For the next six years, Golding and Silberman would remain inseparable in politics as well as business, and he watched over her children as if they were his own. By the 1990 account of Stanley Prowse, Golding's ex-husband, Silberman was generous to a fault. "As I recall, Christmas of 1986 brought a bush plane tour of Alaska, while last Christmas brought a tour of the Far East, complete with surfing in Bali and bar-hopping in Bangkok -- heady stuff for impressionable teenagers. They have been showered with material things and have had so little interest in birthday and Christmas gifts we have given them that they have often ignored our invitations to visit us and claim them.
"I also learned from their unguarded comments that Susan insists that the children refer to me as 'Stan' and to Dick as 'Dad'. Even on their infrequent visits to Joy and me, they refer to Susan and Dick as 'my parents.' I concluded that the quid pro quo for Susan's agreement to discontinue child support was that I would play no further role in their lives or have any influence over them.
"Several years after our separation, I discovered that she had enrolled them in school as "Sam Golding" and "Vanessa Golding" without saying a word to me on the subject. By the time I found out, it was too late to do anything about it without embroiling them in a painful dispute. The sight of 'Golding' in bold letters on the back of Sam's high school letterman's jacket is painful to me, and for years I have received little or no acknowledgement from the children on Father's Day or my birthday. They do not treat Joy or me respectfully. Susan has done her best to wipe the slate clean."
Silberman also took care of his own children, and they in turn became part of his business network and helped Golding raise political money. In September 1986, Silberman's son Craig sued Joe Hevia, a former lobbying client, to collect unpaid fees. A few years earlier, Hevia had hired Craig to help him line up a lucrative transit advertising contract from San Diego's public bus company but had failed to get the business and allegedly refused to pay Craig for his services.
A San Francisco deposition taken in conjunction with the case shows the linkages between the father, the son, and the stepmother. Craig testified that his father, a former chairman of San Diego Transit, had first put him in touch with Hevia by way of a mutual friend. "He was referred to my father by a man in San Francisco, whose name I can't recall right now, who's in governmental affairs, I believe, up here.
"And he wanted some help with the San Diego advertising contract, San Diego Transit District advertising contract, and my father thought it would be a good project for me to work on, so I met Mr. Hevia one day at lunch."
Craig testified that between 1981 and 1985, he was associated with his father in a number of other business ventures, including a deal with the giant ARCO oil company. "I was also working with my father on different business ventures he had.... We worked on the ARCO project together.
"I was retained by ARCO to help them do some work in Mexico and it required me to go to Mexico City and help them increase their business activities in Mexico.
"The ARCO project was the only one that we brought to fruition, but we worked on different projects in Mexico in regards to agricultural products and in regards also to -- we were exploring the possibilities of the fish business. Basically start-up type things."
Between March of 1985 and August of 1986, Craig testified, he had also been employed by San Diego Gas & Electric in its governmental affairs department. "I used to work for ARCO and I spent a lot of time helping them out in Mexico. So I went to work for San Diego Gas & Electric to help them with their contacts in Mexico... They are interested in energy exchange with Mexico, and they needed my contacts helping with that."
The man Craig was suing, Joe Hevia, testified that the younger Silberman repeatedly asked him for campaign contributions to a variety of causes favored by his father, including Susan Golding, who was then running for county supervisor
Said Hevia, "He knew people in other cities, get me in with Willie Brown, Jerry Brown, send money to local politicians, send money to some lady down there running for supervisor, and that's what I was going to do. He was going to be my consultant for the next five years for the length of the contract."
During the years Golding sat on the board of supervisors, Richard Silberman acted as a go-between for many special interests. Chief among them was a Japanese company known as Kyocera, as well as his old friends from the Jerry Brown years, the Bustamante family. Silberman had dealt with Kyocera during the final years of the Brown Administration, when the Kyoto-based ceramics giant sought special tax treatment under California law.
To serve as fronts for his lobbying activities, Silberman set up two groups, the California Unitary Coalition and the California Investment Environment Coalition. Silberman's son Craig was also employed by the coalition. "We got connected with Dick in the late '70s," William Everitt, a Kyocera vice president recalled in a 1992 interview. "He was a great guy, very supportive of us. And we got verbal commitments from [Jerry] Brown, too, that he would support our efforts to abolish the [unitary] tax because he felt it was very unfair."
To make their point, Kyocera and other foreign companies funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts and campaign contributions to California politicians. In 1984 alone, the San Jose Mercury News reported, the Silberman-run California Unitary Coalition handed out $178,000. In 1985, the California Investment Environment Coalition dispensed $370,000, according to the Mercury News.