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— Newest members of the San Diego Taxpayer Association's board of directors: Jeanne Bonk, chief financial officer of the Chargers, who handles details of the team's stadium-ticket guarantee, and Nancy Chase, a political consultant who's been hired to work on the convention center-expansion drive, and whose husband Richard is spearheading the waterfront version of a downtown Padres stadium. ... In sort of a reverse Peter Principle, ex-Governor Jerry Brown, now running for mayor of Oakland, is urging other ex-governors to return to their city halls of origin. At the top of Brown's list: Governor Pete Wilson, the ex-San Diego mayor whose gubernatorial term runs out after next year. But what liberal Brown says he has in mind doesn't sound as though it matches Republican Wilson's modus operandi. "Ex-governors usually join law firms and lobby for corporate clients," Brown told a reporter last week. Better that they "lobby for people who don't have the voice to have their just claims listened to."

Drinking man's diary

Local columnist Raoul Lowery Contreras has been a big backer of expanding the old Jack Murphy Stadium and its accompanying ticket guarantee, calling opponents of the deal "legal and political fools." But this year the KOGO radio talk-show host isn't all that happy with drinking arrangements at the new and improved Qualcomm. "Beers cost $5.75. I pass. Soft drinks, small, cost $2.25," Contreras wrote last week in his nationally syndicated newspaper column. "Can't bring anything to drink into the stadium because someone has decreed that the monopolists must be able to rip off the fans. But I beat them with a Spanish leather bota [wineskin] under my shirt full of a 1974 Cabernet Sauvignon. A fine and expensive wine, an appropriate California paean to Opening Day. More so because it flaunts the authority of those among us who stifle free trade whenever they can."

Alma pater

San Diego sculptor Richard Sager is among those featured in a Detroit Times story about a new wave of philanthropic giving among wealthy gay alumni: "Sager, 45, prides himself on making Pennsylvania's Swarthmore College more welcoming to gay students. His Sager Fund, which attracts contributions from quite a few gay alums, hosts an annual gay studies symposium on campus. 'A lot of us don't have kids. But for considerably less than tuition for one kid, you can have an impact on hundreds of kids,' Sager points out. 'A little bit on my part has gone a long, long way.' " ... Locals who thought they might have to pop another $30 million to host the Democratic National Convention here in the year 2000 can rest easy. Sources say San Diego has been dropped from the list of cities "competing" for the honor. Still remaining, according to the insiders: Los Angeles, Boston, Denver, and Philadelphia. ... Political e-mail, sponsored by Senator Barbara Boxer and gubernatorial candidate Jane Harmon, is set to hit local computers next month.

Public and private enterprise

San Diego's Phil Archuleta, a civilian employee at the U.S. Marine Corps Recruit Depot, just picked up a federal prize for saving taxpayers at least $200,000 a year. Archuleta observed that the Marines were wasting money by providing custom-made, extra-large uniforms to new, heavyset recruits, who subsequently lost weight during boot camp and then required refitting. The bulked-up uniforms were being given away for nothing. Archuleta suggested that procedures be changed to allow recycling of the large uniforms for the next round of overweight recruits. The idea was so successful, according to the Washington Post, that it attracted the notice of Vice President Al Gore, who arranged to fly Archuleta to Washington for a meeting. ... Rancho Santa Fe's Bill Lerach, the high-profile securities lawyer who's the bane of corporate insiders, has found a new cause to sue over: the so-called Year 2000 bomb lurking in a lot of old software that could play havoc with computers when the century turns.

Contributor: Matt Potter

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