The first two weeks of October saw political contributions skyrocket for citywide ballot measures and slow down for City Council candidates, according to campaign contribution and expense reports released this week.
Berkeley’s power brokers went to bat for a campaign fund to back tax increases on utility bills and property sales. The Committee to Support Measures J and K raised $19,874 between Oct. 1 and 16, more than any other campaign. In all, the campaign has raised $35,785 and has $19,143 left to spend before the election.
Enriching the coffers to support the two tax measures were Mayor Tom Bates who donated $250, SEIU Local 790 gave $15,000, developers Ali Kashani gave $250 and Panoramic Management LLC contributed $1000, contractor Oliver and Company gave $1000, Planning Commissioner David Stoloff gave $250, Deputy City Manager Lisa Caronna gave $500, Assistant City Manager Arrietta Chakos gave $250, and Carol Kamlarz, wife of City Manager Phil Kamlarz, donated $250.
Berkeley election law allows contributors to make unlimited contributions for ballot measures but limits contributions to individual candidates to $250.
Raising money is usually a prerequisite for winning elections in Berkeley. Last election the most well-heeled candidate won every city race.
The most evenly matched fundraising contest is over Measure Q, a largely symbolic proposal that would make prostitution the city’s lowest police priority.
Proponents of the measure raised $3,736 during the filing period to bring the total amount raised to $7,865. Their opponents, consisting mainly of business owners along San Pablo Avenue, where prostitution is most prevalent in the city, raised $5,555 bringing the total to $5,955.
Supporters of a proposed library tax raised $15,500, bringing its grand total to $45,991. Nearly all of the money raised has come from unions and pro-library civic organizations.
Advocates for a measure that would liberalize the city’s marijuana laws raised $15,140 in October, $9,000 of which came from two different marijuana collectives, the Patients Care Collective and Berkeley Patients Group.
The fundraising battles in the four city council races remain lopsided with contributions in the first half of October. In District 3, Max Anderson, the chairman of the Rent Stabilization Board, reported raising $2,646, bringing his total to just over $13,000, quadruple the amount reported by his two closest challengers, community activist Laura Menard and Councilmember Maudelle Shirek. Neither Menard nor Shirek filed contributions and expense statements for the current filing period.
Laurie Capitelli raised $2,450 to bring his total contributions to $27,498 in his bid to succeed Miriam Hawley in District 5. Among his two opponents, Jesse Townley raised $3,745 during the filing period for a total $15,487 and Barbara Gilbert raised $2,098 for a total $11,797.
In District 6, incumbent Betty Olds raised $4,464 for a total of $18,464, while her lone opponent, Waterfront Commissioner Norine Smith, didn’t raise any money. Her campaign is in debt because of a credit card payment.
In District 2, Darryl Moore raised $3,227 for a total of $12,117. His opponent Sharon Kidd has raised $957 and given herself a $2,500 loan.