In a city where candidates for elected office are quick to highlight their hometown roots – or that of their forebears, and their forebears – the rumor mill and letters-to-the editor are percolating with talk of campaign funding from interests outside of Alameda. Alameda City Council Candidate Rob Bonta is currently the leader in campaign funds raised this year, with over $34,000 in contributions so far this year. Here’s a closer look at his sources of funding.
So far this year, Mr. Bonta, a Deputy City Attorney with the City of San Francisco, has raised $1,351 from three attorneys at San Francisco law firm Keker and Van Nest; Keker and Van Nest is the firm that Alameda City Councilmember Lena Tam retained to defend her against allegations of municipal malfeasance. Another attorney, with San Francisco-based Durie Tangri, LLP contributed $1,000.
An employee of philanthropic organization My New Red Shoes, based in Hillsborough, CA contributed $2,500 to Bonta’s campaign in May, and Jerry Meyer, an artist in Guilford, Connecticut, also contributed $2,500 in April. An executive in Los Angeles at Fox Broadcasting, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, gave $250.
Of the $33,671.82 that Bonta reported on his most recent semi-annual campaign filings, $4,405, or 13% was reported as coming from contributors with an Alameda address. (This figure excludes a $1,000 contribution from Cynthia Bonta, and $4,312.82 from the Friends of Rob Bonta PAC, FPPC #1308532. The only online filings for “Friends of Rob Bonta” that Action Alameda News could find did not indicate the source of the contributions for this $4,312.82.)
Given that Bonta is a Deputy City Attorney in a major west-coast city such as San Francisco, it stands to reason that his reach would extend far beyond Alameda. However, in a town where people joke about families that have been in Alameda “since the earth cooled,” Bonta’s campaign contributions are sure to keep tongues wagging right up to the election date.