The Los Angeles Times reports that some Republican donors who gave significant cash to GOP gubernatorial candidates Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner in 2010 are eschewing donating to the GOP gubernatorial candidates in 2014 and instead donating to the campaign of Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown.
Brown has amassed almost $2 million from those donors, more than triple the amount they have doled out to GOP candidates Assemblyman Tim Donnelly and former U.S. Treasury official Neel Kashkari.
Many of these contributors are industry PACs–which prefer to be on the winning side. Allstate Insurance Co., Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, the California Restaurant Assn. PAC and the California Refuse Recycling Council PAC; each of them gave at least ten thousand dollars in 2010 to Poizner or Whitman.
This time, those contributors have sent similar amounts of money to Brown. Sempra Energy, the San Diego natural gas company, donated Whitman $51,800 and Brown $32,400 but has given a total of $26,000 to Brown.
One stated reason for the donations to Brown, the Times reports, was that contributors claim he has succeeded in changing the state’s deficit into a surplus.
Some donors gave both Brown and Whitman cash in 2010 because they knew both candidates personally. Billionaire Eli Broad, who is listed as a Democrat, gave at least $25,000 to both candidates in 2010. He told the Times, “It was a result of personal relationships, not only with Jerry Brown, who I’ve known for a long time, but I’ve also known Meg Whitman. But I’m very happy, I’m not contributing to anyone else than Jerry Brown.”
Former Gov. Pete Wilson, who has been pushing his donor base to support Kashkari, had a different take, asserting that the reluctance among donors stems from Kashkari’s low name recognition. But he added that if Kashkari wins the June 3 primary, donors will climb on the bandwagon.