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— Add another local big shot to the growing list of those who got in on a sweet stock deal with Padres owner John Moores. San Diego State University president Stephen Weber lists an investment in Neon Systems stock, which he values between $1000 and $10,000 on his conflict-of-interest filing for 2000 as well as 1999. But Weber doesn't list the specific date of acquisition, which may ultimately prove troublesome for the educator, who last year moved into the university's multimillion-dollar official presidential residence, purchased from none other than Malin Burnham, the downtown real estate mogul and business partner of Moores. Neon, of course, is the company that ex-city councilwoman Valerie Stallings bought stock in back on March 5, 1999. The deal later turned out to have been arranged as a favor by Moores; Stallings pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and was forced off the council in January 2000, after an investigation revealed she had taken numerous gifts and plane rides from the team owner. She later amended her financial-disclosure statements to show some previously undisclosed items. But while Stallings properly reported her initial Neon investment, listing the specific date of the purchase as required by law, Weber's statement, filed March 20, 2000, and covering the previous calendar year, leaves blank the acquisition date for the Neon stock, an apparent violation of state reporting law. His disclosure for 2000, the latest available, showed he still owned the stock. Weber failed to respond to repeated phone calls left at his office regarding the reported transactions. Other investments listed on the disclosure for 2000 include a holding in Leap Wireless, valued between $1000 and $10,000. Moores was on the board of Leap, along with UCSD chancellor Robert Dynes, where both served on the two-man executive-compensation committee until Moores left the board last year. Besides Stallings and Weber, other well-connected local Neon-stock purchasers have included county supervisor Ron Roberts, a friend and supporter of Moores who reported purchasing between $10,000 and $100,000 worth of stock in the company on February 18, 2000, and selling same on September 26, 2000. Two weeks ago, Moores threw a fundraising bash at his Rancho Santa Fe estate for Ward Connerly's new state-ballot measure against racial statistic keeping. Two Neon board members were listed as cosponsors.

Naked politics City councilman George Stevens, who is also an ordained minister and uses the title "Reverend" when giving sermons, performing weddings, and presiding over funerals, has picked up a strange bedfellow in his current bid for the state assembly. According to his latest campaign financial-disclosure statement, Stevens collected $3000 from Cheetah's, the all-nude, all-the-time nightclub on Clairemont Mesa Boulevard in Kearny Mesa. Last year it was revealed that the owner of Cheetah's, Las Vegas-based Michael Galardi, and his associates had given thousands of dollars to an array of San Diego City Council candidates, including Eighth District councilman Ralph Inzunza and Stevens's would-be successor, his chief of staff Charles Lewis. Strippers at the club also spread the campaign wealth around, making $250 contributions to various members of the city council. It turned out that Galardi was looking to build a new topless joint on Convoy Street but ran into zoning troubles. He sued the city in an attempt to jumpstart the project but later dropped the case. Stevens is basing his campaign for assembly around a return to traditional moral values, including his oft-stated advocacy of a permanent ban on gay marriages: "Marriage was initiated by God, and to me it's a very sacred thing between a man and a woman. It was in the beginning, when God made Adam."

Gun in cheek An heir to a mobile-home manufacturing fortune -- who made a 1982 splash in San Diego County politics when he spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of his personal fortune in a failed bid for a Republican congressional nomination here -- has been busted for bringing a loaded weapon into the Orange County courthouse. Johnnie Robert Crean, 52, told the L.A. Times that he'd had a "senior moment" and forgot he was carrying the loaded 9mm Glock.

Contributor: Matt Potter

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