Trump's Unlucky Oakland Thirteen: When it comes to fundraising, Hillary Clinton is dominating Donald Trump, especially in California.
Last week, Clinton swung through the Bay Area, stopping for a meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook. Then she had dinner in Piedmont, the "City of Millionaires." And Clinton reportedly raised millions on the three-day trip.
But that doesn't mean Trump is without Bay Area benefactors.
His biggest individual donors include a Dublin carpet store owner, a San Jose realtor, and a Berkeley technologist.
Trump's most concentrated pockets of support in the Bay — measured in terms of per capita dollars raised from residents of each city — include the tiny Marin hamlet of Belvedere, and the super-elite Silicon Valley enclaves of Atherton, Los Altos Hills, and Hillsborough.
But The Donald has so few California contributors that just several people in a small city giving the $2,700 maximum amount can put it high on Trump's donor list. The real story for Trump is that California isn't supporting him financially. He's getting neither the Bernie bucks of numerous small donors, nor the beaucoup bucks of Clinton's Tesla-driving Silicon Valley set. In some towns, he's getting no love at all.
Only thirteen Oakland residents have given Trump money, according to Federal Election Commission data. Only two Piedmont residents. Zero from Albany. Zero from El Cerrito.
Indistinguishable: Last week, the Alameda County Democratic Party held a candidate forum for Oakland city council races. Our impression: The challengers aren't doing much so far to distinguish themselves from incumbents.
But a few contrasts were apparent. Kevin Corbett, who is running against Councilman Dan Kalb in District One, said he doesn't support the police commission ballot measure, because he thinks it takes too much authority away from the mayor, especially by giving the commission the power to fire the police chief with a super majority vote.
Kalb, who wrote the measure, said it's the best model for an independent civilian police oversight body in the nation, and that it will properly balance power between the mayor, council, and commission.
Viola Gonzales, who is challenging Councilman Noel Gallo for the District Five seat, said she won't be supporting Measure JJ, the so-called "renters upgrade" that will strengthen rent control and just-cause eviction protections. "I won't be taking a public stand on Measure JJ," she said, adding that Oakland "needs all types of housing" to solve the affordable housing crisis.
Gallo, on the other hand, was unequivocal: He plans to actively campaign for Measure JJ, because he has seen how his own children and their friends have been affected by the city's rising rents, forced to crowd into apartments and rental houses, and locked out of homeownership in the future.
No Limit: A bill that would have put a ceiling on local campaign donations died at the Capitol on Monday — in part because an East Bay lawmaker was a lone dissenting Democratic voice against this common-sense campaign-finance reform.
Assembly Bill 2523, which failed the senate, would have put a ceiling on the maximum campaign donations in local races at $4,200, the same amount that individual donors are allowed to give to Assembly and Senate candidates.
State Sen. Steve Glazer of Walnut Creek was the only Dem to vote no on the bill, which needed all Democrats and just a lone GOP legislator vote to pass.
The proposed law might have had a significant impact locally. Alameda County, for instance, boasts the highest individual contribution limit in the entire state, at $20,000. By comparison, the individual contribution limit in Los Angeles County is just $1,500.
The bill wouldn't have impacted the City of Berkeley, which has a $250 individual contribution limit for races, or Oakland, where the amount is $700.
But it could change the game in a majority of California cities and counties; 78 percent of cities and 72 percent of counties have no limits at all.