San Diego’s GOP mayor Jerry Sanders has announced that under his direction the City has made a $5 million deposit at Neighborhood National Bank. “This deposit will continue my effort to utilize the City’s financial clout to support community lending efforts,” he said in a written statement. The bank, he said, was “chartered with the intent of supplying loans to small businesses, homeowners and families in low income areas.” But Sanders is also helping out a few friends in the process. The bank confirms that one of its largest investors is none other than the McMillin Family Trust; the family and employees of the late Corky McMillin — who founded the big South Bay development company that built the controversial Liberty Station on Point Loma in conjunction with the City — have been major contributors to Sanders. In 2006, more than 100 chipped in. But so far this election cycle, the big McMillin cash has gone to council candidates April Boling, Todd Gloria, and Carl DeMaio, along with GOP city attorney hopeful Jan Goldsmith. … A new outfit has taken the place of ex-congressman Bill Lowery’s firm, recently let go as lobbyist for the San Diego State University Research Foundation. According to registration documents filed with the Clerk of the House, the Washington office of San Diego–based Carpi & Clay is now the official peddler of influence for the foundation, fondly known among university insiders as SD Surf. Founded in 1984, the company is run by SDSU alums Ben Clay, a former county lobbyist, and his wife Nikki, along with partner Ken Carpi, who was a top legislative aide to San Diego mayor Pete Wilson back in the 1970s. Nikki is currently a member of the board of the university’s fund-raising arm, the Campanile Foundation. In addition to the SDSU foundation, the firm’s Washington clients include the Alliance for Sustainable Fish and the Port of Long Beach.