Politics is a year-around game, and the San Diego congressional delegation is busier than ever collecting money for next year’s reelection races. But sometimes it takes a bit of detective work to find out where the money is coming from. On the GOP side, top giver to coastal congressman Brian Bilbray is a political action committee run by Republican whip Eric Cantor of Virginia called Every Republican Is Crucial. Bilbray got $10,000 from the committee. Top donors to Cantor’s PAC included NORPAC, a pro-Israel group, with $24,660; MacAndrews & Forbes, a holding company owned by billionaire Ronald O. Perelman, that gave $15,000; and Altria Group, the big tobacco company, that kicked in $5000. Bilbray’s next-highest donor was defense contractor SAIC, Inc., which, along with some of its employees, gave a total of $6400.
SAIC and employees were also kind to North County GOP congressman Darrell Issa, giving $15,400. He picked up $5000 each from AT&T and the National Rural Letter Carriers Association. Top donor to Duncan D. Hunter, another Republican congressman, who is in his first term after succeeding his father, was defense contractor General Dynamics with $7500; SAIC checked in with $6250; and Honeywell International, also big in military business, gave $5500. Democrat Susan Davis collected $5000 from the Operating Engineers Union; $3400 from cell phone giant Qualcomm; and $2500 from defense contractor BAE Systems. South Bay Democrat Bob Filner got $10,000 from the Plumbers and Pipefitters Union; another $10,000 from the United Transportation Union; and $5000 from defense contractor Cubic Corporation.