgens ($100), retired resident Julie Pardini ($1,000), Redwood City School District trustee Dennis McBride ($150), Stanford employee Kenneth Merritt ($100), CEO of SpeedInfo Katharine Finlay ($1,000), physician Martin Yee ($500), Sequoia Union High School District trustee Carrie DuBois ($100), Sequoia Union High School District trustee Georgia Jack ($100), Redwood City School District Superintendent John Baker ($200), retired educator Margaret Marshall ($500), Sequoia Union High School District trustee Chris Thompsen ($100), Planning Commissioner Ernie Schmidt ($250), Kris Johnson ($250), Planning Commissioner Kevin Bondonno ($100) and council candidate Christina Umhofer ($100).

Umhofer has raised $10,594 so far. Her contributors include: resident Lonny Pini ($650), Planning Commissioner Ernie Schmidt ($250), retired resident Julie Pardini ($2,000), attorney Bret DiMarco ($2,500), council critic Kris Johnson ($250) and council candidate Diana Reddy ($100).

Incumbent Diane Howard so far has raised the least amount of money of the candidates who have turned in their financial disclosure forms — having raised $4,165. Her contributors include: WL Butler ($399), Supervisor Don Horsley ($250), CFO of WL Butler Gina Henson ($399) and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo ($250).

San Carlos

So far, three of the four candidates who have pulled papers to run for council have filed form 460s — Adam Rak, Laura Parmer-Lohan and Sara McDowell. Potential candidate John McDowell had not filed a 460 as of yesterday. All three candidates have raised about $10,000, with Parmer-Lohan raising the most at $17,015.

Parmer-Lohan has put in $2,263 of her own money into her campaign. Other contributors include: San Carlos Councilman Mark Olbert ($1,000), Sheriff Carlos Bolanos ($100), Belmont Councilman Charles Stone ($100), Sequoia School District trustee Carrie DuBois ($150), retired consultant Mike Aydelott ($500), San Carlos Resident Laura Gottsman ($500), county Democratic Party member Lauren Pachkowski ($1,000) and lawyer Catherine Nielsen ($500).

Sara McDowell has raised $16,580 so far, and has contributed $2,010 to her campaign. Her contributors include: Councilman Mark Olbert ($1,000), Aspire Charter Schools Administrator Beth Hunkapiller ($1,000), Jackie King ($1,000), Vice President of Leah McMurty ($500), accountant Wendy Bastis ($500), resident Laura Gottsman ($500) and Councilman Ron Collins ($100).
Adam Rak has raised $13,281.37 so far, with $1,500 coming from his own pocket. His contributors include: Retired resident Catherine Wormington ($1,000), IBM Vice President Christopher Rimer ($1,000), former San Carlos Mayor Andy Klein ($300), Councilman Mark Olbert ($1,000), Realtor Bob Bredel ($1,000) and former District Attorney Jim Fox ($100).


With three council seats up for grabs, only three people have pulled papers to run — incumbents Charles Stone and Warren Lieberman and appointed councilwoman Julia Mates, who replaced the late Eric Reed.

So far, only Mates and Stone have raised any money. Mates has raised $14,708.90. Contributors include Redwood City Council Candidate Giselle Hale ($250), County Controller Juan Raigoza ($150), Belmont Planning Commissioner Thomas McCune ($100), former state assemblywoman Sally Lieber ($100), Planning Commissioner Kathryn Meola ($100), Sheriff Carlos Bolanos ($100), Redwood City Councilwoman Shelly Masur ($200), Housing Leadership Council organizer Leora Ross ($100) and incumbent Charles Stone ($250).

Stone, who is seeking his second term on council, has raised $26,090. He’s received contributions from Belmont-Redwood Shores School District trustee Huan Phan ($250), San Carlos Council Candidate Laura Parmer-Lohan ($100), former councilman Eric Reed’s wife Laura Reed ($100), Palo Alto Councilman Cory Wolbach ($250), SamTrans Chief Communications Officer Seamus Murphy ($100), Assemblyman Marc Berman ($150), SAMCEDA Chief Executive Rosanne Foust ($250), and David Burruto ($100).

East Palo Alto

Deputy City Clerk Maria Buell said that any financial forms turned into her office will be available on the city’s website today. It appears that challengers Patricia Lopez and Regina Wallace-Jones have created finance committees for their campaigns. So has incumbent Donna Rutherford.


Incumbents Mike Lempres, Bill Widmer and Rick DeGolia have not opened campaign accounts yet, according to City Clerk Theresa Della Santa. As a result, no one has filed their 460s. Potential challenger Jeanne Jensen told Della Santa on Monday that she will not be running for council.

1 Comment

  1. As far as Redwood City is concerned, looks like Julie Pardini is outspending even the next largest donor by an order of magnitude. Hmm…

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