The Silicon Valley Voice

Power To Your Voice

Follow the Money 2020 Update: Related Bets Another $85K, Unions Bet on O’Neill

Related Companies donated another $85,000 to the Santa Clara Police Association PAC, which brought in almost $100,000 in the final week of the 2020 campaign. The latest contribution brings Related to a total of $235,000 in donations.*

Related has an exclusive development agreement with the City to build an $8 billion mixed use project on the City’s golf course, across the street from Levi’s Stadium.

No ground rent is due on the 240 acres until after groundbreaking, which was anticipated to happen in 2016. As groundbreaking has yet to start, Santa Clara has lost at least $3.1 million in revenue over the last four years.


Other new donations to the police union PAC include: $7,000 from Gillmor Real Estate’s longtime partner De Anza Builders (John Vidovich); $5,000 from George Newcombe, Palo Alto attorney with NY-based Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; and $1,500 from a California Apartment Association PAC.

Current donors to Apartment Association PACs include: local builders Avalon Bay, Essex, Prometheus and Sares Regis; Oakridge and Lake Terrace apartment complexes; and PG&E.

As of Oct. 31, Jed York has made no further PAC donations, with his current total standing at $3 million.

Here’s the direct link to Santa Clara campaign finance reporting: When you reach that page, select PUBLIC ACCESS PORTAL.


Candidates Direct Donations: Reporting From Sept. 18 – Oct. 22

(We are including cash and services donations in total donations)

Gautam Barve (District 6): Barve raised $535 and loaned his campaign another $5,000, bringing his total donations to $3,700 and total loans to $20,000; making a total of $24,300.

Harbir Bhatia (District 1): Bhatia added $3,945 to her war chest; bringing her total to $17,100, which includes a $1,000 loan to her campaign.

Anthony Becker  (District 6): Becker raised another $1,900, bringing his total to $8,500. Becker received a $500 donation from the Teamsters DRIVE committee.

Suds Jain (District 5): Jain narrowly edged out Barve for the biggest war chest in this campaign — $25,300 — due to his $20,000 loan. For the period he received $560 in donations.

Robert Mezzetti (District 6):  

Mezzetti’s campaign took in another $11,200. The candidate loaned himself another $3,500 — making $7,000 in loans — and bringing his total $18,200.

Mezzetti’s campaign is notable for the fact that almost 80 percent of his donors don’t live in Santa Clara. Two of his five Santa Clara donors are Mayor Lisa Gillmor and her husband. He also received donations from Berliner Cohen ($500) — a San Jose law firm that does significant amounts of work for the City — and the IBEW Local 332 Education Fund ($630).

 Bob O’Keefe (District 5): O’Keefe raised an additional $2,000, bring his total to $10,300, which includes a $4,250 loan to his campaign. O’Keefe has received donations from a California Apartment Association PAC ($630) and the California Real Estate PAC ($300).

Teresa O’Neill (District 4): 

Incumbent O’Neill has raised a total of $17,500 including a $2,000 loan to herself. Between Sept. 18 and Oct. 22 she raised $9,000, which makes her the top fundraiser for the one month period.

About 30 percent of District 4 incumbent O’Neill’s donors — 20 percent of her donations — are union and, to a lesser degree, real estate PACs.

O’Neill has received donations from: Cement Masons Union 400 ($250), Teamsters DRIVE PAC ($500), Sheet Metal Workers Local 104 ($630), IBEW Local 332 Education Fund ($630), Santa Clara and San Benito Counties Builders & Construction Trade Council PAC ($300), Northern California Carpenters Regional Trade Council ($350), CA Real Estate PAC ($300) and the California Apartment Association ($630) and Teamsters Local 350 ($500).

Kevin Park (District 4): Park received an additional $1,300 in donations and adding another $100 to the $8,000 he has already loaned his committee. This brings Park’s total finances to $14,380.

Kathy Watanabe (District 1): Incumbent Watanabe added another $950, making a total of $7,300, including the candidate’s $2,000 loan to her campaign.

Candidates’ financial reports are filed under the office they’re running for. PAC expenditures are listed by committee (PAC).

When PACs donate or spend money, they have to report the source of the money used for the expenditure (Form 496). When the same donation is used for multiple expenditures, the full donation is reported each time. Thus, to calculate the total donations you have to look at the date of each to avoid duplication.

For more information on tracking down campaign donations and spending, check out The Weekly’s piece, How To Follow the Money: Peeling the Campaign Spending Onion.


*Update: Related pumped another $50,000 into the police union PAC over the weekend, making a total of $385,000. The money appears to have been used for door-hangers designed to mislead people into thinking that the Mercury News endorsed Mayor Lisa Gillmor and Police Chief Pat Nikolai’s slate of candidates, when in fact the newspaper endorsed their opponents. [door-hanger]


  1. Davy L. 4 years ago

    This is a quote from the Mercury News: “It is imperative that Santa Clara voters elect four new members to the City Council to end Mayor Lisa Gillmor’s stranglehold on the city. Voters should elect Harbir Bhatir in District 1, Kevin Park in District 4, Suds Jain in District 5, and Anthony Becker in District 6.” Lisa Gillmor’s team (Kathy Watanabe, Teresa O’Neill, Bob O’Keefe, Robert Mezzetti) are all in favor of continuing the lawsuits opposing the current six voting Districts and converting back to city-wide elections. For myself, I am a resident of District 6. I am voting for Anthony Becker.

    • CSC 4 years ago

      Good for you Davy. I have family members in District 6, I encouraged them to support Becker as well.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.


You may like