Solved? How Kanuth May Have Raised $800k in 7 Weeks for Waxman Seat
The mystery of how public defender David Kanuth managed to raise $800,000 in less than two months, and lead all candidates for Rep. Henry Waxman's seat in fundraising for the first quarter of 2014, may have been solved. Kanuth did not simply tap into a network of Harvard or law school classmates: he likely has a far wider reach, thanks in part to his father Robert, Harvard basketball legend and founder of the Cranston Corporation.
The senior Kanuth graduated in the famous class of 1969, which also featured future Vice President Al Gore and Oscar winner Tommy Lee Jones. He was captain and MVP of the Crimson basketball team, and later went on to found Cranston, which owned Cranston Securities, an "extremely successful" municipal bond underwriter that was bought in 1987 by investment firm Prescott, Ball & Turben (PBT). Kanuth later won nearly $40 million in arbitration against the company, sharing over $4 million with another Cranston executive in a later case.
In 2011, the New York Times reported that Kanuth owned Pelican Bay Suites, a hotel in the Bahamas. He is married to Lesley Visser of CBS Sports--"the most highly acclaimed female sportscaster of all-time," according to her website. The two were set up by Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino, according to thepostgame.com.
Pitino also makes an endorsement on the younger Kanuth's campaign website, offering his support "although I can't vote," he says. Indeed, the Kanuth campaign boasts a wide variety of celebrity and sports endorsements, some from far beyond the district, including former Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino and Boston Celtics commentator Mike Gorman. These connections are difficult to explain without the elder Kanuth.
In April, Sharon McNary of Southern California Public Radio attempted to discover the secret behind David Kanuth's wildly successful fundraising.
She wrote: "The money Kanuth raised, all from individual donors, shows his viability as a candidate, he claimed. He said he started with a stack of blank index cards left over from his law school days, writing down names of people to contact for donations and then making call after call."
The impression given is that Kanuth raised money from law school classmates (though Kanuth was careful not to say which names he wrote down and contacted). A search through the Federal Election Commission database reveals a large number of maximum contributions from retirees--some in south Florida, where Robert Kanuth now resides. Those connections seem unlikely for a seven-year L.A. public defender, at least on short notice (starting 2 weeks after Waxman announced his retirement).
The Kanuth campaign confirmed to Breitbart News that Robert is indeed David Kanuth's father, and did not deny that he had assisted in fundraising: "The support David has received from his personal and professional relationships has been amazing. Friends, family, and colleagues have obviously rallied around the campaign," said Kanuth for Congress representative Mike Dorsey.
Other candidates, notably independent Marianne Williamson, have made big money a central issue in the 33rd congressional district race--though Williamson, like others, has tapped into deep-pocketed friends and celebrities.
Asked which candidate Kanuth sees as the most formidable opponent, Dorsey said: "David considers all the candidates formidable in their own way, but for voters he meets looking for someone to get things done in Washington, he is the best and only choice."