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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Interesting Names on Gavin Newsom's Major Donors List: Michael Savage's Son, Ousted Yahoo Boss, and -- The Fugitive?

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2009 at 5:30 AM

A fund-raising 'Rock Star'?
  • A fund-raising 'Rock Star'?
Heading into today's Gavin Newsom "New Direction for California" fund-raiser at the Palace Hotel -- when plenty of folks will shell out good money to San Francisco's gubernatorial candidate and erstwhile mayor -- it's worth taking a look at who has already ponied up the big bucks in hopes of putting Newsom in the statehouse.

Glancing through the list of major donors, the most double-take inducing name is Russell Weiner. That's the fellow who founded the company that produces Rockstar Energy Drinks (so you can blame him for those folks making all that noise outside your window at 3 a.m.). He's also the son of vitriolic right-wing radio talker Michael Savage (ne Michael Weiner) and the co-founder -- along with Dad -- of the now-defunct Paul Revere Society.

So it's odd that Weiner tossed $25,000 Newsom's way on the 11th of this month when Gavin made his name forcefully and impetuously allowing same-sex marriage -- while Savage's stance on gay people mirrors George Custer's take on Indians and one of the founding tenets of the Paul Revere Society was its support for "traditional marriage" (as well as closing the borders, deporting all illegals, and, of course, permanent tax cuts -- not actions you'd expect to see championed by a Newsom governorship).

Other May donors of note include ousted Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang -- who was called a "moral pygmy" by departed San Francisco Congressman Tom Lantos after ratting out a dissident journalist to Chinese Communist authorities. Yang still managed to scrape up $25,900, regardless. Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein gave $5,000 as did Universal Studios COO Ron Meyer,  iFilms head Charles Paul gave twice that, and Aileen Getty -- who lists herself as "not employed" -- scraped together $10,000. 

Finally, Richard Kimball paused long enough from his pursuit of the one-armed man who killed his wife to donate $24,100. Actually, this Kimball isn't "The Fugitive" but the general partner of Technology Crossover Ventures. But his money's still good.

UPDATE: The comment posted to this article appears to be true: Newsom campaign manager Eric Jaye has announced Russell Weiner's money will be returned.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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