San Diego Padres owner John Moores has given $100,000 to Rebuilding California, a so-called issue advocacy committee controlled by state senate leader Don Perata. Since the beginning of February, Democrat Perata has raised $570,000 to promote his "Perata Plan," a scheme to sell bonds for a slew of costly new projects like highways and "affordable housing." The money raised from Moores -- who contributed on February 16 -- along with cash from fat-cat corporations including Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric, and contractor Tutor-Saliba ($50,000 each) is being plowed into a statewide TV campaign touting Perata's huge debt-raising plan as an alternative to one sponsored by GOP governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Because the committee isn't promoting a candidate, it is exempt from campaign contribution limits.
F. Warren Hellman, a friend and business associate of Moores's as well as father-in-law of UC president Robert Dynes, gave the effort $25,000, as did the L.A. Arena Land Co., an outfit owned by Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz. Anschutz is seeking big public subsidies for his "L.A. Live," a $1.7 billion sports and entertainment hub in downtown Los Angeles being built with partners including Florida home-building giant Lennar. Insiders suspect that Moores may have the same motive. Moores has lucrative development rights in the east part of downtown San Diego and is also partnered with Lennar. Ex-state senator Steve Peace, who was hired by Moores last year, is said to be involved in the behind-the-scenes legislative action. Another rumored scenario: Moores may join with Chargers owner Alex Spanos to try to build a stadium in Chula Vista.