Miller’s $$$ contributors include Chamber co-CEO; Lamphier’s include retired Judge Newsom

1979659_490096684430298_1668970563_nAs a new campaign sign for Dan Miller for Supervisor hangs above the entrance to the Grass Valley Visitors Center and Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce — a nonprofit that calls itself “nonpartisan” — it turns out the Chamber’s Co-CEO, Robin Galvan, has contributed $500 to Miller’s campaign as he seeks to unseat incumbent Terry Lamphier.

Galvan lists her address as 128 East Main Street, which is the Chamber’s address, according to campaign finance form filed today at the County Elections Office. She lists her occupation as “Business Owner, Sierra Nevada Destination Services.” (Galvan’s name was misspelled on the form as “Robin Galvin,” but Miller’s campaign confirmed the correction would be made to “Robin Galvan.”)

Miller’s other donors include:

•Tea party supporter and attorney Barry Pruett of Penn Valley, $300. This weekend I wrote “Tea Party faithful rally around Dan Miller for Supervisor”. Barry is still interested in local politics despite losing the clerk-recorder’s race to Greg Diaz in in June 2010 (in every precinct). His wife, Kim, works for Tom McClintock.

Not since supporting Sue McGuire when she ran against GOP moderate Nate Beason two years ago in District 1 has the local tea party and hard-right contingent liked a candidate as much as Miller, who is running hard to unseat Lamphier in District 3 in June. At stake is a shift toward a decidedly more conservative BOS if Miller wins.

•Former supervisor John Spencer and spouse of Patti Ingram, $250. (Lamphier beat Spencer four years ago).

Lamphier, meanwhile, received a $500 contribution from William Newsom, a retired state appeals court judge, administrator of the Getty family trust and father of Lieutenant Governor of California Gavin Newsom.

He also received $100 from E. Christina Dabis, a longtimer who went to high school with Miller, among other contributors. The Laborer’s Local 185-PAC contributed $1,500 as a “late contribution” to Lamphier’s campaign.

Lamphier’s ending cash balance is $9,797, or $11,297 with the late contribution, according to his form — more than his opponent, at least so far.

Miller has an ending cash balance of $8,339, according to the report. The filing is for the period January through March 17.


Robin and her husband, Keith Davies, have been co-CEOs of the Chamber since a “reorganization” more than a year ago.

At the time, board member Ingram, among others, supported the Davies to run the Chamber. Davies has said he’s been Miller’s “good friend since high school.”

“The Chamber is a non-profit and nonpartisan organization, consisting of members from every segment of the community,” according to its website.

The new campaign sign on the building has raised some concern in the community. “The explanation I received upon calling the Visitor Center was that the tenant of the upper floor put that sign up,” one reader said on this blog. “I expressed my concern that the National and other chambers do tend to take the Republican side and that the sign does give the wrong impression.”

The “tenant of the upper floor” is the building’s landlord, who is supporting Miller and helping to sponsor a fundraiser on April 3. It helped arrange the deal that brought the Chamber and Visitors Center to the location on East Main Street with much fanfare.

Miller’s campaign manager, Yolanda Cookson, recently was hired by the Chamber, the Davies announced.

Other donors to Miller’s campaign include Nate and Betty Beason ($100), Lowell Robinson ($200), Jeff Hellman ($500), Johns Olsen ($500) and Andy Owens ($300). Pride Industries of Auburn was reimbursed $4,325 for brochures and door hangers. “Melissa Cookson” was reimbursed $1,227 for campaign consulting.

When the Chamber reorganized I pointed to this concern: “Some people think there’s a political agenda in play: to build a base that includes getting Miller elected to the county board of supervisors, replacing Lamphier.”

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

2 thoughts on “Miller’s $$$ contributors include Chamber co-CEO; Lamphier’s include retired Judge Newsom”

    1. Hi,
      Is this your real name, because it doesn’t match your email address. Anyway, the building owner is interviewed here, in this earlier post. The building owner has every right to hang a campaign sign. Whether that’s good judgment or not when the tenant below is the “nonpartisan” Chamber, and it hangs over the entrance, is another matter. I was hoping the Chamber would ask him to relocate the sign — and he would. Or Dan Miller. It’s a “best business practice.”

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