San Diego Padres owner John Moores has shown up high on the list of big-money donors to Democratic governor Gray Davis, who earlier this year named Moores to a highly coveted spot on the University of California's board of regents. Moores, a longtime Democrat who during last year's campaign for the taxpayer-financed downtown stadium reportedly said he was re-registering as an independent, gave Davis $100,000 during the first six months of this year, according to recently filed campaign reports. In all, the newly elected governor collected $6.1 million during the period in an orgy of golf tournaments, banquets, and receptions, mostly directed at special interests such as big labor, agribusiness, and trial attorneys. Another notable to pop up as a Davis fundraiser: San Francisco attorney Jeremiah Hallisey, whom Davis appointed to the state Transportation Commission earlier this year. The L.A. Times reported last week that Hallisey set up a huge June 17 cocktail party for Davis at San Francisco's Sheraton Palace Hotel. Hallisey is an old pal of both former governor Jerry Brown and San Francisco mayor Willie Brown. His son Jeremy just got a job running Davis's San Francisco office. A few months back, San Diego sources say, Hallisey senior made a round of phone calls on behalf of Sam Marasco's border gateway project, the big taxpayer-subsidized San Ysidro development project that Mayor Susan Golding and Craig Silberman -- son of Golding's ex-husband and convicted money-launderer Dick Silberman, and yet another veteran of the Willie and Jerry Brown camps -- are pushing. Repeated calls to Hallisey's San Francisco office asking about his involvement in the project went unreturned.
Ex-governor Pete Wilson may not be in the political fundraising game at the moment, but he seems to be doing well for himself. Wilson, whose wife Gayle joined the board of directors of ARCO oil immediately after her husband left office, has been playing catch-up in the lucrative board-seat derby. Last week his latest appointment was announced: a place on the board of National Information Consortium, Inc., a for-profit "provider of Internet-based electronic government services." The company quoted Wilson as saying, "I have great confidence in NIC's management, its taxpayer-friendly solution, and its market position. I look forward to contributing my experience and knowledge to the Company and its management team, as NIC reinvents government for the 21st Century." What is it exactly that NIC does? Privacy fanatics, avert your eyes. It allows "businesses and citizens to access government information and to complete government-based transactions online." Examples include "driver's license record searches, professional license renewals, Internet tax filings, automated UCC filings searches, and automobile registration renewals." Wilson also serves on the board of the Irvine Co., the giant Orange County developer run by his old buddy Don Bren.
White and Blue Collars
The preferred site of that controversial Otay Mesa power plant, being backed by Democratic state senator Steve Peace and other local bigwigs, is owned by Roque de la Fuente, the car dealer and well-connected political giver who owns a big chunk of the mesa ... Now that digital video is hip in Hollywood, Josh Evans, son of one-time movie mogul Bob Evans and actress Ali MacGraw, is using the format to shoot his new movie, Orange County, in San Diego. The cast reportedly includes Natasha Gregson Wagner, daughter of the late Natalie Wood, and Beverly D'Angelo, Al Pacino's girlfriend, in a story about drug smuggling along the Mexican border ... A San Diego gang member who moved to Rhode Island has been convicted of gunning down a man at a rap concert there in June 1998. Wesley N. Hanes, who was taken into custody in connection with a San Diego killing in 1995 but never charged, was found guilty last week of first-degree murder, according to the Providence Journal-Bulletin ... The conviction of ex-Del Martian Allen W. Stewart, a Philadelphia lawyer, for looting two insurance companies has been upheld by a federal appeals court. Stewart used some of his ill-gotten gains to buy a $1.6 million beach-front house in Del Mar. He now faces 15 years behind bars and $60 million in restitution.
Contributor: Matt Potter