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— A group of 14 Cox Cable employees, some from Orange County, anted up $96 apiece during November for a total of $1468. Cox's cable rate increase case is expected to be heard by the city council next month. In November 1995, Cox was forced to pay a $42,000 fine after seven Cox executives and the wife of an executive made 24 contributions totaling $4850 to nine candidates, ranging from some running for the San Diego City Council to Governor Pete Wilson. The employees had been reimbursed by the company, a violation of state and city law. Cox did not respond to a request for comment on the latest contributions. Cox employees also gave to councilmembers Wear and Stevens.

Golding spent $3000 of her campaign cash on Chriss Winston, a Washington, D.C.Pbased speechwriter who once worked for Ronald Reagan and George Bush. Another $1300 paid for a video monitoring service in New York, and about $350 was earmarked to the GTE Mobilenet cell phone company. Though she wasn't officially running for anything, the mayor also paid more than $5000 to her political consultant, Campaign Strategies. Much of the rest went for fundraising and bookkeeping services.

In all, Golding spent more than $49,000, leaving her with a total of $3859 left in the treasury. Since she is subject to term limits, she may now raise and spend no more money under the restrictions of Prop 208. Observers expect her to open a federal exploratory committee later this year to fund her possible bid for the U.S. Senate. Contributions to such committees are limited to $1000 and not subject to Prop 208 restrictions.

Next on the list of city hall off-year money raisers was District Four's George Stevens, who collected $7795. $250 donors included San Diego real estate developer Reese Jarrett; Pardee development vice president David Dunham of Camarillo, California; Pardee executive David Landon of Encino, California; and carpenters union executive John P. Kennedy of Alpine. Dean Spanos of the Chargers gave $250, as did Padres owner John Moores, as well as his wife Rebecca. Stevens spent $3101 for bookkeeping, copying, and postage, leaving him with a year-end cash balance of $5290.

Further down on the end-of-year campaign cash bonanza was Fifth District Councilmember Barbara Warden. She raised $3150. Along with that, Warden went into the last half of the year with $17,744 in the bank but spent $20,894, leaving her with a zero balance. $250 contributors included Gabrielle Soroka, manager of government affairs for Waste Management of San Diego, a trash hauler; Lightning Development's Harlan Friedman of Poway; and Peter N. Kyros Jr. of Cumberland Foreside, Maine, a partner in Potomac Sports Properties, which is developing a large chunk of the north city.

Warden spent the bulk of the funds raised, $2740.95, to reimburse the United Jewish Federation of San Diego county for airfare to Israel. According to newspaper reports, it was a December trip on which she reportedly accompanied Golding. Common Cause's Miller says that under the state's old campaign laws, paying for such personal travel was legal as long as it had a quasi-official basis. In the future, however, junkets, no matter what the rationale, cannot be paid out of campaign funds if there is no campaign in progress. Warden also paid her campaign consultant, Campaign Strategies, $10,505 and held a "thank you" event for supporters at the convention center for $1758. Ranking well below the rest of the council were its other three members: Harry Mathis, who collected $350; Christine Kehoe, who took in $325; Judy McCarty, at $150; and Juan Vargas, who collected nothing. Although he collected little during the final six months of the year, Mathis had a surplus from previous periods of approximately $11,000, $10,800 of which he used to repay loans to himself on Christmas Eve.

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