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This month, San Diego Metropolitan magazine refers to the Coxes as “powerhouse mates.” Campaign contributions demonstrate the entanglement of that power. While Mayor Cheryl Cox heads up redevelopment of Chula Vista’s bayfront, Supervisor Greg Cox has collected thousands of dollars from the parties involved with a piece of potentially lucrative bayfront property. The land is owned by a group of investors led by Adnan Zakkout, who gave the maximum amount to Greg Cox’s campaign. Iman Zakkout also donated $500. The land is leased by Pacifica Companies, which is hoping for government approval of development plans before the lease runs out in December. Pacifica was founded by Ashok Israni. Supervisor Cox collected a stunning number of contributions from the Israni family: 11 members each gave the maximum for a total of $5500. Also contributing were the vice president of Pacifica Companies, Naresh Kotwani, $500, and Sindhu Kotwani, $500.

Prior to becoming supervisor, Greg Cox was a lobbyist for the San Diego County Disposal Association. Allied Waste has an exclusive trash-service contract with the City of Chula Vista, and the Otay Landfill, a subsidiary of Allied Waste, is located in Chula Vista. Edco, another collection service, picks up trash in many South Bay communities. Edco employees donated $2250 to Cox’s campaign, and Allied employees donated $800.

Allied has become the second-largest trash-handling company in the nation. Revenues in 2006 were close to $6 billion. Nevertheless, in January 2007, the San Diego board of supervisors voted to approve an Allied Waste request that the California Municipal Finance Authority “issue and sell up to $250,000,000 in tax-exempt obligations (the Bonds) and lend proceeds to Allied Waste to finance improvements,” according to the board of supervisors’ minutes.

In the second half of 2007, employees of San Diego Gas & Electric and its parent company, Sempra Energy, gave Greg Cox $6150. SDG&E has been pushing hard to get the Sunrise Powerlink project approved. Supervisor Cox and Mayor Cox have given strong public support to the controversial project.

Worth mentioning is that the Coxes have investments in three companies located on Otay Mesa: Medtronic Inc., Copart Inc., and Ethos Environmental. Disgraced former port commissioner David Malcolm is a major stockholder in Ethos Environmental.

Do campaign contributions affect the future? Ask the Coxes. A February 1995 Union-Tribune article reported, “In the six weeks before Greg Cox was appointed to the Board of Supervisors, he and his wife made campaign contributions to three of the four county supervisors who would select him to the coveted position.” Dianne Jacob, the one supervisor who did not receive contributions, said she would not have “accepted money under circumstances like that.… It carries the wrong message.”

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Comments

francisco May 21, 2008 @ 9:17 p.m.

This group has been called an aristocracy. So many of the same people in positions of power for so long--is San Diego a better place? Is Dumanis part of the aristocracy?

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Fred Williams May 22, 2008 @ 7:43 a.m.

Dumanis may not have started as a member of the aristocracy, but she has worked her way into their good graces.

Witness the malicious prosecution of Cox rival Castaneda. This was a completely meritless case and the jury laughed Dumanis out of court.

Did she do this as a favor to the Cox duo?

Sure looks like it.

The culture of corruption in San Diego isn't limited to the city. The county is run by a tight oligarchy that remains completely unaccountable to the voters.

So long as the local media, dominated by the liars for hire at the UT, refuse to report what is so glaringly obvious, there is little hope for change.

If you'd like to get around this information embargo, you have to read the Reader and do research online.

You can also use www.changesandiego.org to post your own analysis of what is going on. It's a wiki that anyone can edit.

If it weren't for a few brave and persistent writers like Don Bauder, we could claim ignorance of what's going on here in San Diego. But we should all know the truth by now and vote accordingly.

Best,

Fred Williams

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