Jerry Brown campaign gets funds from casinos

Matier & Ross

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

State Attorney General Jerry Brown is on a fundraising roll, having collected more than $1.65 million for his gubernatorial run in the past month - with more than $1 million coming from that big Hollywood fundraiser a couple of weeks back.

But it's not just the celebrity crowd cutting checks to Brown's gubernatorial campaign. Gambling interests that his office regulates are also major donors.

Among them: the California Commerce Club Casino, $25,000; El Dorado Enterprises (owner of the Hustler Casino in Gardena), $10,000; Hollywood Park Casino (Inglewood), $13,000; Bicycle Casino (Bell Gardens), $25,000; and the Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Indians, $25,000.

Peter Morton, founder of the Hard Rock Casinos, also gave $51,000.

As for a possible conflict?

"If someone wants to make a specific allegation, they can make a specific allegation," Brown campaign spokesman Steven Glazer said. "But the office has enforcement powers over thousands of companies and millions of people ... and these contributions have no impact over the professionals running the office."

"He can say he's not influenced by contributions," countered Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a senior scholar at USC's School of Policy, Planning and Development. "But whether it's true or not won't really matter. Whoever his opponent is in the general election will make a big deal out of it."

Boxscore: A new poll shows San Jose voters equally split over the idea of the Oakland A's relocating to their city.

The poll of 400 Santa Clara County voters found that the half living in San Jose were split, 45 to 44 percent, on whether they approve of the A's moving to town.

Countywide, support for the move was slightly better, 45 to 37 percent.

The survey was conducted Oct. 26 to 28 by Oregon pollster Rick Lindholm, who tells us he added the A's question to a broad survey of Santa Clara C