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A rising Newport Coast

April 08, 2004

S.J. CHAN

The overall response to last week's column highlighting some notable

political donations was: What about the rest of the people, the ones

whose names don't appear in the paper?

It's a good point, and it opens the door to perhaps a more

productive search of Newport-Mesa giving by area and neighborhood

rather than gossipy name.

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Lido Isle provides an interesting picture, in part because it's

large enough for there to be enough donations to talk about but still

small enough that one can imagine it as a solitary piece of Newport

Beach.

Anyone surprised that the leading politician there is President

Bush? He received $38,175 from Lido Isle residents between Jan. 1,

2003, and the end of February.

More surprising might be the leading Democratic recipient. It

isn't Sen. John Kerry -- he has no donations. And it isn't former

Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, who received $2,505. Not former Gen. Wesley

Clark, $200 behind Dean at $2,350. Even Sen. John Edwards, at $2,000,

isn't the leader.

It was Sen. Joseph Lieberman, who received $3,000 from Lido Isle

residents.

Other little islands that offered some political punch included

the exclusive Linda Isle, where residents gave $5,000 to the

president and $500 to Lieberman, and Bay Island, whose residents

tossed $3,000 to the White House and $1,000 to Kerry (from the same

house as one of the president's donors -- I wonder what dinner is

like there).

Larger areas of Newport-Mesa are more difficult to delineate. The

parts of Newport Beach that fall within zip code 92660, including

Eastbluff, Newport Center and the Port Streets, are one of the

state's -- and nation's -- top donating zip codes. In California,

only Beverly Hills, with donations totaling $2.7 million, and parts

of Los Angeles, with donations from $1.9 million to $1.42 million,

have given more since January 2003 than the 92660 zip code's $1.3

million (Zip codes in metropolitan New York are the leading ones in

the nation). However, three exclusive areas -- Balboa Peninsula,

Balboa Island and Newport Coast -- are all digestible amounts.

The peninsula has its share of Democrats -- small share, any way.

They gave $2,000 and $500 each to Dean, Gephardt and Lieberman.

Republicans, of course, rule. They gave $19,000 to Bush.

The island, including Collins Island, was more generous to

Democrats. Kerry received $4,000, as did Gephardt. Lieberman

continued his fundraising dominance with $7,000 from the island. Dean

managed $300 and Clark $150.

Bush received $14,950.

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