Developer Pours Hundreds of Thousands Into Recall Effort

Alex Spanos (search), owner of the San Diego Chargers football team and major apartment developer in California and Nevada, gave $200,000 this week to efforts to recall Democratic Gov. Gray Davis (search).

Spanos is also a major contributor to George W. Bush and the GOP. He's raised hundreds of thousands for Bush and given hundreds of thousands in soft money donations to GOP committees.

Spanos gave $100,000 to Arnold Schwarzenegger's (search) Total Recall Committee and $100,000 to Rescue California (search), the original committee created to recall Davis. Both contributions were filed with the state on Wednesday.

"This shows that finally some Republicans are getting involved in the recall instead of just paying attention to the replacement ballot," said Alan Hoffenblum, publisher of a statewide political guide known as the Target Book (search). "Some heavyweights have gotten on the phone and started beating the bushes. These people don't donate all by themselves."

Spanos was one of George W. Bush's "Pioneers," a group that raised $100,000 for his campaign. Spanos has since been selected as a Bush "Ranger" for the 2004 campaign, meaning he's pledged to raise $200,000.

From 1995 to 2002, Spanos, his wife, Faye, and Spanos' construction company, AG Spanos Construction (search), donated $1,739,343 in soft money to GOP committees.

Spanos has also given $21,200 to Schwarzenegger's campaign for governor. His wife, Faye, also gave $21,200. State law forbids contributions of more than $21,200 to a candidate's committee. There is no limit on contributions to initiative campaigns such as the recall.

Other developers and investment companies have recently increased giving to Schwarzenegger's recall campaign. American Sterling Corporation (search), a mortgage and investment firm, gave $100,000 on Monday. Capital Pacific Holdings (search), a California residential developer, gave $78,800 on Wednesday.

Overall, the pro-recall committees raised $435,000 this week, about half of what Davis' anti-recall campaign committee has raised.

American Sterling and Capital Pacific also gave the maximum $21,200, to Schwarzenegger's gubernatorial campaign.

Since Monday, 11 major California developers or their affiliates have given $219,600 to Schwarzenegger's campaign.