By David Siders
The Sacramento Bee
Published: Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011 – 12:00 am | Page 1A
Last Modified: Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011 – 12:29 am
For 11 months Gov. Jerry Brown raised almost no money and conducted few political exercises outside the Capitol.
But in a spate of private meetings and fundraisers in recent weeks, his political apparatus stirred. Brown quietly raised more than $1.2 million in two weeks for his campaign to raise taxes.
He is also raising money for his re-election bid, and his administration is positioned to engage in legislative races next year. The effort includes meetings between Brown’s political adviser, Steve Glazer, and potential donors at their offices in Sacramento and in a borrowed conference room at the downtown building where Brown rents a loft. The meetings have included business and labor representatives, but also lobbyists with lengthy corporate client lists.
“He’s out and starting to contact companies and build support,” said Rob Lapsley, president of the California Business Roundtable. “It’s in its very earliest stages, but I think they’re starting to show that they can put together an effective organization.
“That organization involves the California Democratic Party, whose finance director, Angie Tate, is helping Glazer, including joining him at some meetings. Brown said his relationship with the party’s chairman, John Burton, is “the best it’s ever been,” despite Burton’s filing of a tax proposal different than Brown’s.
The administration is making other prominent connections.
On Jan. 1, Glazer will start advising the California Chamber of Commerce’s political action committee in legislative races. The heavy-spending JobsPAC’s donors include insurance, oil, tobacco and pharmaceutical companies.
“If you share at least some of the governor’s agenda, you can, in theory, help build support for his agenda in the Legislature,” said Darry Sragow, a Democratic strategist who previously advised the chamber.
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