He’s not a lawyer, but newly announced gubernatorial candidate John Garamendi apparently has some good friends in legal circles.
The current lieutenant governor has received a combined $14,000 in campaign contributions in recent months from California trial lawyers Thomas Girardi, Jeffrey Krinsk, Guy Kornblum and Charles Cochran. Attorneys and firms from New York and Florida kicked in more than $9,000 last year as well. They probably remember his days as state insurance commissioner, when he frequently went toe-to-toe with insurers in court.
He also received $5,000 from Ron Burkle, the president and CEO of the Yucaipa Cos., where Garamendi did a stint in the late 1990s. Perhaps as governor Garamendi would look more fondly upon the so-called Burkle bill, a piece of state legislation, rumored to be pushed at Burkle’s urging, that would have shielded certain divorce filings from the public. It died in the Legislature in 2006.
Garamendi had more than $278,000 on hand at the end of June. A former deputy secretary in the federal Interior Department during the Clinton administration, Garamendi is the first prominent Democrat to throw his hat in the ring, although San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and, yes, Attorney General Jerry Brown are expected to follow suit shortly.
Speaking of fundraising, one of the attorneys seeking to replace Brown, should he run for governor, reported good numbers in the latest cash-grabbing round. Democrat Joseph Canciamilla reported $321,000 on hand, almost all of it coming via a transfer from his state Assembly campaign account. Republican Chuck Poochigian, who hasn’t confirmed that he’s running in 2010, filed paperwork Thursday indicating that he has $130,000 in the bank should he decide to run again for AG.
— Cheryl Miller