So-called behesting, in which an elected official asks special interests to make contributions to the officeholder's favorite charities, has become a frequent practice for San Diego city councilman Jim Madaffer. Under the City's ethics ordinance, if a single donor gives a cumulative total of $5000 or more in a 12-month period to one or more charities at the behest of an officeholder, a disclosure must be filed with the city clerk. On October 4, Madaffer disclosed that North City developer Black Mountain Ranch gave $5750 to the American Diabetes Association's "Father of the Year" awards this June. AT&T, SDG&E, and Allied Waste Services each gave $3000. (Madaffer was one of the honorees.)
Black Mountain also contributed $2500 to the Alpha Project, a social welfare nonprofit group. The Barona Band of Mission Indians gave $5000 to the same charity at Madaffer's behest, as did Atlas Hotels in Mission Valley and Evans Hotels, which has lucrative city leases at Mission Bay and Torrey Pines. Shopping-center owner Westfield Malls, American Medical Response, and the Sycuan Indian tribe each contributed $2500, and developer Thomas Sudberry gave $5000. Pardee Homes and Allied Waste each contributed $3500, and AT&T gave $1000. (According to the Alpha Project's website, each year Madaffer hosts a fund-raising event called Fall Fiesta "to which he invites close friends as well as family for good music, conversation, food, and pumpkin carving.") In addition to that, Evans Hotels, Pardee, AT&T, and Westfield Malls each gave $2500 to the San Diego Family Justice Center for a fund-raiser called "Wine and Breezes." Sudberry gave $5000. Other $2500 donors to the center were Sycuan, Allied Waste, and American Medical Response. SDG&E gave $10,000. No other officials have yet filed disclosures this year.