Almanac

Cover Story - October 17, 2012

Menlo Park election: First round of campaign finance reports

by Sandy Brundage

He may not have the longest list of endorsements, but so far firefighter Dave Bragg has the most generous donors of the five candidates running for Menlo Park City Council. According to reports filed Oct. 8, he's raised $11,277 in contributions. The California Professional Firefighters Political Action Committee helped out by donating $1,000 for printing services.

The rest of the field:

• Catherine Carlton: $10,930 plus a $5,000 loan from herself. "I am asking everyone, really, to donate. Friends, family, random strangers I just met at the Farmers' Market," she said.

• Kelly Fergusson: $9,976 plus a $5,000 loan from herself. How much is she willing to invest in her third run for council? "$30,000, potentially more if I need to respond to negative campaigning." • Ray Mueller: $6,304, plus a $2,700 loan from himself. "When I started to run, I was told I needed $30,000. I don't think that's true," Mr. Mueller said. He set some limits — no more than $500 from any single donor, and no funds from employee unions, although he would accept their endorsement.

• Carolyn Clarke: $2,230. The seven donors listed on her report include former mayor Steve Schmidt, who has endorsed her,

Other highlights

Developer David Bohannon is not playing favorites; he donated $500 to each candidate.

The California Real Estate Political Action Committee gave $500 to Mr. Mueller and $1,000 to Ms. Carlton. They share other donors — former councilman John Boyle ($200); former councilwoman Lee Duboc ($100); downtown property owner Nancy Couperus ($50); and developer Kim LeMieux ($250).

Ms. Fergusson showed more donations from those outside Menlo Park than the other candidates. Burlingame councilwoman Cathryn Baylock gave $100; Novato councilwoman Madeline Kellner donated $50. Residents of Palo Alto, Oakland, Los Altos and East Palo Alto added to the geographic diversity.

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