Sacramento Bee: Backers of Calif. public pension overhaul lag in fundraising effort

January 10, 2012

January 10, 2012

The Sacramento Bee is reporting that an "effort to place a public pension overhaul before California voters this November has moved into a new and challenging phase."

Here is an excerpt from the Bee story:

"Backers have reported contributions from but a handful of donors, and on Tuesday bashed Attorney General Kamala Harris for what they said was a "grossly misleading" official description of their measures.

The Sacramento-based California Pension Reform reported raising $128,600 late last month, mostly from Silicon Valley venture capitalists.

Experts say the group needs a huge infusion of cash quickly to have a chance to put one of its two proposals before voters. They are competing with up to a dozen serious initiatives also in play for the November ballot, and changes to districts and new election rules could siphon off even more money.

"It's a crowded environment," said Tim Rosales, a Republican political consultant with the Wayne Johnson Agency in Sacramento, "and a depressed economy."

The law sets a 150-day deadline from Monday for the group to collect 807,615 signatures from registered voters to qualify one of the two measures for the ballot.

All but $1,100 of the money the group raised came in the last two weeks of December. Three Silicon Valley venture capitalists contributed $25,000 each: Jesse Rogers, co-founder of Altamont Capital Partners, and Tench Coxe and G. Leonard Baker Jr., both managing partners of Sutter Hill Ventures."

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