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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