Capitelli, Bates lead in campaign fundraising

A view of Berkeley’s downtown from the Skydeck. Photo: Tracey Taylor

Three months before the November election, City Councilman Laurie Capitelli has amassed the largest campaign war chest in Berkeley, with $13,015 in donations from a variety of people, including his fellow realtors and politicians.

Mayor Tom Bates, who is running for his fourth term, came in next, with $11,770 in donations, according to campaign expenditure reports that were filed on July 31.

But the various city-wide measures that were so contentious when aired before the City Council have not yet garnered any substantial funds, according to the records. No money has been raised for the civil sidewalks initiative, which would ban people from sitting in commercial districts from 7 am to 10 pm. Those in favor or against new zoning for West Berkeley have not yet even formed committees. Neither have those supporting a new redistricting plan.

The Committee for the Berkeley Sunshine Ordinance raised $4,153 from April 1 to June 30, bringing its donation level to $5,958, with the bulk of that coming from the group’s treasurer, Dean Metzger. He donated $4,618 to the campaign, including a $1,000 loan.

Berkeley Pools for All, the group promoting a $19.4 million bond measure to restore Willard Pool and build a new warm pool, has raised $250, according to campaign documents.

The city’s incumbents have easily out raised their challengers.

Capitelli’s $13,015 in contributions came from many people, including Michael Korman, the commercial real estate broker, who gave $250, Jim Novosel, an architect and planning commissioner, who also gave $250, former Berkeley Unified School District Superintendent Michele Lawrence, who gave $150, and City Councilman Gordon Wozniak, who gave $250. Capitelli, who is a partner at Red Oak Realty, also got funds from Tom Bates, former District 7 candidate George Beier, CityCentric founder Ali Kashani and Helen Meyer, the head of Meyer Sound.

Sophie Hahn, a ZAB commissioner who lost the District Five race to Capitelli in 2008 by 402 votes, has raised $5,320 with $1,000 of that coming from a personal loan. Some of her contributors include Carole Kennerly, a former City Council member who is serving as treasurer for Max Anderson’s reelection campaign. She gave $250 as did James Fousekis, a member of Berkeley Budget SOS, a group that thinks the council has not paid adequate attention to looming pension payouts.

City Councilman Darryl Moore, who is facing three challengers, has raised $3,450 for his bid for a third term serving District Two. He received donations from Weldon Rucker, former Berkeley city manager, Linda Schacht Gage, a UC Journalism professor leading the capital campaign for the branch libraries, Douglas Smith, the deputy director of the library, Darrell de Tienne, a developer, and boona cheema [sic], the executive director of BOSS, or Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency.

None of the challengers for Moore’s seat – Adolfo Cabral, Denisha DeLane and David Tursi —  has filed a campaign expenditure report, which means they have not raised any funds yet.

City Councilman Max Anderson has raised $4,100, with $2,000 of that coming in loans from himself. His contributors include Dr Gabriela Costello-Kramer, Ali Kashani, Anne de Leon, the former owner of Anna’s Jazz Island, and Carole Kennerly, Berkeley’s former Vice Mayor.

Anderson’s sole opponent, Dmitri Belser, the executive director for the Center for Accessible Technology, has not yet raised any money, according to city records.

City Councilwoman Susan Wengraf raised $250 from a single donation from realtor Michael Korman. Fred Dodsworth, who is challenging her District Six seat, did not file papers yet.

Zachary Running Wolf’s campaign poster. Courtesy Running Wolf for Mayor

The mayoral race is also lopsided. Bates has raised $11,770 from a long list of contributors, including former Assemblywoman Dion Aroner, who gave $250, Judith Iglehart, his chief of staff, who gave $250, and Igor Tregub, a rent board commissioner, who donated $250.

Others who gave $250 include City Councilman Gordon Wozniak, Michael Smart, Bates’ treasurer, Richard Nagler, the owner of Skylight and Sun, Inc., Weldon Rucker, Will Travis, a senior adviser to the Bay Area Joint Policy Committee, Michael Peevey, the president of the California Public Utilities Commission, the Electrical Workers Union Local 595 PAC, the Teamsters 853 PAC, Capitelli and City Councilwoman Linda Maio, among others.

City Councilman Kriss Worthington, who only declared his candidacy for mayor about a week ago, has raised $330. Jacquelyn McCormick has raised $1,300. Three other challengers, Erik Clyman, Kahlil Jacobs-Fantauzzi, and Bernt Wahl, have not raised any funds. Mark Schwartz has raised about $83, according to reports. Zachary Running Wolf did not file any papers. Mary Rose Kaczorowski, who took out nomination papers, apparently is not running, according to the City Clerk’s office.

In the race for the school board, Judith Appel, the executive director of Our Family Coalition, has raised the most — $7,287. Tracy Hollander has received $1,470 in donations and Beatriz Leyva-Cutler, currently the president of the BUSD board, has gotten $375. Norma Harrison did not file any documentation yet.

