Krovoza Expands Money Advantage Over Wolk


Bill Dodd Dominating the Field with Nearly $600,000 Raised – If you look at the endorsement raised, it is a two-person race with Dan Wolk dominating primarily in Yolo County and Bill Dodd dominating in the western counties of the district.  However, for the time period of July 1, 2013, to December 31, 2013, a completely different story has been told.

In the much-watched match up in Davis between Mayor Joe Krovoza and Mayor Pro Tem Dan Wolk, Joe Krovoza, who surprisingly led after June 30, has actually increased his monetary advantage.  Joe Krovoza raised $102 thousand in the last six months for a total of $218,758 with $165,585 cash on hand.

Dan Wolk raised $72 thousand in the last six months for a total of $122,075 with just $70,000 cash on hand.

While Mayor Krovoza’s strong showing figures to bolster his prospects, especially in the eastern part of the district, where it is Bill Dodd who is now dominating the field.  He raised $588,547 during the last six months and has almost all of that in his bank account.

However, a note of caution is that a number of donors gave him a full $8200.  He can only collect $4100 per individual contributor in the primary.  He can collect another $4100 for the general.  We estimate about $350,000 perhaps more of that nearly $600,000 is actually available for spending in the primary.  Nevertheless, for a candidate we expected to be formidable, Mr. Dodd is poised for a very strong showing.

On the other hand, Matt Pope would seem to be in trouble.  He raised just under $14 thousand in the last six months and just had to take out a $50,000 loan from himself to create a cash balance of $60,000.  While he has support from sitting Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada and Senator Noreen Evans, who represents western portions of the district, that support has not translated into monetary assets.

Joe Krovoza also has donations from over 600 contributors.  He received the maximum $4100 from D. Gregory Scott in Beverly Hills during this period, and $6569 from Angelo Tsakopoulos.

He told the Vanguard, “Support for my Assembly run has been humbling.  From our campaign’s great volunteers, to the number of donors, to the level of support, it’s all coming together very nicely.  My community volunteerism and career at UC Davis, serving as mayor and guiding our city in tough times, and walking the walk for the environment are all resonating with many.  What’s most gratifying is that my supporters are those I have worked with first-hand over many years.”

Dan Wolk has received donations from just over 200 different contributors, he received the maximum contribution of $4100 from Select Commercial Brokerage in Davis, Fabian Nunez for Treasurer 2014, Mark DeSaulnier for Assembly, California Dental Political Action Committee, and Gregory McNece from Davis.

On the other hand, Bill Dodd received the maximum $4100 from 109 individuals.  Many of those sources came from wealthy Bay Area interests.

In a letter fired off last weekend by Wolk Campaign Manager Will Arnold, he charged, “In the race for the 4th Assembly District, major right-wing donors are lining up to support ‘former”’Republican Bill Dodd.”

He added, “Campaign finance reports show that former Republican and Supervisor Dodd took nearly $115,000 in contributions from just 14 individuals in the waning days of 2013. They include former Schwarzenegger advisor and anti-Labor activist David Crane, and Walmart heirs Gregory Penner and Carrie Walton Penner. Dodd has not yet filed a full finance report; he is required to do so by the end of the month.”

Mr. Arnold noted, “The group of conservative donors who have given to Dodd have also given over $1.7 million to Republican candidates and right-wing causes, according to state and federal campaign finance reports. That includes over $100,000 to the Republican National Committee, over $90,000 to each Meg Whitman and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s campaigns for Governor, as well as significant contributions to the Romney, McCain-Palin and Bush-Cheney campaigns.”

He added, “David Crane, who raised much of this money on Dodd’s behalf, has pledged to back only candidates who support his anti-Labor, pro-charter school agenda, has ‘found a candidate’ in Dodd, according to the Sacramento Bee. Crane has called for the elimination of collective bargaining rights for Public Sector workers – taking a page right out of the playbook of Tea Party leaders, like Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and the Koch Brothers.”

However, Mr. Arnold did not return a late evening text asking for comment on his candidate’s relatively low showing in terms of contributions compared with not only Supervisor Dodd but Mayor Joe Krovoza.

Vanguard Analysis: Three Person Race?

Back in July, Will Arnold told the Vanguard, “Dan launched his campaign for Assembly on June 15 and, in the following two weeks, he raised an impressive $50,000.”

He added, “We have been amazed by the level of support the campaign has received thus far, evidenced both by the funds Dan was able to raise in such a short time, and by his growing list of campaign endorsers from throughout the district. This is exactly the start we hoped for.”

The implication at that time was that the discrepancy between Mr. Wolk’s contributions and Mr. Krovoza’s contributions was due to the few weeks’ difference in the timing of announcement.  However, in the last six months, Mr. Wolk was outstripped again in contributions by Joe Krovoza.

At the same time, Dan Wolk has amassed an impressive array of elected officials who have endorsed him, including their three colleagues on city council: Rochelle Swanson who announced her endorsement yesterday, Lucas Frerichs and Brett Lee.  Mr. Wolk also has the support of both of Davis’ supervisors, in Jim Provenza and Don Saylor.

