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One of Mayor Jerry Sanders's most faithful supporters has been Pauline Foster, widow of clothing magnate and South Bay real estate whiz Stan Foster. Ever since Sanders started running for mayor back in May 2005, Foster, a Rancho Santa Fe resident, has been among the first in line with her checkbook. During Sanders's 2005 campaign, she gave the maximum $600. On February 3 of this year, she made the maximum $300 contribution to the mayor's San Diego Inaugural and Transition Fund, which picked up the tab for receptions and miscellaneous expenses. This September 14, she personally gave $500 to "San Diegans for City Hall Reform -- Yes on B&C," the campaign committee touting the mayor's public-services outsourcing measure.

A Foster family real estate venture has also contributed to the Sanders cause. This May 30, OMFOSTER LLC kicked in $10,000 to the pro-B&C campaign. On October 23, the same entity contributed another $12,000. The family allegiance to Sanders was so strong that Foster's son-in-law Jeff Silberman, son of fallen local financier and political powerbroker Dick Silberman, gave $1000 in July 2005 to a Sanders-for-mayor piece disguised as a slate mailer that was later declared illegal by the city's Ethics Commission.

So it comes as no surprise that Foster's other son-in-law, Alan Bersin, the ex-San Diego school superintendent and former gubernatorial secretary of education, has been named by the mayor to a $150,000-a-year seat on the board of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority.

On the road again Democratic congresswoman Susan Davis, easily reelected this month, spent August 12 through 17 not on the campaign trail but on a junket to Kraków, Poland, where she and husband Steve participated in a conference called "U.S.-Russia-Europe Relations." The $4630 tab was picked up by the Aspen Institute, a nonprofit think tank. ... Pension liabilities aren't the only expenses troubling the City of San Diego. According to an October 18 memo from Greg Bych, the city's risk management director, to chief financial officer Jay Goldstone, the cost of maintaining $50 million in liability insurance for things like the city's airport operations has gone way up. The premium for fiscal year 2006 was $3,541,053, the memo says. For this fiscal year, the cost is $4,294,479. That works out to a 21.27 percent hike. The policy runs through next October. ... Cheetahs redux: Two weeks ago, the Nevada Supreme Court voted 5-2 to uphold a Vegas ordinance prohibiting strippers from fondling or caressing patrons with the intent to sexually arouse. Some dancers are vowing to appeal in federal court.

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