San Diego One of the biggest local donors to a single cause so far this political season has been R.B. "Buzz" Woolley, the La Jolla investor, who gave $94,700 to the EdVoice Independent Expenditure Committee on April 3. Other big contributors include L.A. billionaire Eli Broad and Netflix's Reed Hastings, who gave the same amount.
The group, which favors various education-reform efforts, spent $125,000 to back ill-fated Democratic assembly candidate William McCammon, the fire chief of Alameda County. It made a $90,000 independent expenditure for successful Democratic assembly primary candidate Paul Krekorian, a Burbank school board member. And it had another winner in the assembly campaign of La Cañada Flintridge Democratic city councilman Anthony Portantino, on whom it spent $80,000.
Heavily backed by conservative Wal-Mart heir John Walton before his death last year in an ultralight aircraft crash, EdVoice has been accused of conducting a stealth campaign for private school vouchers. But supporters say it is all-inclusive, pointing to its director, West Sacramento mayor Christopher Cabaldon, who announced during his March state of the city speech that he is gay.