Thirty-Ninth District Democratic state senator Christine Kehoe is the chairwoman of the senate’s Energy, Utilities, and Communications Committee, holding life-and-death power over bills crucial to big power, phone, and cable companies. So when Kehoe puts the squeeze on industry lobbyists to open their checkbooks for the benefit of her favorite charities — known as “behesting,” in the more genteel parlance used by legislators — they inevitably kowtow. Behesting reports on file with California’s secretary of state show that over the last two months Kehoe has brought in a considerable haul by pitting AT&T against Verizon. On April 4, the latter gave $25,000 to the Center, also known as the San Diego Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Community Center. Two days before that, Verizon contributed $20,000 to Rachael’s Women’s Center. On March 17, AT&T gave $5000 each to Gompers Charter Middle School and the Jean Isaacs San Diego Dance Theater on Kehoe’s behalf. The general theory behind behesting is that it helps buy votes.… More Poway money to report for the anti–gay marriage initiative campaign: this time it’s $50,000 from Gerald Simonsen, president of RM Properties. He’s also given $5000 to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and backed Mitt Romney for president. Meanwhile, mini-mart advocate Auday Arabo, facing a tough race against Marty Block, the establishment candidate in the 78th Assembly District Democratic primary, has picked up $3600 from the campaign fund of outgoing speaker Fabian Núñez. He also got $2400 from the Viejas tribe.

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