As we noted in Bill Dodd’s article from a few weeks ago – his path to November is clear, as long as no Republicans enter the race, he has a chance to get the majority of the 30% of voters who are registered Republican districtwide, and he hopes that he can pick up enough Democratic and Independent votes in the portion of the district that is familiar with him to finish in the top two.

While Matt Pope is still technically alive, his campaign has been floundering for some time.  He picked up two critical early endorsements including Mariko Yamada, the current Assemblymember who has worked tirelessly on his behalf.  But that support has not translated into money.  Recently his campaign consultant, Mark Capitulo, told the Vanguard they have left the campaign and he has been forced to pump $50,000 of his own money into the race.

Joe Krovoza, stung by a series of endorsements for Dan Wolk by his colleagues, shows that he is still a formidable candidate that can raise the money that he needs to compete in the race.

It is worth noting that in the previous Assembly District race, West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon racked up an impressive list of endorsements and a sizable money advantage and yet lost to Mariko Yamada in one of the biggest surprises in recent years.

A big wild card will be what the unions will do – Mariko Yamada has strong support from the unions, and several labor leaders told the Vanguard in recent weeks that it will be hard to go against her wishes, but they also expressed concern about Matt Pope’s candidacy.

Dan Wolk has been working hard to put himself into more favorable light with the unions.

—David M. Greenwald reporting


Full Statements:

Bill Dodd:

Joe Krovoza

Matt Pope:

Dan Wolk:


About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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  1. Davis Progressive

    game on. krovoza is now in a position to be a serious player in this. dan wolk showed himself to be insensitive attacking pinkerton the day before he was going to interview in incline on an issue that was informational. he pandered to the firefighters in the worst way, and i am now solidly behind krovoza as are a number of other people i have spoken to in the last day.

  2. Abigail

    On the same day we find out Angelo Tsakopulos is solidly supporting Krovoza (to the tune of $6,000+), someone with the name “Davis Progressive” throws support behind him as well. We’re truly through the looking glass now. The region’s biggest developer dumping money behind the Mayor of Davis, and “progressives” are ok with it.

      1. Abigail

        I see. Well, the name implies to me that he/she is a progressive, or speaks for progressives. I would think progressives would not like to see Angelo going all-in for Krovoza.

        1. Matt Williams

          Abigail, is there any particular reason that you are posting anonymously? I would think such an up front Dan Wolk supporter would want to post using a real name. Am I off base in that thought?

        2. Davis Progressive

          well i’m far more concerned about dan selling out to the firefighters which has real policy implications for davis unlike atk who only holds land in yolo where no one can develop.

          1. Mr. Toad

            Actually AKT owns a lot of land outside of Davis and intends to develop it as soon as possible. They own land at Conaway but also between El Macer and the causeway. If you think they will never be able to develop it you are underestimating them.

          2. Mr. Toad

            My guess, and this is just to explain and isn’t an attack on Joe, is that AKT donated to Joe thanks to his support for getting Davis to buy water from Conaway and not getting in the way of AKT’s plans to acquire the ranch and sell most of its water to L.A. AKT is going to make a fortune off that water and also by providing water to Davis so that Davis will have the water needed for AKT to develop its land near the causeway and make another fortune.

          3. Don Shor

            Whew! Good thing that wasn’t “an attack on Joe.” I can only imagine what kind of creative story you’d have come up with in that case, given how far-fetched your east-Davis-development-fantasies are here.

            How exactly do you see AKT developing anything east of El Macero in the next, say, sixty years?

          4. Mr. Toad

            I guess it depends on whether you think taking the water deal with AKT was a good move for the city as I do.

          5. Mr. Toad

            Somehow hundred dollar donations bundled from firefighters is a no no but maxed out donations from developers with land interests around the county is cool. Go figure?

          6. Jim Frame

            Neither is illegal, but one has a demonstrated history of undue influence producing a specific unreasonable result such that acceptance of those donations became politically toxic. Candidates for office don’t turn away legal donations easily, but when they do it’s because they know that accepting those donations might cost them the election. It’s all about the votes.

          7. Matt Williams

            I agree with Don. I don’t think that there is any likelihood of development of the AKT land east of El Macero any time in Angelo’s lifetime.

            Much more likely is an AKT land swap, where Angelo gets Yolo County land that he prefers more than the land he currently owns east of El Macero.

  3. darelldd

    Sad to me is when we speak of the “War Chest” or money raised as if that is the same as votes from constituents. If it IS the same, why bother voting? If it isn’t the same, why do we report it with such pretend relevance? Clearly the amount of money raised plays a large role in any election. And that really pains me.

    Sorry. Totally off-track comment, but definitely the first thing that comes to mind when I read articles about “money raised” as if it is the best indicator of how electable a candidate is.

    1. Jim Frame

      as if it is the best indicator of how electable a candidate is

      It’s not the best indicator, but at certain points in a campaign it may be the best available indicator, thus the interest.

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