There are four seats up for grabs on the Rent Stabilization Board, but none of the seven candidates who filed papers reported any donations. They include Igor Tregub, Judy Hunt, Jay James, John Nguyen, Judy Shelton, Kiran Shenoy, and Alejandro Soto-Vigil.

Other Rent Board candidates include Asa Dodsworth, Audra Caravas, Nicole Drake, and Patti Dacey. They did not file papers, according to Berkeley’s election website.

Related campaign web sites (note: not all candidates have one):

For Mayor:

Tom Bates
Jacqueline McCormick
Zachary Running Wolf
Erik Clyman
Khalil Jacobs-Fantauzzi

For District 2:

Darryl Moore
Adolfo Cabral
Denisha DeLane

District 5:

Laurie Capitelli
Sophie Hahn

School Board:

Judy Appel
Norma Harrison
Tracy Hollander

Rent Board:

Igor Tregub

Beat poet joins crowded field for mayoral race (07.19.12)
Max Anderson kicks off council re-election campaign (07.02.12)
Jacquelyn McCormick vows to be a more inclusive mayor (06.18.12)
Sophie Hahn announces candidacy for City Council (05.09.12)
Berkeley’s Mayor Tom Bates announces his re-election bid (04.26.12)

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  • Anonymous

    Rent Board Correction:

    Nicole Drake has also filed papers.

  • Frances Dinkelspiel

     You are absolutely correct. I am not sure how I missed it. I will add it now.

  • Figgy Pudding

    There is a difference between “pulling” papers and “filing” papers. Pulling simply means taking out the necessary papers to be placed on the ballot. Filing means turning them back in. Everyone at some point had to “pull” papers to be mentioned in the article above. No one has filed or qualified yet for the ballot, (with the exception of Mr. Bernt Wahl!).

    I’m not clear how some of these numbers are calculated. I’m wondering how Berkeleyside got to these figures. It seems straightforward – yet nowhere do I see where Moore reported $3450.

  • Frances Dinkelspiel

     You can see Darryl Moore’s filings here.

    You are correct, there is only one “confirmed” candidate. All the rest must file papers by Aug. 10 to get on the ballot but these are the people who have declared their candidacies so far.

  • Rent Control Advocate

    Your story still distinguishes between those that have filed and those that have not filed for Rent Board.  All these names should be in one group.  The sole candidate to “file” is Bernt Wahl.  Hopefully, your story can better reflect that.  Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Is somebody going to volunteer to copy edit Running Wolf’s site and fix the egregious typos and stream of conscious style prose so that he doesn’t come across as a semi-illiterate kook? Nope, didn’t think so.

  • TizziLish

    Thanks, Berkeleyside, for this column. What a gift to this city you are.

  • TizziLish

    Since editing and writing quality seems important to you, Anonymous, I have a substantive edit for what you wrote. What is a semi-illiterate kook? and what facts do you know about Running Wolf to back up your outrageous assertion that he is a semi-illiterate? And what is semi-illiterate mean? What do you actually know about Running Wolf’s literacy? I haven’t looked at it, but according to your mean-spirited comment, he has a web site, with words — typos does not add up to semi-illiterate. He can read and write, maybe not as well as some. Are you holding yourself out as superiori to him? I think you might be semi-illiterate based on your unfounded allegation about Running Wolf and base don the fact that you made that word up. Or are you somehow better than Running Wolf? and why do you think you are?

    Illiterate means a person cannot read or write. But what the heck does semi-illiterate mean?
    I suspect, Anonymous, that you are bigoted about Running Wolf so you write specious stream-of conscious style prose that amounts to gobbledegook about him, which is funny, cause your comment comes across as semi-poorly-educated, mean-spirited and kookie. Running Wolf might well be a kook but I get only nice human being vibes from him. 

    Is he really a kook? Or just different, as in not the same as everyone else? Geez. He’s not harming anyone. And I’d vote for him or any one running besides Bates just to get ride of Bates’ chokehold on democracy in Berkeley.

  • Anonymous

    Q: What is a semi-illiterate kook?
    A: A kook that is partially illiterate.

    Q: [W]hat facts do you now about Running Wolf to back up your outrageous assertion that he is a semi-illiterate?
    A: Let’s just take the first sentence of the landing page on, keeping in mind that this is his official public face: “I’ve been a resident of Berkeley since 1967 and graduated Berkeley High
    School in 1981 and excepted by the University of California at Berkeley
    but chose to attend San Francisco State University.”

    “excepted”?  That isn’t a simple typo, the author really thinks the word is “excepted” and not “accepted”.

    Q: And what is semi-illiterate mean?
    A: You’re funny.

    I don’t know Mr. RunningWolf personally but I believe you that his vibes are, like, totally nice and human. As a mayoral candidate, however, he’s an embarrassment.  I do like his idea to make Telegraph more like the “Champs de Lassie” in Paris.

