Dave Pine

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Dave Pine
Dave Pine.png
Dave Pine
Member of the
San Mateo County Board of Supervisors
representing District 1
Assumed office
May 24, 2011
Preceded by Mark Church
Personal details
Born (1958-12-22)December 22, 1958
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Jane Pine
Children Kevin, Jack
Residence Burlingame, California
Alma mater Dartmouth College, 1981
University of Michigan, 1985
Occupation Politician
Website http://www.davepine.com/

Dave Pine is a member of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, and represents Supervisorial District 1, which includes the eastern two-thirds of South San Francisco and all of San Bruno, Millbrae, Burlingame, and Hillsborough.[1] He was elected on May 3, 2011 in an all-mail-ballot special election that was held to fill the vacancy created when Supervisor Mark Church resigned to become Chief Elections Officer & Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder[2] Pine had been a school board member before being elected Supervisor, serving on the Burlingame School District Board of Trustees from 2003 to 2006 and on the San Mateo Union High School District Board of Trustees from 2007 to 2011. Before entering politics, Pine was a lawyer for three Silicon Valley tech companies: Radius, Excite@Home, and Handspring.

Early life[edit]

Dave Pine was born in Massachusetts and grew up in a small New Hampshire town, where his father worked as a professor and his mother a teacher. Later, both of his siblings also pursued careers in education; his brother became a principal and his sister an admissions officer.[3]


While a freshman at Dartmouth College, Pine ran for and won a seat in the New Hampshire House of Representatives, and at age 19, was one of the youngest ever elected.[3] The New Hampshire House of Representatives is a volunteer, part-time legislative body with one representative for every 3,000 residents. After Dartmouth, Pine attended the University of Michigan Law School. He was a summer intern at Fenwick & West in Palo Alto (now located in Mountain View). After graduating in 1985, Pine accepted a position at the corporate law firm, representing Silicon Valley start-up tech companies.

Silicon Valley Tech Career[edit]

Pine left Fenwick & West in 1990 to join a tech start-up called Radius, Inc, which offered the first large screen available for personal computers and pioneered the concept of dragging windows between multiple screens, a feature first available on the Macintosh Plus. The company grew from 3 to 300 employees in just a few years,[3] and steadily expanded its product line to include processor and graphics accelerator cards, video production software, and Macintosh computer clones.

In 1996 Pine joined the tech start-up @Home Network, which pioneered high-speed cable internet service and quickly grew to serve millions of subscribers. As the company's lawyer, he managed the company's $6.7 billion acquisition of search engine and internet portal Excite in 1999, and the company became Excite@Home, now able to offer both high-speed internet access as well as internet services including search, email, and user homepages. However, Excite@Home declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2001 and its 1,350 employees were laid off.[4]

In 2000, Pine joined Handspring, a tech start-up founded by the original inventors of the Palm Pilot, who were unhappy with management by 3Com, which had acquired Palm Pilot in 1997. Handspring developed the Visor line of PDAs until 2001 and the Treo line of smartphones starting in 2002. Facing bankruptcy and rapidly losing market share[5] to its competitors, Handspring was re-acquired by Palm, Inc in 2003, now operating as a publicly traded company independent of 3Com.

Public Service[edit]

Redwood City[edit]

From the beginning of his corporate law career, Pine was interested in running for office. From 1993 to 1999, he served on the Redwood City Planning Commission, which reviewed a wide variety of development proposals, including those relating to Redwood Shores, the Pacific Shores Office Park, and the Kaiser Permanente Redwood City Medical Center. During this time, Pine also served on the Redwood City Historic Resource Advisory Committee.

2002 California State Assembly Election[edit]

In 2002, Pine sought elected office for the first time since serving in the New Hampshire House of Representatives over 20 years before, running to represent California's 19th State Assembly district. Two of his opponents in the Democratic primary had much more extensive political connections. Gina Papan was a California State Deputy Attorney General and the daughter of then-19th Assembly District representative Lou Papan, who had been an Assembly member for 20 years but was being forced out in 2002 due to term limits. Gene Mullin had served on the South San Francisco Planning and Historical Preservation commissions, and was at the time Mayor of South San Francisco.

