Saturday, 18 May 2024

County's presidential, federal election contributions rise

LAKE COUNTY – The 2008 presidential and federal election cycle is on track to be the most expensive in history, and the local spending trends also are growing.

Lake County's contributions to congressional and presidential races this year total $99,150, up slightly from the $94,340 donated in 2004 and more than double the $41,182 in contributions to federal races in 2000, according to the Center for Responsive Politics,, as Lake County News has reported.

In the presidential race alone, Lake County residents have so far contributed approximately $28,200, based on fundraising records.

Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) has received the most local contributions, totaling $7,750, compared to Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) $3,450.

Other presidential candidates receiving local contributions included Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), $6,400; former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC); $3,550; former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass), $3,300; Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX), $1,900; Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO), $1,000; Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), $600; and former Congressman Bob Barr (Libertarian-Georgia), $250.

Perhaps the most interesting federal election story is the strength of Congressman Mike Thompson's fundraising efforts.

Thompson, who the Center for Responsive Politics lists among the top 10 best members of the House of Representatives when it comes to reporting his finances – he has a 100-percent rating – has raised $1,782,280 in the 2008 election cycle so far, up about $40,000 over his 2006 earnings. That places him fifth among the 53 members of California's congressional delegation in terms of fundraising since the start of 2007.

In Lake County alone he has raised $19,959, almost twice the amount McCain and Obama have raised, combined.

So far Thompson has spent $1,192,729 in his bid for reelection, the center reported.

His opponents this year include Green Party candidate and Mendocino County resident Carol Wolman, who ran against Thompson in 2006 as an independent write-in candidate. Wolman has reported $5,490 in contributions and $5,317 in expenditures.

Thompson also has a third opponent, Zane Starkewolf of Davis, who calls himself a “Green Republican.”


As of the last reporting deadline, Oct. 15, Starkewolf has submitted no financial reports, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

However, Starkewolf must have some funding coming in, because he has been using robocalls to get out his message.

The calls, which went out this past weekend, were believed by some First District residents to be obscene phone calls at first, with a woman using a suggestive tone of voice to tell voters, “Mike Thompson has been a bad boy ...”

Starkewolf has taken responsibility for the calls which may have violated campaign law by now having a live person introduce them. However, that didn't stop him from sending out another round of the same calls the day after the first. The calls also have garnered Starkewolf national attention.

Laurel Brown, Thompson's spokeswoman, said the calls were a “sophomoric and tasteless prank.”

“As our nation deals with a financial crisis and two ongoing wars, it's incredible that someone would waste voters' time with this drivel,” she said in a written statement.

Local Republican groups show fundraising power

When it comes to groups that have fundraising muscle, the Republican Party has proved to be particularly effective locally, with various party-affiliated groups reporting contributions totaling approximately $25,348.

The Lake County Central Committee has raised $16,258 since the beginning of 2007, with the Lake Elephants raising another $6,500.

The Republican National Committee brought in $830; the New Republican Majority Fund, Sen. Trent Lott's (R-MS) political action committee, reported contributions of $700; the Republican Party of Yolo County received $560; and the National Republican Congressional Committee reported $500.

The largest donor from a local individual was an August 2007 donation in the amount of $3,000 from Supervisor Rob Brown to the Lake County Republican Central Committee.

While candidates associated with the Democratic Party did well overall, groups and political action committees fell far short of the funds raised by their Republican counterparts.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee reported $2,750 and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee received $500.

The Solidarity PAC for Bay Area Congressman George Miller, a Democrat, raised $5,000 in Lake County. That amount, incidentally, came from one donor, the Scotts Valley Band of Pomos, who had the largest single group contribution for the election cycle, given this past May. The tribe has a proposal to build a casino in Richmond, which is in Miller's Seventh Congressional District.

In the state Assembly race, former state Sen. Wes Chesbro is seeking to succeed Patty Berg in the Assembly. Berg is being termed out at the end of this year.