  • Schoolmarm

    Just for the record, it’s “stream of consciousness” not “stream of conscious”.  And the careful writer would not use the coinage “semi-illiterate”.  Literate, semi-literate or illiterate, yes, perhaps even quasi-literate, but not “semi-illiterate”…TL’s right on this one.

  • serkes

    Anyone else notice the similarity to Zachary Running Wolf’s poster and Mel Gibson in “Braveheart”?


  • Anonymous

    You’re right! My first impression was some Sylvester Stallone poster.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you. I knew I should have opted for a liberal arts education.

  • Guest

    Would literate kookiness be better?

  • Mein Stein

    The miniscule amount of money reported here proves only one thing: The election results have already been negotiated with labor. The rest is a harmless charade. After all, you can’t have amateurs dispersing $320M, they might miss a payoff.

    UnWothington and Running Mouth? Bates truly is the “self imagined giant, surrounded by real pygmies.”

  • The Sharkey

    You’d vote for anyone just to get rid of Bates? Really? Anyone?

    Would you vote for Sarah Palin?

  • The Sharkey

    Even on the Council level – where fewer dollars are required to mount an effective campaign – there are no serious challengers to any of the current incumbents.

    Given how grumpy everyone seems to be with the current city government the stagnation in Berkeley politics is bizarre.

  • w_berk

    Oh my goodness, he’s much worse than “different”. He’s a complete embarrassment to Berkeley. If elected will he remove all those “Free Leonard” signs and “9-1-1 was an inside job” graffitos he’s besmirched our city with? I’d laugh at him if he didn’t do us all such disservice.

  • Mein Stein

    Why is there no movement in the movement for change? Let’s make a list. Here’s mine. Please add your own…

    – Isolated belly aching is no match for an organized status quo.

    – The few special interest groups which together could form real opposition are unwilling to compromise their positions. (merchants, developers, education reformers etc.)

    – Most Berkeleyans are oblivious to the city’s problems. Unless you’ve got a kid at BHS, or a lot in West Berkeley, or a store on Telegraph, or have been mugged, then Berkeley is cool.


  • bgal4

    Dmitri Belser is challenging “do nothing” Anderson. Belser is a capable person of good will, he will be a great improvement for south Berkeley.

    Apparently Anderson’s health is so problematic he has left his job as a nurse, yet he is seeking a third term on council.

  • Charles_Siegel

     “Given how grumpy everyone seems to be with the current city government the stagnation in Berkeley politics is bizarre.”

    I would explain it by saying that most people in Berkeley don’t follow city politics at all. 

    We grumpy Berkeleyside readers are part of the minority that reads the news about Berkeley politics.

    Most people in Berkeley get their news from the Chronicle, the New York Times, Yahoo News, and the like, and they never bother to read Berkeley news.  They know all about what Obama and Romney are saying, but nothing about what Berkeley’s mayoral or council candidates are saying. 

    As a result, most people in Berkeley vote for local offices on the basis of name recognition.  They have heard the names of the current mayor and their current councilmember, and they have not heard the name of the challengers, so they vote for the incumbents.

    One of the few exceptions is when Tom Bates won the mayoralty from incumbent Shirley Dean.  But he was our state assembly representative before that election, so he had just as high name recognition as she did.

  • Charles_Siegel

     Incidentally, I think the small amounts of money involved show that the process is not corrupted.

    Some Berkeleyside commenters seem to have a theory that city workers dominate city government, and that their unions buy off the politicians.  But they would buy off the politicians (and get the politicians elected who would keep their earnings high) by giving donations to those politicians. 

    That sort of corruption does exist in national elections, as we can see from the huge amounts of money being donated to Romney (by business interests, of course, not by labor).  That sort of corruption does not exist in Berkeley, as we can see from the small amount of money donated to all the candidates here.

    I hope that those who criticize corruptions of Berkeley politics by labor also criticize the much more extensive and blatant corruption of national politics by business interests.

  • PragmaticProgressive

    I don’t think that the workers or their unions are actually buying off the politicians because they don’t have to – why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?  

  • Mein Stein

    Go and see who’s canvassing for the incumbents. With a built in standing army of campaign workers, who needs to raise money?

  • Mein Stein

    If health was ever an issue on the council, how did Dona Spring serve till she died?

  • Mein Stein

    If health was ever an issue on the council, how did Dona Spring serve till she died

  • Eastbayqueers

    Appel is the head of Our Family Coalition, an organization for LGBT families. Please correct the mistake.

  • Frances Dinkelspiel


  • FamilyGuy

    Follow the money…Tom Bates receives donations from Dion Aroner who happens to run a local PR consulting firm that represents Pacific Steel Casting, a company that has poisoned a West Berkeley neighborhood for more than 50 years. FACT: the only time Tom Bates attended and spoke at a Zoning Adjustment Board meeting was to tell them to support Pacific Steel and to ask them ignore the complaints and problems caused by PSC. Follow the money…