A man stands holding a soft drink while speaking with three women
A super PAC that supported former San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo in his Congressional District 16 campaign contributed money to a separate PAC to fund the recount. Photo courtesy of Liccardo's campaign.

New financial disclosures are peeling back the curtain on who helped fund the recent Congressional District 16 recount — starting with former New York City Mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg.

A super PAC called Neighbors for Results, which Bloomberg infused with $500,000 in February, paid $102,000 to another super PAC called Count the Vote between April 12-17 — while Count the Vote was paying county elections officials to conduct a recount which may have bolstered frontrunner Sam Liccardo’s prospects in the November runoff. Neighbors for Results spent nearly $458,000 in support of former San Jose Mayor Liccardo between January and March, according to federal elections data. Both political action committees list Matthew Alvarez of Rutan & Tucker LLP as treasurer.

Alvarez did not respond to requests for comment.

Neighbors for Results raised $565,000 between January and March from only three funders: Cypress Semiconductor founder Thurman John Rodgers, former NetApp CEO Daniel Warmenhoven and Bloomberg. The former San Jose and New York City mayors go a few years back, politically, with Liccardo endorsing and serving as a key advisor to Bloomberg’s failed 2020 presidential campaign.

The Congressional District 16 recount of more than 182,000 votes broke a tie between candidates Assemblymember Evan Low and Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian in the March primary, with Simitian being knocked off the final tally.

Representatives for Liccardo, Low and Simitian’s campaigns did not respond to requests for comment.

The complete list of funders behind the recount have remained a mystery. As a quarterly filer, Count the Vote won’t have to release its campaign finance disclosures until July. But as a monthly filer, Neighbors for Results has disclosed its own role early. The issue prompted District 16 Congresswoman Anna Eshoo — who retires from office at the end of the year – along with the county Democratic Party to demand the disclosure of its funders’ identities due to lack the of transparency.

Max Zarzana, a 25-year prosecutor and president of the Santa Clara County Government Attorneys Association, filed a complaint against Liccardo with the Federal Election Commission in April. He accused Liccardo’s campaign of engaging in a “secret scheme to illegally coordinate with a newly-formed dark money Super PAC to do his CD-16 recount bidding.” He said the move is in line with the former mayor’s “past anti-transparent behavior.”

Liccardo has denied any involvement in the recount.

Contact Brandon Pho at [email protected] or @brandonphooo on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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