Big labor is throwing in big money to oppose San Diego fifth district Republican city council candidate Carl DeMaio, a self-styled government reformer opposed by city employee unions. A state campaign disclosure filing made earlier this week by the San Diego–Imperial Counties Labor Council-COPE (Committee on Political Education) reveals that since January the group has spent $12,500 on what it calls “Anti Carl DeMaio IE [Independent Expenditures].” $1750 of the funds were paid to Ross Communications & Management of Sacramento, run by Richie Ross, a longtime Democratic political consultant and intimate to ex–Assembly speaker Willie Brown; Ross was most recently in the news in February for sending out emails to his political network boasting about his decade-long ties to new state Senate leader Darrell Steinberg. San Francisco–based Storefront Political Media received $5000 from the union group, and Duffy Media, also of San Francisco, got $7500. Besides targeting DeMaio, the group is backing the candidacy of TV reporter Marti Emerald, spending $1750 on her behalf in the race against April Boling. United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 135 contributed $10,000 to the effort on March 10; another union organization, the Southern California Painters and Allied Trades, gave $1000 on March 13.