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— San Diego city councilman Jim Madaffer, whose campaign fundraising practices are already being investigated by the district attorney's office in connection with those tequila-drinking hijinks at the city-owned San Diego Data Processing Corporation, has been raking in contributions from a variety of donors with interests in matters soon to come before council. The D.A.'s look-see reportedly centers on the fundraising activities of Roger Talamantez, ousted data-processing corporation head, and his wife Delia, ethics officer at UCSD, on behalf of the Seventh District councilman, who was easily reelected over token opposition to his second and final term on the council earlier this month. Two weeks before the election, records show, Madaffer's campaign fund was flush with cash, with about $98,000 in the bank. But that apparently wasn't enough. On February 14, according to records, Madaffer collected $1400 from various out-of-town employees of Littleton, Colorado-based civil engineering giant CH2M Hill, the same outfit that's been pumping thousands of dollars into the campaigns of San Diego mayor Dick Murphy, councilwoman Toni Atkins, and failed city attorney candidate Deborah Berger. On the same day, La Jolla's Ramin, Simin, and Iradj Samimi each kicked in $250 for Madaffer. Iradj was listed as a "self-employed economist" on the disclosure. State corporation records show him as a registered agent for La Jolla's Samimi Realty, with which Simin Samimi is also associated. Iradj is also listed as a partner, and Ramin Samimi is listed as a registered agent for 5th and J, LCC. They want to build a hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter, and there is talk of getting the city council to vote to use the threat of eminent domain to force acquisition of a big chunk of adjoining property owned by Ahmad Mesdaq, proprietor of the Gran Havana Cigar and Coffee Lounge. 5th and J, LLC, also gave $10,000 to the local GOP central committee, which in turned pumped $7800 into Madaffer's campaign. Other recent Madaffer $250 donors included the Badi Agency's Badi Badiozamani, a 55-year-old Iranian immigrant, court interpreter, and candidate for governor in last year's recall election, who during the gubernatorial race became an overnight sensation in Iran, thanks to satellite TV coverage... Former Democratic president Jimmy Carter may be throwing out the first ball at the new downtown baseball stadium, but Padres owner John Moores, once a diehard Democrat and original Carter backer, has veered right. Late in December, Moores contributed about $60,000 to the local Lincoln Club, a GOP bastion. Malin Burnham, his downtown real estate partner, gave a similar amount.

Inside baseball News that vanquished city attorney candidate Deborah Berger -- who was endorsed by the Union-Tribune -- has thrown her support to first-place finisher Mike Aguirre over deputy city attorney Leslie Devaney, who placed second in this month's primary, finally made it into the U-T on Saturday. A small item was slipped into Diane Bell's gossip column, with a note by Berger that "not all of my supporters are happy" with her endorsement. No doubt some of the most unhappy are U-T editorial writers, who have long been upset with Aguirre for questioning those fat professional sports subsidies, including the Chargers ticket guarantee, backed by the paper ... In the Union-Tribune's eyes, Veronica "Ronne" Froman apparently can do no wrong. She was hired in August 2001 on a five-year, million-dollar contract as "chief business officer" for the San Diego Unified School District. While at the district, Froman's biggest claim to fame was her move to "outsource" the district's computer services to a private contractor for what the U-T reported to be an estimated $21 million. Then, last April, less than two years into her contract, Froman abruptly quit her job and resurfaced as head of the local Red Cross at a substantial cut in compensation. A U-T editorial marking that transition praised the ex-admiral for "implementing an information technology system that has saved the district plenty by eliminating paperwork and other expenses." But last Saturday the paper ran a story revealing that a "glitch" in the computer system, now reported to cost $30 million, had caused a variety of vendor payment foul-ups and would require at least $400,000 in additional consulting fees to fix. There was no mention of Froman ... Meanwhile, more changes of the guard at the troubled school district are coming. A March 8 memo from chief Alan Bersin says that Tad Parzen, who had been acting as the district's chief lawyer since the retirement of JoAnne SawyerKnoll, is becoming "General Counsel on Special Assignment" and taking over from recently departed Lou Smith, who oversaw the spending of Prop MM's billion-plus dollars in bond money. Taxpayers take note: the Bersin memo adds that Parzen, son of controversial La Jolla psychiatrist Zane Parzen, sued years ago for having sex with a patient, "will also spearhead the development of a proposal for a follow-on bond measure and will lead the work on a teacher-housing initiative."

-- Matt Potter

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