Pine, who was relatively unknown to voters at the time, made waves by pouring more than $762,000 of his own money into his campaign.[6]

Pine stated that his top priorities were improving the quality of public education with increased funding and by promoting preschool programs, providing affordable housing, providing an efficient public transportation system to reduce traffic congestion, and managing the state's budget using a similar process to that used by private companies.[7]

To provide affordable housing, Pine proposed the construction of multi-story mixed-use housing near along the BART and Caltrain rail corridors in the form of apartments, townhouses, and condominiums, stating that "this type of housing can create a marketplace community and be more vibrant and even more attractive [than single-family detached homes]."[8]

Pine opposed filling the San Francisco Bay to extend the San Francisco International Airport's runways, an idea proposed by airport planners to accommodate a greater number of arrivals and departures during low-visibility conditions.[8] The plan was also opposed by Save The Bay, an environmental group founded in 1961 to stop the filling of the two-thirds of the bay that remained unfilled.[9] In 2008 the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution prohibiting additional bay fill to extend the runways.

Pine called for campaign finance reforms including public campaign financing and for campaign donations under $1000 to be tax-deductible. His campaign was mostly self-financed. Pine criticized opponent Gina Papan for accepting a $365,000 campaign contribution from her father Lou Papan, which included $17,500 from tobacco companies, $1,500 from accounting firm Arthur Andersen, and $750 from former energy giant Enron.[10]

Despite outspending each of his opponents, Pine finished a distant 3rd place with just 19% of the vote.[11] This comes out to roughly $98 spent per vote received. South San Francisco Mayor Gene Mullin ended up winning the Democratic nomination, and went on to win the election with 63% of the vote in the heavily Democratic district.

Burlingame and San Mateo Union High School Boards[edit]

After Handspring was re-acquired by Palm, Inc in 2003, Pine had amassed sufficient wealth to leave the corporate law industry and make another run for political office. He ran unopposed for a seat on the Burlingame School District Board of Trustees and served until 2006, when he was Board President. In 2007, Pine was elected to the San Mateo Union High School District Board of Trustees. The district, which was in 2008 facing a financial crisis, hired new Superintendent Scott Laurence, previous coach, teacher, Dean of Students, and Principal at Gunn High School in Palo Alto, and Superintendent of Palo Alto Unified School District.[12] The San Mateo Union High School District has since had its bond rating upgraded and has increased its financial reserves. In an effort to promote renewable energy as well as reduce its electricity bills, the Board of Trustees approved a $32 million project to install solar panels on the roofs of six district high schools on November 12, 2009.[13]

2011 San Mateo County Board of Supervisors Election[edit]

Dave Pine House Party
Dave Pine speaks with voters in Menlo Park.

Pine won the May 3, 2011 all-mail-ballot special election for the District 1 seat on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors. Before the election date had even been set, Pine and opponents Richard Holober, Terry Nagel, and Gina Papan had already declared their candidacy.[14] Demetrios Nikas and Michael Stogner later entered the race. Final election results were certified by the San Mateo County Elections Office on May 9, 2011. Out of a total of 88,903 votes cast, Pine received 23,856 (26.8%), Holober 22,299 (25.1), Papan 21,796 (24.5%), Nagel 8,683 (9.8%), Stogner 6,269 (7.1%), and Nikas 2,870 (3.2%).[15]


According to campaign finance statements due from each of the candidates on March 24, 2011, Pine had raised the most from individual donors as well as the most total: $309,000. However, $200,000 was a personal contribution from himself.[16] Terry Nagel had raised $142,600, Gina Papan had raised $109,000, and Richard Holober had raised $65,100. Demetrios Nikas and Michael Stogner had not done any fundraising for the campaign.

As of April 16, 2011, Pine had spent $324,000 including accrued expenses, mostly on campaign staff and consultants.[17]

Pine has since given $230,000 more to his campaign in late contributions, bringing his total personal investment in this race to $430,000, as of April 28, 2011.[18]



Pine received the sole endorsement of the Loma Prieta Chapter of the Sierra Club,[19][20] which has 6,000 members in San Mateo County. Pine also received the endorsement of local chapters of eight unions, including unions of teachers, auto, construction, and electrical workers, state, county, and municipal government employees, and school and service employees.[21]

Education Leaders[edit]

Pine was the only candidate for Supervisor with children in elementary school (two young boys).[17] He was supported by many local education leaders, including San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools Anne Campbell and San Mateo County School Boards Association President Shelly Masur.[22] He was endorsed by all five members of the Burlingame School District Board and four of the five members of each of the following local school boards: the San Carlos School District Board, the Sequoia Union High School District Board, the Redwood City School District Board, and the San Mateo Union High School District Board.[21] (Pine was himself a member of the San Mateo Union High School District Board at the time.)

