It’s no surprise that Granville Homes made political donations this year. The Fresno-based company has been doing that for years. What may be of note is just how much Granville contributed to candidates and parties, and just how far and wide that money was spread.
This year, Granville and its various entities contributed around $520,000, including both the primary and general elections, according to figures on the Secretary of State’s website.
Most of that money stayed local, and the largest recipient was Rachel Hill, who lost to Lisa Gamoian in a heated and pitched battle for a Fresno County Superior Court judge’s seat.
Hill received around $130,000 from Granville. But other money was spread around, to successful Fresno County supervisor candidates Buddy Mendes and Brian Pacheco, for example, and unsuccessful Fresno City Council candidate Cary Catalano, as well as to a San Rafael mayoral candidate, school board candidates and state legislative hopefuls near and far. Granville also contributed $50,000 to the state Republican Party and more than $54,000 to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown’s reelection campaign.
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Get used to it, says Granville President Darius Assemi.
“We believe the best philanthropy is good public policy,” Assemi says.
So moving forward, expect the company to weigh in as much or more than it did this year, and not just locally, but in statewide races, too. Political party will not play a role, Assemi said.
The only person to rival Assemi locally was Ed Kashian and his various business entities, which basically equaled Granville’s giving. But Kashian was far more selective, the Secretary of State’s website shows.
Kashian stayed mostly local, also giving to Mendes and Pacheco, as well as Esmeralda Soria, who defeated Catalano for the Fresno City Council seat, and some school board candidates and a few others.
Of note, however, is that the lion’s share of Kashian’s cash went to Gamoian — around $435,000.