Oct. 27, 2010 - According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, French investment billionaire Nicolas Berggruen has pledged $20 million to a group called the "Think Long Committee for California." The Nicolas Berggruen Institute's website states that the committee will "apply their experience, stature and knowledge toward the goal of getting the state back to governability. The recommendations of the Committee will be presented to the next governor and the legislative leadership, or, as necessary, taken to the public in ballot initiatives."
As reported in the Times article, although Berggruen has donated $100,000 to oppose Prop. 23 he sees himself as un-ideological. The Times article, written by Evan Halper, quotes Berggruen as saying: "I haven't been involved in politics here and, frankly, don't want to be."
A contribution search on MAPLight.org bears this out; since the 2002 election cycle, Berggruen has contributed a mere $9,100 to the campaign committees of US Congresspersons. He gave $4,800 to Sen. Charles Schumer in 2009, $2,000 to Sen. John Kerry in 2004 and $2,300 to (then) Senator Barack Obama in 2008.
Contribution data provided is for election cycles 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010. Contributions data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics.