San Diego Old moneybags Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the richest San Diego city council aide of all? Based on recently filed financial disclosure statements, that honor goes to Geoffrey W. Lipsey, a "council representative" for new GOP councilmember Kevin Faulconer. Typically, council representative jobs go to aspiring twentysomething politicos looking to work their way up the patronage ladder. But Lipsey, 60, reports 89 various investment holdings with a total value somewhere between $770,000 and $7.2 million. They include stock valued between $10,000 and $100,000 in such outfits as oil and gas driller Nabors Industries; Barrick Gold; mortgage provider Countrywide Financial; oil giant Kerr-McGee; oil driller Noble Energy; defense contractor Lockheed; and media power Viacom. Former technical director of the Mitre Corporation's Center for Integrated Intelligence Systems in McLean, Virginia, Lipsey lives on tony San Antonio Place in Point Loma. His previous jobs at Mitre included associate technical director of national command and control systems. Lipsey's wife Jill is co-chair of the annual Point Loma Concert Series founded by Bridget Cantu Wear, wife of onetime Republican councilman Byron Wear, whose departure from office in 2002 was shadowed by ethics investigations that resulted in fines of $9000 for failing to disclose loans and accepting illegal campaign contributions. Sponsors of the concert group's events, held every summer weekend in Point Loma Park at Catalina and Varona, include the Corky McMillin Companies, developers of the controversial Freedom Station condo project on the site of the old Naval Training Center, as well as realtor Willis Allen Company. Lipsey, who taught high school for a few years after retiring from Mitre at 55, says he doesn't need the money and was hired in part to mentor younger council staffers. "I hope to give back something to the community." Based on a letter to the editor he wrote the Union-Tribune last November, he's not afraid of speaking out. "The problem is that the administration decided on its policy (i.e., invade Iraq), then sifted through intelligence selecting the pieces that supported their claims of imminent danger," he wrote. "This problem is at the core of the Bush administration's approach in general: Ideology determines policy. Facts are sifted to support the predetermined policy. Nonconforming data is dismissed with a PR blitz. Opposing views are dismissed as partisan or un-American."
CSI might be less expensive The cost of forensic digging at San Diego's city hall never seems to end. Yet another bill was recently submitted by a Seattle high-tech outfit called Breakwater Security Associates, which back in March of last year was given an initial $50,000 and then another $30,000 to cull through desktop computers, trolling for information about possible incriminating activity erased by city workers. "The new request is for $174,052," a staff report says, "for searching of the GroupWise mailboxes and additional hard drives files and H Drives data to identity responsive documents and to acquire hard drive data from computers." ... Those old green and white Border Patrol buses used by the feds to haul illegal aliens around the county are a thing of the past, replaced by gleaming new white and blue models bearing the logo of the Homeland Security Department, the patrol's parent agency, and dark windows concealing the passengers from public view. ... The website of the Angelica Foundation, a Rancho Santa Fe charity run by Suzanne Gollen, the daughter of late Las Vegas wise guy Moe Dalitz and mentioned on these pages two weeks ago in a story about her links to James Waring, San Diego's new development czar, has been shut down. Visitors are currently greeted with the message "Under Construction."
Defense fund Disgraced GOP congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham has disbanded his American Prosperity Political Action Committee but not before it paid out $28,335 in Cunningham legal fees to the Washington office of the big Los Angeles law firm O'Melveny and Myers. The PAC was shut down on February 6, according to documents filed with the Federal Election Commission. The check to O'Melveny was cut on December 31; the only other expense was listed as a $1000 contribution to the Kirk for Congress campaign. In addition to the Cunningham PAC money, O'Melveny received a total of $570,000, also in December, from Cunningham's now-dormant reelection campaign fund. Sixteen individuals gave to the PAC, all before the Union-Tribune made public Cunningham's potential bribery issues in June. They included car dealer Bob Baker, who gave $290; hotel mogul and GOP maven Sam Hardage ($1500); lobbyist Letitia White of the firm Copeland Lowery ($1000); and Dan McKinnon, Republican son of the late Democratic congressman Clint McKinnon ($1500). Cunningham has been holed up at McKinnon's Lakeside ranch awaiting his sentencing. ... Meanwhile, fellow GOP congressman Duncan Hunter's Peace Through Strength PAC is still out collecting funds. Last year, according to filings, it took in a total of $49,600 from such donors as the late Corky McMillin ($1500); his son Mark McMillin ($1500); and La Jolla aerospace-company owner Anthony duPont ($5000). Corporate donors included the Titan Corporation PAC ($5000) and BAE Systems United Defense Employees PAC ($5000). Peace Through Strength's biggest contribution was $15,000 to the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund of Oceanside. It also spent $9823 on a golf tournament at Barona Valley.