Jerry Brown's inauguration money goes to housing, protocol funds

Published: Saturday, Jun. 25, 2011 - 12:00 am | Page 3A

Jerry Brown's office said in January that any money left over from his inaugural ceremony account would be donated to a nonprofit.

In fact, the committee found two: One to pay for Brown's housing in Sacramento and the other to pay for government-related activities he may host. The inaugural committee donated $25,000 to each, an official with the recipient groups said Friday.

In addition to keeping the California State Residence Foundation, which governors have used for years instead of a permanent governor's mansion, Brown is maintaining the nonprofit California State Protocol Foundation, used by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to finance such items as overseas trade missions and a party for administration officials before he left office.

At Schwarzenegger's behest, corporate donors last year contributed more than $1 million to the Protocol Foundation.

Brown is unlikely to spend anywhere near that much, perhaps using the foundation to fund events for lawmakers, department heads or visiting dignitaries, said George Kieffer, a Los Angeles lawyer who heads both the residence and protocol foundations.

"He sees this as being a much more modest operation," he said.

Brown's swearing-in was subdued, and he raised about $400,000 more from private donors than he expected to spend.

Kieffer said the inaugural committee donations are the only donations either foundation has received since Brown took office. The residence foundation is paying the $3,000-a-month rent at Brown's loft in Sacramento.

"He's not going to spend much money," Kieffer said.

Brown budgeted about $100,000 for his inaugural festivities, and he limited individual contributions to $5,000. He raised more than $500,000 from private donors representing a range of business interests before the state.

The Protocol Foundation's board includes Kieffer and Zack Wasserman, a San Francisco lawyer and friend of Brown's who is also on the residence foundation board.

Its other members are Gary Toebben, president of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Stewart Kwoh, president and executive director of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, and Antonia Hernandez, head of the California Community Foundation.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by David Siders



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