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— Critics of the Union-Tribune who say that the newspaper and some of its reporters are working too closely with San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders to help advance his agenda may find ammunition in an internal e-mail sent out last month to the mayor's staff by deputy press secretary George Biagi III. "The Mayor will be holding a press conference on Monday, Sept. 18th, at 11 am, in La Jolla at the former site of the former 'rat house' on Desert View Drive to announce to the press the progress we've made and the challenges that lie ahead for the city's READ [Real Estate Assets Department]," Biagi's e-mail begins, referring to a dilapidated house featured in a U-T exposé of the City's property management practices under ex-mayor Dick Murphy. "We're timing this to follow the anticipated Brooke Williams article in this weekend's UT that will be devoted to READ," Biagi continues. "Please note: The Mayor needs both Jims (Waring and Barwick) at this press conference, so please free up the space on their schedules so they can attend.

"If the article DOES NOT RUN in this weekend's UT, we will probably reschedule the press conference to coincide with the day that it runs. I'll also need some time on both Jims calendars on Thursday or early Friday so that we can finalize the fact sheet we'll be putting out on this as well as the mayor's remarks." As it turned out, the story appeared that Sunday just as predicted, under the banner headline "City cleaning up real estate mess; changes are being made, but a lot of work remains." The mayor received favorable mention: "Mayor Jerry Sanders made revamping the Real Estate Assets Department a campaign promise last fall and a priority when he took office in December."

Out of the mouths of babes According to an e-mail from Lorena Gonzalez, political director for the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council, the council's robo-call attacking school board candidate Michael McSweeney as a right-wing extremist and touting the reelection of nominal Democrat incumbent Katherine Nakamura, a big backer of ex-superintendent Alan Bersin, "was done by an actual child in the our San Diego's Public School -- not an Actor using a child's voice. As an AFTRA member, she is a little miffed that she is being misidentified." Gonzalez did not respond to a request for further details as to the identity and age of the child or whether as a member of the actors union she was paid union scale for voicing the call.... Developer Doug Manchester isn't the only one who's been giving big bucks to the GOP's Lincoln Club. On October 13, the day Manchester Resorts chipped in $50,000, Mountain West Properties of Chula Vista gave $10,000 and the Yokohl Ranch Co. contributed $4000. Mountain West is run by Chula Vista developer Jim Pieri, and Yokohl is a subsidiary of the Central Valley's powerful JG Boswell Co., which also is the developer of the mammoth Eastlake project in Chula Vista. That same day, the club gave $70,000 to promote Props B and C, the so-called San Diego city hall reform measures sponsored by Mayor Jerry Sanders. But that hasn't been their only expenditure this campaign season. On October 17, they anted up $10,000 for the Coalition to Preserve the Economy, the group favoring the airport move to Miramar. The same day the club also spent $7245 on a poll in support of Cheryl Cox for Chula Vista mayor.

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