Bill Whalen: Politi-Cal

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California’s Top Donor? Bada-Bing!

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California’s Fair Political Practices just came out with a list of the state’s top-ten political donors.

And the winner is: Steve Bing, Hollywood man-about-town and Democratic donor, with $58.05 million.

Bing (left), building a bridge to #1 in 21st Century donations

Bing, perhaps best know for a paternity squabble with model/actress Elizabeth Hurley, reportedly gave nearly $50 million in 2006 in support of the ill-fated Proposition 87, which sought to raise taxes on oil production to help develop alternative fuels.

A year before that, he chipped in $4.25 to help take down Proposition 77, a redistricting reform measure whose  chief sponsor was . . .

The runner-up on the top-then list: Steve Poizner, state Insurance Commissioner and currently a gubernatorial candidate, with $43.2 million.

Poizner invested $2.5 million in the losing Prop 77 effort, though it did give him an opportunity to lay the groundwork for future campaigns in 2006 and 2010.

Third-place belong to Steve Westly, former state Treasurer and loser in the 2006 Democratic gubernatorial. Westly, who like Meg Whitman struck it rich at eBay, shelled out $41.7 million.

And in fourth place: Arnold Schwarzenegger, with a “mere” $25.8 million (a total likely to increase with big campaigns to come for the open-primary initiative in June and the multi-billion water bond on the November ballot).

Maybe this could have been a better tack for Whitman campaign consultant Mike Murphy and that memo of his. Rather than trying to intimidate Poizner with threats of outspending him, Murphy simply could have asked: “Do you want to spend another $15 million and own the record?

 BTW, if you’re curious as to who else is a California big $pender, here’s a link to other FPPC top-ten lists.

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Written by Bill Whalen

February 10, 2010 at 4:28 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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