Cash is flowing furiously in San Jose campaigns over measures to raise the minumum-wage and expand gambling as well as for two seats on the City Council.
Records filed Friday disclosing campaign fundraising and expenditures through Sept. 30 show business groups including the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce political committee and the San Jose Downtown Association have donated $272,350 toward defeating Measure D. The measure would raise the minimum wage in San Jose from the statewide floor of $8 an hour to $10 with inflation adjustments.
The measure's backers, led by the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council, reported raising $166,135 toward its passage, which spokeswoman Stacey Hendler Ross called a "David and Goliath" struggle of workers against businesses spending heavily to keep them from getting a raise. Measure D foes argue it will force employers to cut jobs and hours and will discourage business growth.
The Bay 101 card room reported contributing $550,000 since July 1 toward the passage of Measure E, which would allow the city's two card rooms to have more gaming tables. Bay 101 has contributed $800,000 toward the measure's passage so far this year. M8trix -- the city's other cardroom -- recently underwent a $50 million move and makeover but records did not indicate it has been active in the Measure E campaign. There was no formal opposition campaign to Measure E and no reported independent expenditures against it by Friday
In San Jose City Council District 8, incumbent Rose Herrera leads her opponent Jimmy Nguyen with $110,694 in contributions since the June 5 primary. She did not loan herself any money.
She also benefited from an independent expenditure committee called San Jose Reform Committee Supporting Rose Herrera for City Council 2012 which reported raising $164,000. Of that, $100,000 came from another independent expenditure committee called San Jose Fiscal Reforms, Mayor Chuck Reed, Chamber PAC and IMPAC Proponents. Independent committees reported spending at least $18,000 on her behalf so far.
"I'm really grateful for the way the community has been rallying behind and for their contributions large and small," Herrera said.
Nguyen, who is trying to unseat Herrera, raised $44,344 since the June 5 primary, much of it from Vietnamese-American small business owners but also from public employee unions and San Jose City Councilman Kansen Chu. Nguyen also loaned his campaign $4,000.
But the political novice also benefited from independent expenditure committees, such as the Committee for Safe San Jose Neighborhoods Support Nguyen for City Council 2012. That group, which includes a coalition of police officers and firefighters who are furious at Herrera over her support of Reed's pension reform Measure B, raised $104,249 through Sept. 30. Of that, a $45,000 donation came from the Registered Nurses Professional Association PAC.
Another $72,000 in independent expenditures was made on Nguyen's behalf by that committee and others.
In the race for San Jose City Council District 10, financial advisor and insurance agent Johnny Khamis led in fundraising over sportscaster Robert Braunstein, raising about $76,156 since the June 5 primary from donors that included Rector Porsche Audi car deal.er James Hannay and Palo Alto real estate developer Charles J. Keenan III. Khamis loaned his campaign $20,000.
Braunstein, meanwhile, racked up $63,576 from donors including the San Jose Police Officers' Association PAC, the California League of Conservation Voters and former San Jose Mayor Tom McEnery. Braunstein also loaned his campaign $20,000.
In Santa Clara County-wide measures, the campaign to pass Measure A, a one-eighth cent sales tax that would raise almost $500 million over 10 years, reported raising $480,457 as of Sept. 30.
Contributors included the VMC Foundation, which gave $250,000, and the Santa Clara Family Health Foundation which gave $200,000. The South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council Issues account donated $13,645 in goods or services. There was no formal opposition campaign or record of independent expenditures against the measure Friday afternoon.
Campaign finance reports were not available Friday afternoon for Measure B to extend the Santa Clara Valley Water District parcel tax.
In local races for the state Legislature, between July 1 and Sept. 30:
For statewide ballot measures, from Jan. 1 through Sept. 30:
In addition to the CTA's $6.2 million, Brown got help from hospital groups ($2 million), public employee unions ($2 million), carpenters ($1 million), and businesses (American Beverage Association and Occidental Insurance each pitched in $500,000).
A group led by Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles, had not yet reported fundraising on behalf of Brown's tax measure by Friday afternoon.
Brown's decision to woo businesses appeared to work. Opponents have raised less than $3 million -- none from the powerful California Chamber of Commerce. One group opposing Proposition 30, Californians for Reforms and Jobs, raised $1.8 million and has $672,000 cash on hand. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Assocaition's opposition group has raised $1 million and has $600,000 left to spend.
But proponents got help from others. The California Future Fund, a group with ties to the billionaire oil tycoon Koch brothers, poured in $4 million to finance a slate of TV ads. And the Small Business Action Committee, which is also financing TV advertising for Proposition 32 and against Proposition 30, raised $24..9 million -- $21 million from Charles Munger, who also gave $1 million directly to Proposition 32.
Proposition 32 opponents have raised $43.4 million.
Bay Area News Group reporters Josh Richman, Steven Harmon and Mike Rosenberg contributed to this report.