Chesbro has raised $243,530.95 since the start of January, and spent $369,249.40, according to the California Secretary of State's Office. He had more than $165,000 that he carried over from previous fundraising.

The Secretary of State's Office did not have contribution records for Chesbro's opponent, Republican James J. Pell of Eureka.

Below is a breakdown, by community, of presidential and federal election contributions for the 2008 election cycle, with total amounts raised for election years 2000, 2004 and 2008 listed by the community name.

Clearlake (2008, $7,895; 2004, $6,914; 2000, $1,240)

Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC), $2,220

Sen. Hillary Clinton, $1,500

Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO), $1,000

New Republican Majority Fund, $700

Congressman Mike Thompson, $500

American College of Surgeons Professional Association, $500

Dr. Deborah Travis Honeycutt (R-GA), candidate for US Congress, $500

Congressman Dennis Kucinich, $350

Sen. Barack Obama, $250

Bob Barr Leadership Fund, $250

Clearlake Oaks (2008, $10,200; 2004, $3,175; 2000, $1,300)

Sen. Hillary Clinton, $3,500

Lake County Republican Central Committee, $3,500

Lake Elephants, $2,000

Congressman Mike Thompson, $700

Republican National Committee, $500

Clearlake Park (2008, $0; 2004, $1,500; 2000, $1,000)

No contributions reported.

Cobb (2008, $650; 2004, $722; 2000, $625)

Sen. Barack Obama, $450

Sen. John McCain, $200

Finley (2008, $750; 2004, $450; 2000, $0)

Congressman Mike Thompson, $750

Glenhaven (2008, $950; 2004, $500; 2000, $0)

Sen. Barack Obama, $750

Sen. Barbara Boxer, $200

Kelseyville (2008, $24,249; 2004, $20,114; 2000, $16,393)

Congressman Mike Thompson, $8,444

Lake County Republican Central Committee, $5,625

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, $2,500

Lake Elephants, $2,000

Congressman Ron Paul, $1,200

Sen. Barack Obama, $1,050

Safari Club International (protects hunting freedoms, advocates wildlife conservation worldwide), $1,000

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, $500

Sen. John McCain, $450

Republican National Committee, $330

Lakeport (2008, $33,268; 2004, $30,020; 2000, $11,750)

Lake County Republican Central Committee, $6,633

Solidarity PAC (PAC for Bay Area Congressman George Miller), $5,000

Congressman Mike Thompson, $3,987

Gov. Mitt Romney, $3,300

Lake Elephants, $2,000

National Community Pharmacists Association, $2,000

Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR), $1,400

Sen. Hillary Clinton, $1,150

California Association of Realtors, $1,052

Loch Lomond/Middletown (2008, $4,880; 2004, $7,509; 2000, $3,524)

Congressman Mike Thompson, $3,070

Sen. Barack Obama, $1,000

Republican Party of Yolo County, $560

Congressman Dennis Kucinich, $250

Lower Lake (2008, $8,600; 2004, $5,990; 2000, $750)

Sen. Barack Obama, $3,300

Sen. John Edwards, $2,550

Congressman Mike Thompson, $1,250

Congressman Ron Paul, $500

National Republican Congressional Committee, $500

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, $250

Sen. Hillary Clinton, $250

Lucerne (2008, $5,335; 2004, $1,750; 2000, $4,400)

Sen. John McCain, $2,300

Sen. John Edwards, $1,000

Congressman Mike Thompson, $535

American Nursery and Landscape Association, $500

Lake Elephants, $500

Lake County Republican Central Committee, $500

Nice (2008, $1,773; 2004, $11,951; 2000, $0)

Sen. Barack Obama, $750

Congressman Mike Thompson, $523

Sen. John McCain, $500

Upper Lake (2008, $600; 2004, $3,745; 2000, $1,200)

Sen. Barack Obama, $200

Congressman Ron Paul, $200

Congressman Mike Thompson, $200

For more on campaign finance, as well as breakdowns of local contributors and statistics, visit and click on the “Get Local” tab on the lefthand menu, which offers zip code details.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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