August 11, 2004

San Leandro Coughs up Cold Cash for Candidates

When it comes to making political contributions, its no surprise that the Democrats get more money from San Leandro than the Republicans. After all, San Leandro's state and federal elected officials are all Democrats, including the fiesty Congressional Representative Pete Stark.

What may be surprising is that San Leandro only gave Democrats about 1.5 times the amount given to Republicans.

We took a look at the interesting statistics provided at the Fundrace web site, which provides information about political donations to a presidential campaign or national committe between January 1, 2003 and May 31, 2004. All of this information is part of the public record and is required for people who contribute more than $200 political campaigns.

The information in this article is based on review of information from the Fundrace web site and searches for contributions from the San Leandro zip codes 94577, 94578, and 94579.

Democratic Presidential candidates Al Sharpton, Joe Lieberman, John Edwards, and Wesley Clark received just one political contribution each from San Leandro residents, with Lieberman getting the biggest contribution of $1,250. Dennis Kucinich received slightly less, at $1,175, but it took three contributions to reach that amount.

Assemblymember Ellen Corbett gave $250 to John Kerry's campaign. Charles Kremer and Naomie Kremer made contributions to Kerry's campaign from the same address on Juana Avenue, which happens to be the law office of David J. Newacheck, a tax attorney. Without jumping to conclusions, we may just have learned who does taxes for these political contributors.

According to records for zip code 94577, school board candidate and Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein Associate Attorney Stephen Cassidy spread it around, with contributions to John Kerry, Howard Dean, Dick Gephardt, and John Edwards. An expanded search shows that Mr. Cassidy made additional contributions to Kerry and Edwards with addresses listed in Oakland and San Francisco, making him the single biggest contributor from San Leandro, with nearly $6,000 in contributions.

Close behind Mr. Cassidy in political gift-giving were Transbox Systems founders Mr. Ron J. Boehm and Mrs. Charlotte E Boehm. Together, they gave more than $10,000 to George Bush and the Republican National Committee from one San Leandro address and two Oakland addresses.

It probably comes as no surprise that a Professor of Taxation would donate to the Republican National Committee, as did Joe Walsh of Golden Gate University.

Here's a table summarizing political contributions from San Leandro residents:

Candidate or partyAmount
Al Sharpton500
Dennis Kucinich1175
Dick Gephardt1200
George W.Bush11810
Howard Dean4443
Joe Lieberman1250
John Edwards550
John Kerry20220
Wesley Clark294
Posted by Mike Katz-Lacabe at August 11, 2004 8:54 PM | TrackBack

Mike and any readers:

Let’s get this straight. The item attempting to link Ellen Corbett’s donations to John Kerry with those of Charles and Naomie Kremer, and then suggesting that a third party at the same business address is their mutual tax attorney is simultaneously amateur journalism at its worst and complete nonsense.

First of all, Charles and Naomie Kremer employ a personal accountant who rents an office in the same building on Juana as David Newacheck. That is the total connection between the Kremers and Mr. Newacheck, who does not know the Kremers nor does he do anything for them professionally. The fact that the Kremers address of record on their contribution to John Kerry is the Juana Street address is simply a meaningless coincidence.

Two, the idiot who wrote this – Mike, apparently -- would have found this out had he made even the absolute minimum of effort to ascertain the facts rather than rushing to post an “item” he no doubt thought would embarrass Ellen Corbett. If you want to pretend to being some kind of journalist, you might want to learn how to check facts and verify sources.

Third, you might want to try learning the English language. You wrote “Without jumping to conclusions…” and the proceeded to immediately jump to a completely erroneous conclusion supported by not a single shred of fact.

This baloney might work for Fox News and the Washington Times, but the rest of us prefer our “news” to at least have some basis in fact.

Posted by: Peter at September 9, 2004 6:45 PM

Well it's good to know that someone is reading.

In response to your passionate response: Any attempt to suggest a link between the donations to which you refer was done with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Who would have known that 1)anybody would actually read what I wrote or 2) care.

As for attempting to embarass Ellen Corbett, nothing could be further from the truth. I don't see why the fact that she gave money to Kerry's campaign would be embarassing.

A more interesting question would be why some people give addresses that are neither their home or work addresses.

As for facts, the donations and addresses reported are public record.

Posted by: Mike at September 9, 2004 9:13 PM


The reason people give addresses other than home addresss are many...a politician like Ellen Corbett might do it so people don't find out her home address (it is worth noting that the Juana Street address happens to be home to her family's law firm) or, in the case of the Kremers, because they use it as a mailing address so that certain types of correspondences (such as solicitations for charities) can go directly to the person who handles such things for them. It is a simple matter of practicality.

It is frankly none of our business, really.

I am sure they also would have no issue with them becoming public knowledge...why would they? As you stated, why should they be embarrassed by a donation to Kerry? But it certainly sounded to me like you were trying to imply that Corbett and the Kremers were trying to hide their donations behind a phony address, which would be untrue and unfair.

My point is that you apparently wanted your readers to think that Dave Newacheck works for these people simply by making the point that his office is at the same address, which is an unfair conclusion. There is also a company in the building that imports dried fruits. Are we to assume then that Ellen Corbett and the Kremers are in the dry fruit importation business?

I am merely suggesting that actually knowing what you are talking about is a basic need in journalism, and that jumping to conclusion, even with tongue in check, is irresponsible, albeit all too common these days.

And, if you are surprised anyone reads what you write, why are you doing it?

By the way, I know the Kremers and their accountant, and that is why I care even a tiny bit.

Posted by: Peter at September 11, 2004 8:47 AM
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