Fund-raising Memo Obtained By California’s Capitol

TO: Wendy Warfield, Dan Weitzman, Amber Moran, The Bovee Co., AimPoint Inc., Bertolina & Barnato, Inc., McKinley Pillows and other Sacramento Area Fundraisers 

FROM: Greater Sacramento Chamber of Commerce 

RE: Legislative Fundraisers 

First, congratulations on another robust year. It appears from the list we’ve been provided, which is somewhat dated, that there are at least 82 legislative fund-raising events during the final month of the Legislature’s 2009 session – 37 events on August 25th and 26th alone! Very impressive, particularly for an odd-numbered year.

We trust this level of success will encourage all of you, as you have in the past, to renew your annual membership.

It has been called to our attention by some of our other members, however, that the local economic stimulus of these fund-raising events could be broader in scope, which would benefit all chamber members, including yourselves.

For example, the bulk of these events are concentrated within a few blocks of the state Capitol.

On August 25, just to pick a date at random, the Pyramid Alehouse at 11th and K St. hosts two cocktail receptions from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM. One for former GOP lawmaker Alan Nakanishi who wishes to renew his commitment to public service on the state Board of Equalization and Assemblyman Jose Solorio, a Santa Ana Democrat.  There is an 8:00 AM breakfast there as well benefiting Sen. Leland Yee, a San Francisco Democrat.

The same day there are back-to-back, bipartisan breakfasts across K St. at the Ambrosia Café, beginning at 7:30 AM. A cocktail reception is being held there at 5:30 PM as well.

A lunch and a cocktail reception are booked at Spataro, 1415 L St., the same day as well as a breakfast at Gallaghers at 1201 K St.  At Ella, across 12th St. from Gallaghers is a cocktail reception on behalf of Sen. Dean Florez who wishes to become California’s next lieutenant governor.

There are also two breakfasts, one dinner and a lunch at Chops Steakhouse & Seafood, the closest eatery to the Capitol.

The following day there are several events at the Esquire Grill, at 13th and K St., two at The Citizen Hotel, one at the Sheraton Grand, another at Chicory the coffee house at 11th and L St. and, breaking the mold, a $2,000 per person — $3,900 per couple – dinner at The Kitchen well away from downtown near the intersection of Fulton and Hurley.

Not to hit this too hard but there are scads of other eateries, some near the Capitol, others not, who could use an economic shot in the arm, particularly in these difficult times.

While not much of a writer, the restaurant reviewer for the News & Review has done a passable job identifying a number of interesting restaurants. Lalo’s, for example, on 24th Street is only a few moments from the Capitol. Barbacoa with Bonnie Lowenthal. That’s kind of catchy. The newly opened Sapporo Japanese Steakhouse on 16th is spacious. How about an event in the backroom of the Irish pub on L St. or its neighbor, the California Pizza Kitchen? Tokyo Fro’s on 15th.  Blues at the Torch Club. Indie rock at Marilyn’s. The big lounge at K and 20th is perfect.

Even better, how about an event in which participants visit each of the half-dozen or so Mexican restaurants on Fruitridge between Interstate 5 and Highway 99? That way six businesses benefit.

Which leads to a second complaint by some of our members. Why are all these events held at restaurants? Is it forbidden to have a fundraiser at the California Museum at 10th and O St? A particularly interesting Lincoln exhibit is showcased there through August 22. The Railroad Museum? Stanford Mansion? Sutter’s Fort?

It seems somewhat narrow to have all of these events focus on eating. We’re in the midst of an obesity crisis, the media routinely tells us. Perhaps focus on physical exercise instead. Bowling, for instance. Sacramento’s lanes have been hit hard by the economic downturn. Bocce ball. Badminton. One of the administrative assistants here is taking an exercise program based on pole dancing.

If drinking is central to an event why not have it be a microbrewery tasting. That way six struggling small-business owners get a chance to sell their wares and garner some free publicity among opinion leaders. Similarly, a scotch or local wine tasting.

Or schedule cheese and salsa samplers – avoid the aptly named  “Ass Fire” at Mulvaney’s, however. Knitting. Macramé. Throw some clay pots. Jewelry design. Origami. Any number of local businesses would be more than eager to help expose your clientele to these and other fascinating worlds.

Looking forward to your cooperation – and assistance – in broadening the economic impact of your future events.  


Filed under: Venting


  1. Oh, cripes! Give it a rest already! What is with your obsession on fundraising issues?

    Comment by Sandy Carey — 8.13.2009 @ 4:40 pm

  2. OMG! Spreading fundraising events all over town…now that’s a sure fundraiser for the Trial Court Trust Fund.

    Comment by Let It Bleed — 8.14.2009 @ 7:24 am

  3. Thanks Gregster,
    How do you think I got the name, tums please.

    Comment by Wally Webgas — 8.14.2009 @ 7:24 am

  4. \"while not much of a writer, the restaurant reviewer for the News & Review…\" – Ouch, Greg!

    Comment by Lurking reader — 8.14.2009 @ 7:39 am

  5. It is not allowed by the CHP to have a political fundraiser in a state-owned building, which is where The California Museum is located. While we at the Museum would love to have fundraisers here, it is strictly forbidden. The Museum is a great place to have other types of events as we rent out the facility for private events.

    Comment by Ashley — 8.14.2009 @ 7:54 am

  6. Ahhh. Tilting at windmills never grows old.

    Comment by Andrea — 8.14.2009 @ 7:55 am

  7. While I do subscribe to the old line that “Money is the Mother’s milk of politics,”
    these guys would make Tom and Marlene Bane blush. And for most of them, they don’t have races but raise money for their political existence within their caucuses.

    Comment by J. Unruh — 8.14.2009 @ 10:05 am

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