VoteVets

Money To Burn

Most people are fretting about their money these days. But there's a select few who, in the heat of the election season, are eager to give their cash away. We're going to name some names in the liberal donor network...

VoteVets is a 501(c)(4) noprofit, so usually we don't know who funds it. But the group had to reveal that its latest ad against Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) was bankrolled mainly by two $100,000 contributions from Northern Californians.

One of them, Michael Kieschnick, is president and co-founder of the liberal phone company Working Assets. He also sits on the board of the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund.

The other, David DesJardins, worked as a software engineer at Google. He made out pretty well. Here's what the San Francisco Chronicle wrote in 2007:

These days, desJardins, wears many hats, none full time. He invests in startups, evangelizes other Googlers on the merits of philanthropy, consults for a Defense Department-sponsored think tank that specializes in encrypted communication, and is the world's top-ranked player of Titan, a board game featuring armies of mythological beasts. All the while, he's remodeling his home in Burlingame and working with an architect to build a second one. Initially, desJardins' time off was consumed with the complexities of managing his financial bounty, including tax planning and setting up a plan for charitable giving (he and his wife created a $20 million fund within the Silicon Valley Community Foundation).

VoteVets also got $15,000 from an actual resident of North Carolina, liberal blogger James Protzner.

Meanwhile, Campaign Money Watch, which is running ads against Colorado Republican Senate candidate Bob Schaffer and Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK), just reported a cash infusion including...

...A $300,000 bundle from Matt Entenza, a lawyer and former Democratic House minority leader in the Minnesota legislature. Entenza ran for state attorney general in 2006, but dropped out of the race after revelations that he had hired a private investigator to scrutinize his opponent. Entenza went on to found a liberal think tank called Minnesota 2020.

Campaign Money Watch also picked up $185,000 from the Colorado heiress of a medical supply company, Pat Stryker. She also gave $150,000 to the liberal voter-mobilization group America Votes and $300,000 to Progressive Majority this year. She's president of the Bohemian Foundation.

Another $100,000 came from Chris Findlater, who gives to Majority Action. And oddly, Campaign Money Watch received $122,000 from another liberal 527 group. The union-funded, yoga-teacher-directed Colorado First Project hasn't done much since its anti-Schaffer ad in August.

That's something even more rare — a political group with money to spare.

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