Bloomberg Helped Fund Silicon Valley Congressional Recount

Bloomberg Helped Fund Silicon Valley Congressional Recount
Bloomberg Helped Fund Silicon Valley Congressional Recount

New financial revelations are raising the curtain on who helped finance the recent recount of the 16th Congressional District, starting with former New York City mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg.

A super PAC called Neighbors for Results, into which Bloomberg pumped $500,000 in February, paid $102,000 to another super PAC called Count the Vote between April 12 and April 17, while Count the Vote was paying county election officials to conduct a tally that could have bolstered favorite Sam Liccardo’s prospects in the November runoff. Neighbors for Results spent nearly $458,000 supporting former San José Mayor Liccardo between January and March, according to federal election data. Both political action committees include Matthew Alvarez of Rutan & Tucker LLP as treasurer.

Alvarez did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Neighbors for Results raised $565,000 between January and March from just three funders: Cypress Semiconductor founder Thurman John Rodgers, former NetApp CEO Daniel Warmenhoven, and Bloomberg. The former mayors of San Jose and New York go back a few years, politically, with Liccardo endorsing and serving as a key advisor to Bloomberg’s failed 2020 presidential campaign.

The 16th Congressional District count of more than 182,000 votes broke a tie between candidates Assemblyman Evan Low and Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian in the March primary, with Simitian being eliminated from the final count.

Representatives for the Liccardo, Low and Simitian campaigns did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The full list of funders behind the recount has remained a mystery. As a quarterly filer, Count the Vote will not have to release its campaign finance filings until July. But as a monthly filer, Neighbors for Results has revealed its own role from the beginning. The issue prompted District 16 Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, who is retiring from office at the end of the year, to join the county Democratic Party in demanding disclosure of the identities of its funders due to a lack of transparency.

Max Zarzana, a prosecutor for 25 years and president of the Santa Clara County Government Bar Association, filed a complaint against Liccardo with the Federal Election Commission in April. He accused the Liccardo campaign of engaging in a “secret scheme to illegally coordinate with a newly formed dark money Super PAC to conduct its CD-16 recount bid.” He said the move is in line with the former mayor’s “past anti-transparent behavior.”

Liccardo has denied any involvement in the recount.

This story will be updated.

Contact Brandon Pho at [email protected] or @brandonphooo on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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