Monday, January 19, 2009

A Tale of Two Fund Raising Events

On Sunday January 11, there were two political fund raising events, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. They were about 4 miles apart.

The Recall Team due to their limited budget has been trying to raise money by word of mouth in the last 1 month. This would be the last fund raising for the campaign since they are at the exhaust point. It has been a very long campaign for them. Almost 9 months ago, they started the recall ballot with the gathering signature effort. After gathering a little bit over 7,000 signatures in three months, they managed to verify 5,187 signatures for submission.

Their last 3 fund raising events since December had a total of about 1,600 people attended. Since this is a grassroot movement, the contribution has been very limited with people giving $20 to $50 and no more.

In contrast, Nguyen's Anti Recall fund raising events (2 public and one private since December), where there were usually about 50 to 100 people attending, received mostly big money from wealthy real estate developers, lobbyists and labor unions that are mostly out of state. This time, she had the event at the San Jose Police Association's headquarters.

The last 460 form reported back in October showed that Nguyen raised twice as much as the Recall Team. It should not be any different this time around since rumors are there were a lot of wealthy donors that Reed had managed to persuade.
With the backing of the mayor, the city council, the Democratic Party, South Bay Labor, mainstream media, Nguyen is hoping to ride the mainstream voters to victory. The issue here is who are the mainstream voters? In a city where the population is 1/3 Asians, 1/3 Hispanics and 1/3 Whites, it would be interesting to see if Nguyen can win the White and Hispanic votes.
Even after 4 years in office, she has never built a Hispanic base in her district. Matter of fact, the Hispanic residents that care to vote will not vote for her since they still could not forget how she forced a venerable GI Forum (a nonprofit organization established to help Hispanic war veterans) almost into bankruptcy by refusing rezoning law.
The White voters are genuinely don't care for her also since she has not done anything for them in her time in office. But they will vote for her because of the mainstream media egging on calling the people who signed the recall petition demanding democracy bullies and extremists.
There are still 6 weeks left for campaigning so there are a lot of sparks still flying.

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