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Davis Recall Foes Raise $344,000, Report Shows

Much of the money comes from unions representing state employees, the filing says. The drive's backers have collected $844,000.

June 04, 2003|Michael Finnegan | Times Staff Writer

The committee fighting the proposed recall of Gov. Gray Davis has collected $344,000 in donations, much of it from unions with a stake in the state budget, according to a report released Tuesday.

The top donor to the committee, Taxpayers Against the Recall, was the California Professional Firefighters political action committee, which gave $118,000, according to a report filed with the secretary of state by the anti-recall group.

The firefighters union has been "monitoring the state budget very closely" because about 5,000 members work for the state and could be targeted by job cuts, said Carroll Wills, a spokesman for the recall committee and the firefighters union. Wills said the union opposes the recall for reasons unrelated to the budget. Among other things, he said, a recall election would waste taxpayer money.

"We don't see any conflict at all," Wills said.

The union's $118,000 contribution included a $50,000 loan, he said.

Also donating to Taxpayers Against the Recall was the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, which gave $51,000. The union represents about 11,000 state employees, and it is lobbying Davis and the Legislature to save their jobs, said Willie L. Pelote Sr., the California political and legislative director of the union. He too said the budget was unrelated to the union's opposition to the recall.

The anti-recall committee was formed last week. Pro-recall forces, which have been raising money for months, have collected $844,000.

Much of that -- $445,000 -- came from Rep. Darrell Issa of Vista, who plans to run for governor if the recall qualifies for the ballot.

Among the other donors to the anti-recall effort were:

* John J. Moores of Del Mar, $50,000. A major donor to Democratic candidates and causes, he is chairman of the San Diego Padres baseball team and chairman of the University of California Board of Regents.

Moores' wife, Rebecca B. Moores, also donated $50,000.

* A. Jerrold Perenchio of Los Angeles, $50,000. A longtime Davis supporter, Perenchio is chairman and chief executive of Univision Communications.

* Burlingame lawyer Joseph W. Cotchett, $25,000.

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