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Who is Angelo Tsakopoulos?

His name may not mean much on this coast--and it was reportedly misspelled on Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee's wedding invitations--but in California Democratic politics the host of her Sept. 4 reception is about as big as it gets. Tsakopoulos, 74, is the patriarch of a real estate development empire in northern and central California and a huge source of cash for Democratic politicians, including Rhee's husband-to-be, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson.

According to the Sacramento Bee, Tsakopoulos hosted a fundraiser for Johnson's 2008 campaign and helped underwrite the mayor's swearing-in ceremony. He also was an early member of the board of St. Hope, the non-profit that runs Johnson's charter schools (Rhee was also a member). Gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides, a one-time business partner, received nearly $5 million from the Tsakopoulos family for his unsuccessful 2006 run, according to AllGov, including $1.25 million from his daughter, Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis, who was named U.S. Ambassador to Hungary earlier this year (They were pretty generous to the Obama campaign as well. Tsakopoulos' son, Kyriakos, was on the national finance committee). Angelo Tsakopoulos' name appears on a 1997 list of Democratic deep pockets who spent a night in the White House Lincoln bedroom, courtesy of President Bill Clinton.

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By Bill Turque  |  August 3, 2010; 10:59 AM ET
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Er, Bill, I agree Mr. T is an extremely high priority on the District education beat. Please provide more details on him.

Nothing at all concerning DC education happened during your vacation.

Posted by: axolotl | August 3, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

This just shows more cronyism. Developers hosting wedding parties?

Another example of what Rhee and Fenty really stand for...

Posted by: letsbereal2 | August 3, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

This is highly inappropriate as "Mr. T" has been bankrolling Kevin and his "strong mayor initiative" here in Sacramento. Kevin isn't too bright, but has a lot of hubris and a huge ego. He's the perfect puppet for the developers here in town. They have stopped at nothing to get Kevin into a strong mayor form of government so they can completely control city hall by pulling this empty suit's puppet strings. We're all seriously hoping Kevin will go away from here because he's done extensive damage with everything he touches. You guys in D.C. can have him!

Posted by: sactown1 | August 3, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

to sactown1: Thanks, but no thanks! We in DC already have one of those. His name is Adrian Fenty. (And his partner in destruction is Michelle, your Kevin's intended.)

Posted by: nan_lynn | August 3, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

That's right, Axoloti, I think that the news about test scores in DCPS declining happened BEFORE Mr.Turque went on vacation.

And, Bill, you came back from vacation to report about....M. Rhee's wedding reception? Please follow up with a story about how she will move to California! Now that would be news to celebrate. Instead we learn more about her ties to a corrupted mayor, only this time it is on the west coast.

I did find it interesting that she misspelled her fiance's patron's name, though.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | August 4, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Hey Bill,

I am so glad that M. Rhee's wedding is being covered. I mean it is so much more important than issues such as why the "immediate" raise and retroactive pay teachers were promised hasn't come about yet or the fact that teachers were fired before those promises were met. Hmmmmmmm. Unless, of course, the fact that Mr. T. is, among other things, Walmart's land developer and Walmart's owner, Eli Broad, is one of the backers of the DC Contract (as well as a big backer of M.Rhee). The circle just goes round and round.

Posted by: adcteacher1 | August 4, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

You're reporting her wedding, her honeymoon...what is next her pregnancy? Enough already...let the style section do their thing.

If you want to share something with the readers...tell us how educational your vacation was Bill?

Posted by: PowerandPride | August 5, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

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