ELECTION 2014: Oddie, Gilmore appear to lead fundraising race

ELECTION 2014: Oddie, Gilmore appear to lead fundraising race

Michele Ellson

Mayor Marie Gilmore has out-fundraised challenger Trish Spencer by a five-to-one margin, just-released campaign finance disclosures show, though City Council candidate Jim Oddie appears to have raised more money than any city candidate so far.

Oddie has raised $34,294.31 so far this year, campaign finance disclosures filed Monday show – about 20 percent of it from labor unions. Former Councilman Frank Matarrese, who’s running to return to the dais, took in $10,472.06 – all of it from Alameda residents.

Gilmore has raised $28,195.25 so far this year, form a list of donors that includes Alameda residents and business owners, local nonprofit directors and labor unions. Spencer has raised $5,594.99 toward her mayoral run, an amount that includes $2,125 in loans she has made to her campaign.

The information is listed on campaign donor disclosure forms candidates were required to file by Monday. The forms detail contributions and spending between July 1 and September 30, and list the amounts candidates have taken in and spent so far this year.

Incumbent City Councilman Stewart Chen hadn’t filed disclosure forms by Monday’s due date, and they had not yet been filed when a reporter requested them Tuesday. Candidates who fail to file their donor disclosure forms when they are due incur a penalty of $10 for each day they are late.

Forms Chen filed for donors who ponied up $1,000 or more – disclosures that are required to be made within 24 hours of receiving such a donations – showed that Chen received a $1,000 from the Alameda Labor Council’s Unity PAC and another from John Jian Huang, owner of CJ United Food Corporation in Oakland. He also received a $2,000 check from the Universal Dragon Investment Corporation, based in Fremont.

Chen had more than $14,000 in available cash as of June 30, an earlier disclosure shows.

In addition to checks from a list of labor unions, Oddie’s campaign received $4,000 from the re-election campaign of his boss, Assemblyman Rob Bonta, and another $5,000 from ARDA LLC, whose address belongs to Chatime, a Taiwanese restaurant in Oakland.

Donors who gave $1,000 or more to Gilmore’s campaign include Jeff Cambra, the attorney and onetime City Council candidate who will oversee a community-based discussion on rents issues; Bladium owner Brad Shook; Robert Doud, a Gilmore neighbor and chief executive officer of McGuire & Hester, a construction company that builds sewers and streets; and Janet Koike, artistic director of Rhythmix Cultural Works. Gilmore also got a $1,200 check from Unity PAC.

Matarrese, who received $1,000-plus checks from two Alameda individuals, also collected a $500 check from a campaign account for Jane Sullwold, who ran for City Council in 2012, and $375 worth of lawn sign materials.

Like Matarrese, all of Spencer’s money came from Alameda residents.

So far Gilmore has spent the most on her campaign – nearly $20,000 – though she still has more than $26,000 in cash available, the disclosures show. Oddie has spent about $5,100 and has nearly $29,000 available, while Matarrese has spent $5,600 and has $4,400. Spencer has spent about $3,000 on her mayoral bid and has $2,600 in her campaign kitty, records show.

Separately, the Alameda Firefighters Association collected more than $13,000 between July and September and has more than $48,000 in available cash, disclosure documents show. The firefighters union has been a major fundraiser and contributor over the past two election cycles.

The association collected more than $10,000 from union members and a $2,500 check from the Alameda Education Association over the past three months, the disclosure shows. In addition to staging fundraisers for Gilmore, Oddie and Chen, the firefighters union has written $500 checks to the Oakland City Council campaign of Abel Guillen, Oakland city auditor candidate Brenda Roberts and Tim Sbranti, who is running for an Assembly seat in Contra Costa County.

Separately, Solana Henneberry was the only school board candidate of three running for two seats who raised enough money to file donor disclosures. Candidates who raise less than $1,000 are not required to file.

Henneberry has so far raised $9,078.85 in cash and in-kind contributions, the disclosures show, picking up $1,000 contributions from the Alameda Labor Council's Unity PAC, Bonta's campaign and the grocery union, which her husband serves as a manager. She has also listed campaign support from the Alameda Education Association.

A fresh set of campaign finance disclosures is due October 23. The forms are available via the City Clerk's website.

Click the link for a spreadsheet detailing candidates' donors in July, August and September.


Submitted by Marilyn Caspar (not verified) on Wed, Oct 8, 2014

This is absolutely desultory. I don't find Spencer or Matarrese to my liking. Development is going to, and needs to, happen. Better to lead the process than anchor it.


The amount of union money, and the concomitant obligation it brings, garnered by Gilmore, Oddie, and Chen makes it basically ruinous to vote for them. Gilmore is unresponsive and antagonistic to citizen questioning (not just the usual anti-Gilmore rabble rousers), Chen is a good person with an inability to reconcile and articulate his past and future, and Oddie is carpet-bagging to Sacramento (just like his boss).

Their positions are closer to mine, but I can't see a way in which they won't horribly compromise the city's future obligations.

Well, I do; but it will involve hazy, rosy, nebulous revenue projections of the city's future developments to paper over the obvious present and future defecits.

This sucks.

Submitted by not a union lackey (not verified) on Thu, Oct 9, 2014

Oddie will suck up to unions like his boss Bonta (huge BART union supporter - need I say more). Gilmore too. Chen, a criminal. Looks like we're going to be stuck with some pretty pathetic leadership if money buys the election like it usually does.

Submitted by John Denny (not verified) on Thu, Oct 9, 2014

You make some excellent points, Marilyn. Follow the money. I really don't want to see decisions about my city decided by outsiders.

As for Spencer, I think she is being misrepresented as an enemy of progress. In reality, she is just saying what most of us think. Let's pause and really consider what we're doing to our little island before we follow the developers and city planners down a path toward high-density developments.

Submitted by Debra Arbuckle (not verified) on Thu, Oct 9, 2014

I do like Frank Matarasse, he is the only council candidate that is totally Alameda focused. Frank served us very well on council in the past and will be wonderful a asset to council again. He raises his money here from the average citizen, he is the real deal.
His focus is on Alameda as an Island is most astute. Yes the other candidates know we are an island they just don't really focus on this issue as an actuality. Frank knows we need well paying jobs here before more housing, Frank is into preserving Alameda not just building till we are overwhelmed.
Why is there outside Alameda money and unions supporting the other candidates? Who benefits? The council seat should go to the best candidate not who has "machine" money to buy a seat. Frank has the background the and integrity to keep Alameda the place we all love and want to stay.

Submitted by John Washington (not verified) on Tue, Oct 21, 2014

Why is the San Francisco Firefighters PAC contributing $500 to Gilmore? (Don't bother answering, we all know the answer to that.)