Elected Officials[edit]

The most prominent politician who endorsed Pine was Congresswoman Jackie Speier,[23] who represents California's 12th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives, which includes southwestern San Francisco and most of San Mateo County.

Pine's endorsers among state legislators included former San Mateo County Supervisor and current 21st State Assembly District representative Rich Gordon.[24] Pine's former rival for the 19th State Assembly district seat in 2002 Gene Mullin also endorsed him, stating "he has the strongest background when it comes to improving local schools."[22]

San Mateo County Supervisor and former San Mateo County Sheriff Don Horsley also endorsed Pine.[25]

Among city council members in San Mateo County, Pine received endorsement from San Carlos Mayor Omar Ahmad and Pacifica Mayor Mary Ann Nihart, Vice Mayors Jay Benton (Hillsborough), Jerry Deal (Burlingame), Kirsten Keith (Menlo Park), and Andy Klein (San Carlos), and 16 other city council members, including the entire Burlingame City Council with the exception of opponent Terry Nagel.[21]


  1. ^ "San Mateo County 2000 Supervisorial Districts", Retrieved May 31, 2011.
  2. ^ "Supervisor's race: Dave Pine elected". The Almanac. May 3, 2011. Retrieved May 31, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c Lempert, Sue (February 28, 2011). "Public service and politics in his genes". The San Mateo Daily Journal. Retrieved April 3, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Excite@Home files for bankruptcy"
  5. ^ "What's in the cards for Handspring?"
  6. ^ "Dave Pine wants to bring his corporate experience to the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors", Retrieved April 22, 2011.
  7. ^ "League of Women Voters of California Voter Information for Dave Pine", Retrieved April 4, 2011.
  8. ^ a b "Assembly candidates discuss airport, housing", Retrieved April 4, 2011.
  9. ^ "Stopping Bay Fill|Save The Bay (San Francisco)", Retrieved April 4, 2011.
  10. ^ Mays, Jon (February 5, 2002). "Pine questions Papan's special-interest money". The San Mateo Daily Journal. Retrieved April 3, 2011. 
  11. ^ "State Assembly Contests for San Mateo County, CA"
  12. ^ "San Mateo Union High School District Office of the Superintendent", Retrieved April 4, 2011.
  13. ^ Murtagh, Heather (November 13, 2009). "High schools going solar". The San Mateo Daily Journal. Retrieved April 4, 2011. 
  14. ^ Glantz, Aaron (November 16, 2010). "Four Vie for San Mateo County Supe's Seat". The Bay Citizen. Retrieved April 4, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Statement of the Vote, Consolidated Local Special Election, May 3, 2011", Mark Church, Chief Elections Officer & Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder, Retrieved May 31, 2011.
  16. ^ Eslinger, Bonnie (March 25, 2011). "Three candidates raise $100K-plus for San Mateo County supervisor seat". The San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved April 4, 2011. 
  17. ^ a b Eslinger, Bonnie (April 4, 2011). "Dave Pine wants to bring his corporate experience to the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved April 4, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Candidate puts $430K of his own money into bid for San Mateo County supe seat"
  19. ^ "Sierra Club Endorses Dave Pine for San Mateo County Supervisor", Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter, Retrieved April 4, 2011.
  20. ^ "Upcoming Special Elections in San Mateo County". Peninsula Examiner. March 8, 2011. Retrieved April 4, 2011. 
  21. ^ a b c "Dave Pine for San Mateo County Supervisor Endorsements", Retrieved April 4, 2011.
  22. ^ a b Finder, Miriam (March 30, 2011). "Former Assemblyman Gene Mullin Endorses Dave Pine For Supervisor". Burlingame Patch. Retrieved April 4, 2011. 
  23. ^ Balshone, Bruce (April 5, 2011). "Speier endorses Pine for SMC Supervisor". examiner.com. 
  24. ^ Finder, Miriam (November 13, 2010). "Gordon Endorses Pine for Supervisor". Burlingame Patch. Retrieved April 4, 2011. 
  25. ^ "Election Journal". The San Mateo Daily Journal. April 8, 2011. Retrieved April 10, 2011. 

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