Her ties to Goldman Sachs may have slowed her momentum, but GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman is coming off a successful quarter – at least when it comes to campaign finance.
In the three months ending April 26, Whitman raised an impressive $23.3* million, state records show.
That’s an equally impressive $259,000 per day.
Of course, $20 million of the $23.3 million came in the form of a check the wealthy former eBay CEO wrote to herself on April 5.
Nevertheless, it’s a lot of political cash, even if it didn’t come from the grass roots.
As Whitman’s campaign unfolds, a California Watch analysis shows that she continues to rely on her own funds for campaign expenditures to a degree never before seen in California politics.
The $59 million that she has donated to her own campaign represents 80 percent of her war chest. Put another way, political supporters are contributing only 20 cents for every $1 Whitman spends.
To repeat the question we asked when we first looked at the issue Jan. 26 – who gives money to a candidate with such deep pockets?
Bundled donations from corporations where Whitman has a personal connection continue to be a significant source of campaign cash from the outside, the records show.
The biggest bundle comes from eBay, where Whitman made her fortune. A total of 49 executives of eBay and its PayPal subsidiary have combined to give her $178,500.
Employees of another place where Whitman once worked – Bain & Co., the Boston consulting firm where Whitman started her career in the 1980s – have given $164,650. Executives from the Food 4 Less supermarket chain pitched in $129,500, and the top brass of the popular Panda Express restaurants gave $127,350.
Whitman also continues to obtain donations via her connection with the Goldman Sachs investment bank, although they’ve slowed.
Whitman is a former corporate director at Goldman and part of her $1.2 billion fortune is invested in Goldman funds. While at eBay, she steered investment banking business to Goldman and obtained lucrative insider stock deals from the firm, records show.
In recent weeks, Democrats have taken to flailing her on a daily basis for her connection to the firm, which is now under investigation for fraud by the SEC. In a website parody of the Wall Street Journals' front page, the California Labor Federation charges that, "Meg Whitman got rich the Wall Street way – through scams, shady insider deals and mortgage-backed securities that resulted in countless Americans losing their homes and jobs."
Present and former Goldman executives have given her a total of $114,500, records show. But she’s obtained only $4,000 in the last three months, from two Los Angeles-based Goldman investment managers, Jason Silletti and John Mallory.
More than 150 donors have given Whitman $25,900 -- the maximum donation allowed by law. Two recent maximum donors are Florida developer Gary Morse and his wife, Rene.
Morse is the builder of The Villages, a sprawling retirement community of 65,000 people north of Orlando, Fla.
What city has given Whitman the most money? Atherton, of course – that’s where she lives.
LA is a distant second with $818,000, and San Francisco is third with $641,000.
What city produced the smallest trove? Actually, lone donors from 45 different cities – including Dedham, Mass., Missouri Springs Iowa, and Shingle Springs, in the Gold Country foothills – have made donations of only $100.
*This April 30 update corrects numerical errors in the original post. A software problem in the Secretary of State's web site produced some incorrect donation totals, a spokeswoman said.