Some Coastsiders get to make larger political contributions than others


By on Mon, November 7, 2005

Under Half Moon Bay’s new campaign finance ordinance, voters who own companies are able to donate three times as much as voters who do not.

Individuals are limited to donating $250 to a single candidate in a single campaign. "Organizations" are limited to $500.  Several contributors have used companies they own or control to donate $500 to candidates. One has donated $500 from his corporation and $250 individually. Another donated at total of $599 to one candidate.

In addition the political action committees and unions who donated money to the candidates, the following individually-owned companies put money into the campaign.

  • Realtor Millie Golder has donated $500 from her business to Naomi Patridge and George Muteff.
  • Ken Jones, the wealthy former school board president, used his Western General corporation of Pierre, SD, to donated $500 to each of Naomi Patridge, Bonnie McClung, and George Muteff.  In filings from Muteff and McClung, the ownership of Western General is not listed. Patridge listed Jones as the owner. In last year’s school board election, Jones donated $1500 each to Charles Gardner and John Moseley.
  • Premier Termite, owned by Kevin Palmer, donated $500 to Naomi Patridge.
  • Kenmark Real Estate, Ocean Colony Partners Golf Links, and Ocean Colony Partners each donated $500 to Patridge’s campaign. These companies are not individually owned, but have few shareholders, and have overlapping ownerships and business interests.
  • Canada Cove Mobile Home Park donated $500 each to McClung, Patridge, and Muteff. Only Patridge listed Jack Verderame as the owner on her form.  Verderame also donated $99 to McClung’s campaign individually.
  • Branscomb Farms LLC in Woodside donated $500 to George Muteff. K.C. Branscomb Kelley, of Branscomb Farms LLC, donated $250 personally to Muteff.
  • Curley and Red’s donated $500 to George Muteff.

Half Moon Bay’s campaign finance law is a good step in the direction of cleaner politics.  But it doesn’t go far enough. It isn’t right that people who have corporations should be allowed to contribute two or three times as much as those of us who do not.

A sound argument can be made that only individual human beings should be allowed to contribute to political campaigns, and that corporations, unions, PAC’s, and other non-human entities that don’t have a vote shouldn’t be permitted to contribute.

I also recommend reading the Review’s two articles on campaign contributions and the No More Delays PAC.

You can download PDF’s of the candidates’ and No More Delays filings from Coastsider: