Wow, do we love Barack Obama. Through the third quarter of 2007, the Democratic candidate for president collected some $230,000 from the four-county metro area, as records with opensecrets.org reveal. That crushed any current candidate for president, with Hillary Clinton a distant second at about $75,000 in donations.
Obama collected a stunning 425 donations from metro-area contributors, compared to just 64 for Hillary Clinton. As you might expect, the charismatic candidate was supported by many African-American notables, including Marquette University professor Howard Fuller (he and his wife Deborah McGriff gave $4,000), Cardinal Stritch exec Jeannette Mitchell ($1,000), top Quarles & Brady attorney John Daniels Jr. ($1,000), Milwaukee Common Council President Willie Hines ($225) and his predecessor Marvin Pratt ($1,000), U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore ($750) and Legacy Bank owner Margaret Henningsen ($1,250).
The range of donors to Obama was stunning. There were gifts from wealthy philanthropist Chris Abele ($2,300), Children’s Outing Association leader and former U.S. Attorney Tom Schneider ($1,000), Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission head Leonard Sobczak ($1,000), PR honcho H. Carl Mueller ($250), former Democratic legislators Barbara Notestein ($250), Barbara Ulichny ($250) and Walter Kunicki ($1,000), gallery owner David Barnett ($1,000), poet and UW-Milwaukee English professor James Liddy ($200), retired WE Energies CEO Richard Abdoo ($3,000), Marcus Corp executive Linda Marcus ($2,000), Harley-Davidson executive Gail Lione ($250), baseball Commissioner Bud Selig’s wife Sue Selig ($2,300), developers Barry Mandel ($2,000) and Gary Grunau ($1,000), attorney and Democratic activist Michael Maistelman ($1,000), AB Data execs Chuck Pruitt ($2,300) and Bruce Arbit ($2,300), and Public Allies nonprofit leader Paul Schmitz ($1,400).
Notable contributors to Hillary included Cumulus Media executive Richard Weening ($9,200), AIDS Resource Center head Doug Nelson ($2,300), Marquette University professor Janet Boles ($300), Time Warner Cable VP Bev Greenberg ($4,600), and former Miller executive VP and one of the “50 most powerful black executives in America,” according to Fortunemagazine, Virgis Colbert ($2,300).
Supporters of Democrat John Edwards, who collected just over $37,000, included attorneys Robert Habush ($5,000) and Ted Warshafsky ($2,300). Hispanic and Democratic candidate Bill Richardson collected about $15,000, with more than half of it coming from Conejito’s owner Jesse Garza ($8,000).
Among Republican candidates, Tommy Thompson collected some $90,000, but he’s dropped out of the race. The front-runner in the polls, Rudy Giuliani, collected just $21,000 in this metro area, compared to about $63,000 for Mitt Romney and $62,000 for John McCain.
Notable Romney supporters included former “deputy governor” James Klauser ($1,300), County Supervisor Joe Rice ($250), Eddie Martini’s restaurant owner Joe DeRosa ($1,500), Koss Corp. Chair John Koss ($2,300), Briggs & Stratton CEO John Shiely ($2,100) and restaurant owner Jacob Weissgerber ($1,000).
Top contributors to McCain included Northwestern Mutual Life CEO Ed Zore ($1,000) and Hammes Company CEO Jon Hammes ($2,300). Notable Giuliani donors included outsider-art collector Anthony Petullo ($2,300) and old Milwaukee family member Polly Van Dyke ($1,000).
Musician Evan Christian, who performs Thursdays at the Third Ward’s Wicked Hop, was picked to write a jingle for GINDIE, a new Web-based network for moviemakers. Christian’s bilingual music blends flamenco, rap and beat box.
Memories of childhood inspired Milwaukee writer Stephen L. Moss’ recent short story for Highlightsmagazine. Titled “Afraid of the Dark,” it’s about a fearful young boy at a sleepover with friends. Now available at a dentist’s office near you.
Wisconsin native Willem Dafoe was in town for the Milwaukee International Film Festival and dined at Beans & Barley during his visit, where he signed the “wall of fame” in the owners’ office. While in town, Dafoe received a relic from his past. Local actor/writer John Kishline , who worked with Dafoe in the ’70s at the now-defunct Theater X, presented him with his old makeup box. Engraved with Dafoe’s name, it was still filled with makeup from his last TX show, Oh Wow Nancy Drew!, in which the then-19-year-old Dafoe played 84-year-old Aunt Rosemary.