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Employees of a small defense contractor headquartered in Mission Valley have created a stir in local political circles with their flurry of contributions this past fall to Third District San Diego city council candidate Todd Gloria.

Korean-American Bryan Min, an ex-Navy nuclear engineer and currently president and CEO of Epsilon Systems Solutions, used federal minority business preferences to build his firm, which he founded in 1998. In June of last year, Min hired Dan Dufresne away from the staff of GOP congressman Brian Bilbray to be Epsilon’s in-house lobbyist and director of government relations. According to lobbyist registration statements filed last year with the House, Dufresne’s job was to “contact various Congressional offices” regarding “military procurement issues.” The registration was terminated last month.

So far this election cycle, Min and company have given a total of $4300 to Bilbray and backed two Democrats, Senator Carl Levin of Michigan and Congressman Norm Dicks of Washington. Levin chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Dicks is on the Defense Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee.

Todd Gloria is district director for Democratic congresswoman Susan Davis, who is a member of the House Armed Services Committee. That leads some to speculate that the Min money is a way to curry favor with a key Congressional staffer.

But Min may harbor other reasons to have a friendly would-be city councilman on his side. He and his Epsilon employees have also given to April Boling, the Republican running in the council's seventh district. He’s on the board of the San Diego Convention Center Corporation and has unsuccessfully sought appointment to the Board of Port Commissioners. In addition, Epsilon chief operating officer Dwayne Junker has expressed repeated support for the controversial Navy Broadway Complex being developed by downtown hotel mogul Doug Manchester on Navy land at the foot of Broadway, telling the Daily Transcript, “If this doesn’t work…it’s going to be a step backward in essence.” Other speculation has it that Epsilon wants to snag contracting work paid for by Homeland Security grants funneled through the city. Min and Dufresne could not be reached for comment.

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Comments

Justice4all April 4, 2008 @ noon

Gloria is such a typical establishment candidate who will take special interest money in exchange for favors that will hurt the city and taxpayers.

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historymatters April 29, 2008 @ 1:44 p.m.

OK, the list goes on and on and on. I cant list it all here. Go to developeralert there is a whole page dedicated to concerns about Gloria. Gloria....I think we got your number.. Contribution of Sherm Harmer, the Building Industry Association President. BIA adamantly opposed any provisions for historic preservation and any provisions for height limitations and a living wage for workers. The endorsement on his website by the 2 council members in Coronado who tried to fight the citizens proposition J that would stop runaway development Carrie Downey and Casey Tanaka. Mitch Berner – Registered City Lobbyist, PR guy and Sunroad frontman. Perry Dealy - President of Manchester Development and public point-man for Doug Manchester's Navy Broadway Complex development etc, etc, etc

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historymatters April 29, 2008 @ 2:01 p.m.

A side note: I just went on Todds website--I think its interesting that he turned all the comments off--hmmm maybe because they were all asking him to explain all these shady endorsements and contributions. I have written his campaign manager a couple of times. In the beginning when I was just trying to gather info, she was more then happy to correspond, but when I began to question these concerns, I got nothing.

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lukevw22 June 2, 2008 @ 10:05 p.m.

Shady business indeed.

I love how Todd Glorida would obviously be pro gay rights, yet he accepts campaign finance from Doug Manchester (http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20080315/news_1m15samesex.html) who is actively funding a BAN ON SAME-SEX MARRIAGE for the November ballot.

Todd, why would you take money from such a character?

Another slimy politician in it for himself and not the community...

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Fred Williams June 3, 2008 @ 1:35 p.m.

Gloria is a nice guy. He'll fit in well with the current city council, going along to get along and making no waves. That's exactly why I'm supporting Stephen Whitburn in District 3.

  • Stephen Whitburn has the endorsement of Donna Frye, and that means a lot.

  • Stephen Whitburn is NOT part of the local establishment machine that has done such a disservice to San Diego in recent years.

  • Stephen Whitburn is a true progressive with the experience and skills to Change San Diego, rather than continue the culture of corruption that is so harmful to us all.

Please vote for Stephen Whitburn today.

(And also vote NO on Prop. C)

Fred Williams

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