Expensive race for hospital board | November 2, 2012 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |


Mountain View Voice

News - November 2, 2012

Expensive race for hospital board

by Nick Veronin

The race for three seats on the El Camino Hospital District's board of directors is shaping up to be an expensive one, with all of the candidates — and their backers — spending big bucks.

All together, non-incumbents Dennis Chiu, Bill James and Julia Miller have raised a total of $58,686 and spent $46,504, according to the most recent campaign finance reports filed with the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters.

The two incumbents, Wes Alles and John Zoglin, have raised a total of $35,912 and spent even more than they raised — $39,333.

In addition to the individual campaigns being run by the candidates and their committees, local labor chapters of national labor organizations are supporting the non-incumbent candidates in a big way. The South Bay Labor Council, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, has spent just about $107,900 to support the three new-comers — $36,040 on Chiu, $35,813 on James and $36,040 on Miller.

All three candidates received donations from the Silicon Valley chapter of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union — $500 each for Chiu and James and $750 for Miller. Chiu and Miller also received $2,500 from the SEIU-UHW.

On the other side of the campaign, the well-known Palo Alto political activist, Charles Munger, Jr., is supporting incumbents Alles and Zoglin, who are pooling their funds through a joint campaign finance committee. Munger contributed $20,000 — the vast majority of the $21,149 the two men raised since the last campaign finance reports during filing period covering Oct. 1-20. Two other large contributors included Kent McCarthy, an investment manager from Ranch Mirage, Calif., and Gerry Besson of Los Altos, each of whom contributed $1,000.

Zoglin and Alles

So far, Alles and Zoglin have raised $35,912. They have spent more than they took in — $39,333. A great deal of that money has gone toward newspaper advertisements. This period, the Alles and Zoglin campaign spent almost $1,500 on ads in publications owned by Silicon Valley Community Newspapers and more than $700 on advertisements in the Voice and other papers owned by the Voice's parent company, Embarcadero Media.

Bill James

James raised a total of $26,430 — more than half of that money, including a $15,000 loan he made to himself, came in during October. His largest campaign expenditure was for the printing and mailing campaign literature and promotional materials, which cost him a little more than $14,000.

Dennis Chiu

Chiu raised $23,795 over the course of his campaign, with about $4,160 coming in during October. He was given $2,000 by Peter Chiu, a retired doctor living in Palo Alto, and $1,500 from Paul Lewin of Palm Springs.. He has spent a total of $16,617.

In the period from Oct. 1 to Oct. 20, Chiu spent $4,163 — the majority of it on campaign literature, printing and postage — the rest on campaign signs.

Julia Miller

Miller has raised the least of all the candidates. Over the course of her campaign she has brought in $8,461, much of it in smaller donations. However, many of her donors are influential local political figures. In October, she received two $100 contributions — one from Richard Santos, District 3 director of the Santa Clara Valley Water District; and another from Rod Diridon, Jr., clerk for the City of Santa Clara.

Of the money she's raised, Miller has spent $5,456 on advertisements in newspapers, including ads in the Voice, the Los Altos Town Crier, the Penny Saver, the Sunnyvale Sun, and in the California Voter Guide.