Helen Villines 12:30 p.m., Dec. 12
Rancho Santa Fe's Democratic Soft Money Queen Dating Al Gore, says Washington Post
Over the years, we've reported on the very big money that longtime Rancho Santa Fe denizen Liz Keadle has given to a vast array of Democratic causes.
One of few liberal political donors in the traditionally Republican zip code of 92067, Keadle has contributed to Democrats from President Barack Obama to Senators Tom Harkin of Iowa, John Kerry of Massachusetts, and their onetime fellow Democrat Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, along with former Vice President Al Gore's failed 2000 presidential bid.
Keadle was formerly married to multi-millionaire biotech maven Lyle Turner of Invitrogen fame; when we first checked in on them in July 2002, the couple was comfortably ensconced in a "Las Montanas Street mansion with a four-car garage and a pool on about four acres."
"It is in Democratic soft money where Keadle, who lists her occupation as biochemist, really rules," we noted.
"On June 27, 2001, for instance, she gave $120,000 to the Democratic National Committee's building fund. In November, 2002, Keadle kicked in another $25,000 to the fund, and on March 27 of this year, yet another $100,000."
"The new 90,000-square-foot building has long been the dream of DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe, who has vowed to collect enough soft money to build it before the recently signed McCain-Feingold campaign finance law banning such contributions goes into effect November 6.
"Both Republicans and Democrats have filed lawsuits challenging the soft money restrictions, but both are racing to collect as much money as they can in case the legal challenges fail."
Keadle was also pitched to help pay for a 2007 appearance by Al Gore at UCSD promoting his anti-global warming book, "An Inconvenient Truth."
"Of course, a chauffeured car was also necessary, but not just any old limo would do for the self-styled king of green," we reported at the time, citing the former vice president's deal memo with the university.
"The car will be a sedan, NOT an SUV," the memo said. "In addition, sponsor will make best effort to use [a] hybrid car for Vice-President Gore's transportation in the city of engagement."
Earlier this week, the Washington Post's "Reliable Source" column reported that Keadle, who has been divorced from Turner for some time, is currently Gore's main squeeze.
"The relationship is solid enough that she accompanied Gore, 64, and an eclectic group of experts and VIPs (Richard Branson, singer Jason Mraz, actor Tommy Lee Jones) on a trip to Antarctica in January to raise awareness of climate change," the Post reported earlier this week.
Added the paper: "Although sources close to Gore say she was not a factor in his split from Tipper, it appears they’ve moved in the same circles for years."
The Post also reviews Keadle's romantic ties to a young Democrat who once took on a GOP congressman here.
"After her marriage to Turner ended, Keadle was in a relationship with Nick Leibham, a young San Diego lawyer who in 2008 sought to unseat longtime Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.).
"Leibham lost, but his strong upstart campaign was boosted with an appearance by none other than Al Gore at one of his fundraisers. (Leibham declined to comment.) That same year, Keadle was one of California’s electors in the electoral college."
And what has become of her ex-husband? It hasn't been updated in awhile, but Turner has maintained a website telling about his post-Invitrogen life's journey, saying he has gone "walkabout."
UPDATE: Here's a newer website on which Turner chronicles his life after Invitrogen.
More like this:
- U.S. Geological Survey chief quits, may head Scripps Institution of Oceanography — Jan. 11, 2013
- Cox's everlasting political money machine gears up for 2016 — Dec. 17, 2012
- Future of Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s director may be up for grabs at UC Regents meeting — Sept. 5, 2012
- An Inconsiderate Truth? — May 22, 2012
- Pols Milk 92067 — July 25, 2002