California man bankrolls anti-Franken super PAC

WASHINGTON - While super PACs from both sides  have mostly remained on the sidelines of the U.S. Senate race in Minnesota, campaign finance records show that a pro-Republican super PAC called  the Heartland Campaign Fund has been almost exclusively funded by one man in California, Carl Berg.

Campaign finance records filed with the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday show that the Heartland Campaign Fund has received $113,000 in donations since it was started in March. On June 13, the PAC received $100,000 from West Coast Venture Capital, Inc. in Cupertino, California.

According to a database maintained by Businessweek, Berg is the company's CEO. A review of federal campaign finance records shows that Berg is a frequent contributor to Republican candidates and last year gave the maximum allowed donation of $5,200 to Mike McFadden, the endorsed Republican running against DFL Sen. Al Franken.

So far, the Heartland Campaign Fund has produced an online ad tying Franken to President Obama and released a radio ad with the same theme. It hasn't spent much money on the efforts and holds nearly $100,000 in cash.

Berg did not respond to an interview request left with an employee at his office.

According to a 1998 profile in Forbes, Berg is a colorful figure in Silicon Valley who made a fortune in developing office parks for start up companies in the region, often receiving shares of promising companies in lieu of rent.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, Berg sold his real estate holdings in 2012 as part of a $1.3 billion deal and now focuses on venture capital investments. Aside from Berg's donation to McFadden, he has no apparent ties to Minnesota.

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