Powerful progressive law firm plunks down $20,000 for Nancy O’Malley’s campaign

Including donations from attorney Joe Cotchett
and his law firm, Alameda County DA Nancy 
O’Malley raised $27,200 in the past eight days.

ALAMEDA COUNTY DA
–ELECTION 2018–
The powerful Burlingame law firm of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Facebook shareholder on Tuesday over the recent disclosure that the social media company failed to protect data from 50 million of its users in a story likely connected to the ongoing Russian collusion investigation.

It’s not surprising that the firm’s founder, Joe Cotchett, is involved in the case. In fact, he has a reputation for litigating many progressive causes, fighting for the so-called little guy against PG&E following the San Bruno explosion and Wells Fargo in the case of fraudulent bank accounts.

Cotchett was also briefly a candidate in 2016 for the appointment to replace Kamala Harris as state attorney general, and he represented the city of San Jose during its unsuccessful bid to lure the Oakland Athletics to the South Bay.

So, it is somewhat surprising that Cotchett, along with his partners, contributed $20,000 last week to an East Bay candidate, who most in the area readily do not view as very progressive.

Cotchett contributed $5,000 to Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley‘s re-election campaign on Mar. 14, according to finance reports. Partners, Frank Pitre, Niall McCarthy and an attorney at the firm, named Nanci Nishimura, also contributed $5,000 apiece.

Furthermore, between Mar. 14 and Mar. 22, O’Malley raised a total of $27,200. The large chunk of contributions includes $1,000 from the re-election campaign of Alameda County Sheriff Gregory Ahern.

The ability of O’Malley’s campaign to draw heavily from police unions, attorneys from all over the Bay Area, including employees in her own office, continues to be a significant story line in her bid to outlast upstart campaign of Oakland civil rights attorney Pamela Price this June.

Conversely, Price’s campaign has been boosted by an outpouring of support from progressives in Alameda County, who believe O’Malley is ambivalent toward convicting police officers for wrongdoing. But the money issue continues to persists for Price and is likely to continue in this expensive countywide primary.

By comparison, O’Malley’s 8-day haul of $27,200 was nearly one-third of the total amount of campaign contributions Price received during the last six months of last year. While O’Malley raised $461,000 during all of 2017, Price received just $110,000.

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