— The San Diego City Council keeps eating up the freebies, according to personal financial filings at city hall. La Jolla's Scott Peters, who is married to a multimillionaire, got a $150 ticket this January 19 to a chamber of commerce dinner thanks to SAIC, the giant government contractor that among other things has been criticized by the federal government for contract irregularities in Iraq. Tom Shepard and Associates -- the hardball-playing political consultant to Mayor Jerry Sanders, the pro-Miramar San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, and Padres owner John Moores -- gave Peters $100 to attend a San Diego County Taxpayers Association dinner on May 17. Councilman Kevin Faulconer got $125 from the Corky McMillin Companies to go to the same event. His colleague Tony Young was paid $66 in food and beverage by the Building Industry Association to speak at a dinner on May 18.

Meanwhile, in the Eighth District, Ben Hueso's best friend seems to be Otay Ranch Company's Kim Kilkenny. On January 28, Hueso got a Building Industry dinner worth $195 from the voluble Kilkenny. Not a registered city lobbyist, Kilkenny says he doesn't have to register because his company has no business with the City of San Diego. "They are just our good neighbors to the north," he said during a recent phone conversation.

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