San Diego Three familiar San Diego names are on a newly released list of Hillary Clinton "bundlers," volunteer fund-raisers who channel big money into presidential campaigns. Federal law limits individual contributions to $2300 each for primary and general election campaigns, so the biggest and best bundlers tap hundreds of friends and associates for the maximum donation. The campaign credits the bundlers for their grand total, often adding up to millions of dollars, and rewards them with access to exclusive parties and other favors bestowed by the grateful candidate. George Bush called his bundlers "Rangers"; Chargers owner Alex Spanos was among them. Clinton's group of bundlers are known as "HillRaisers." According to a list voluntarily made public by the Clinton campaign, they include ex-congresswoman and gubernatorial aide Lynn Schenk of La Jolla, along with Ted Waitt, her multimillionaire neighbor up the hill, formerly of Gateway. Rancho Santa Fe's Tina Nova, the biotech honcho whose quickie Las Vegas marriage and annulment netted her a lawsuit by the jilted groom, is another HillRaiser. The total amount raised by each was not made public.
Meanwhile, over on the GOP side of the fence, Rancho Santa Fe was a lucrative fund-raising ground zero for ex-New York mayor Rudy Giuliani. The neighborhood of the well-heeled horsy set was Giuliani's third-highest fund-raising zip code in California, with a total of $90,300 as of the end of March. Donors included retired diet mavens Sid and Jenny Craig; restaurateur Bertrand Hug; Petco chairman Brian Devine; and homebuilder Robert Buie. Two other maximum donors on Giuliani's list are certain to raise eyebrows: Student Loan Xpress founder Robert deRose, currently under investigation for his company's financial blandishments to college loan officers; and R. Spencer Douglass, once the biggest bail bond operator in California, who in 2004 was sentenced to 93 days of house arrest and forced to leave the bail business after pleading guilty to 123 misdemeanor counts of paying off Riverside County jail inmates to drum up business.
Rancho Santa Fe was also relatively generous to Senator John McCain. But though it ranked second on his list of California zip codes, following Newport Beach, the Arizona Republican raised only $43,600 there. Among his backers were Steve Francis, the rent-a-nurse entrepreneur and onetime candidate for San Diego mayor, and UC regent and investment manager Gerald Parsky.